By Karen Price | Feb. 09, 2018, 1:02 a.m. (ET)

Morgan Schild competes in the women's moguls qualification at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 at Phoenix Snow Park on Feb. 9, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.

 

The U.S. Olympic moguls team got off to a strong start in PyeongChang on Friday, with three of the four women competing and one of the men already into the first round of the finals – proving itself as a multiple-medal contender at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

There are two qualifying runs, and already Morgan Schild, Jaelin Kauf and Keaton McCargo are among the first 10 skiers who will move on to the first run of the finals. Schild led Team USA in qualification, finishing in third, followed by Kauf in fifth and McCargo eighth. Tess Johnson, who finished 22nd, will need to be among the top 10 in the next round of qualifying in order to reach the final.

Kauf is the top-ranked women’s moguls skier in the world after earning four world cup podiums this season. All four women are making their Olympic debuts.

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On the men’s side, Troy Murphy, another first-time Olympian, is also on to the first round of the final thanks to his fourth-place finish. Murphy was 0.28 points out of the top three finish in qualifying.

Casey Andringa (14th), two-time Olympian Bradley Wilson (15th), who is the only Olympic veteran on the team, and Emerson Smith (22nd) will rely on their results from the second qualifying round, slated for Feb. 12, to reach the finals.

Scores will start over in the final round, but with Schild in podium position in qualification and Kauf and Murphy not far off, the results of day one of competition bode well for Team USA’s medal hopes in the coming days.

France’s Perrine Laffont led the women in qualifying, and Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury led the men.

The second round of women's qualification will be held Sunday in PyeongChang followed by the final, while the men's second qualifying round and finals will be held on Monday. Twenty skiers start in the first final before the field is whittled down to 12 in the second final and sixth in the third.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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