Kiley McKinnon competes in women's aerials at the FIS Freestyle World Cup on Feb. 8, 2017 in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Kiley McKinnon squeaked her way into the Moscow World Cup super final and then soared high to claim her first career world cup win on Saturday.
McKinnon scored a 95.52 on a full in, double back to take control of the leaderboard as the first of six skiers in the super final.
Aliaksandra Ramanouskaya of Belarus finished second with an 84.48 and Russia’s Alexandra Orlova took third with 80.33 points.
McKinnon was the only U.S. athlete among both women and men to make Saturday’s super final.
Her world cup win means she is the first aerials skier to meet the objective criteria for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team by earning two podium finishes in the seven selection events.
McKinnon, a native of Madison, Connecticut, qualified seventh overall in the opening round in Moscow on a back full full, scoring 81.99 points to reach the first final run. She landed a back full full again during the first final for 80.64 points, securing the sixth and last spot for the super final.
McKinnnon stepped onto her seventh world cup podium since debuting in 2014. She was the world cup crystal globe winner in 2015, finishing first in the standings that season, and also won silver at worlds that year. McKinnon was second at the world cup at Deer Valley in Park City, Utah, last March, which was the first Olympic selection event.
Ashley Caldwell is the only other woman with a podium so far; she placed third at the Secret Garden World Cup in China.Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.