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Kearney leads US in clean sweep of podium spots at World Cup moguls

DEER VALLEY, Utah -- Reigning Olympic champion Hannah Kearney felt a different kind of pressure when she stood at the top of the moguls run on Thursday.

The announcers made it clear American teammates Heather McPhie and Eliza Outtrim were already guaranteed spots on the podium.

“I thought, OK, I'm the only one who can blow it now,'” Kearney said with a laugh.

She didn't, laying down another perfect run to lead an American sweep at a freestyle World Cup moguls event at Deer Valley Resort in Park City.

It was only the second sweep by U.S. women, with the other occurring in January 2010, in Lake Placid, New York.

“That experience is unique, so that's what makes it really special, sweeping the podium as a country on home soil, amazing,” Kearney said. “I've known Eliza for 20 years, been on the team with Heather for the last eight, I think, so we've all trained really hard together. So it was really cool.”

In the men's moguls, Mikael Kingsbury led a 1-2 Canadian finish as he edged reigning Olympic champion Alex Bilodeau. American Patrick Deneen took third.

The 20-year-old Kingsbury has been on the podium in 19 straight events, and won his 14th gold Thursday.

“Every race sometimes I think about it, OK, well if it's ending today, I'm happy with what I've done so far,” Kingsbury said. “I just take it cool on top. Get relaxed, this is how I do my best.

“If you had told me 20 World Cups (ago), (I was) going to do 19 straight podiums, I wouldn't have believed it. It's just awesome.”

The competition continues on Friday with aerials, with dual moguls to follow on Saturday.

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Hannah Kearney, center, celebrates her victory with Heather McPhie, left, and Eliza Outtrim, right, of the U.S., after finishing the women's moguls event during World Cup freestyle skiing competition at Deer Valley resort in Park City, Utah, Thursday, Jan. 31. (AP)

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