Megan Nick started out as a gymnast, and she’s still launching herself into the air, flipping and twisting end over end before landing again.
Now, however, she’s doing it on skis, and on Friday night the 23-year-old aerialist from Shelburne, Vermont, earned her first world cup podium finish at Deer Valley, Utah.
Nick took second place in the competition, her 11th world cup finish since making her debut in 2017. She had two top-10 finishes in 2019, taking seventh place on March 3 at Shimao Lotus Mountain, China, and fifth place — her best before Friday night — on Feb. 23 in Minsk, Belarus.
Nick — a U.S. ski team member since 2018 — was joined in the six-woman final by two of her teammates. Winter Vinecki, who made a name for herself as a runner growing up, was second after the first run and finished in fourth place, one spot in front of Kaila Kuhn.
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Nick was in third place after the first run with a score of 80.01, behind Vinecki and defending world champion Aliaksandra Ramanouskaya of Belarus, who led the field by a wide margin with a score of 97.57. Ramanouskaya improved on that in the final run with a score of 106.74, followed by Nick with a 83.89 and Abbey Willcox of Australia with a 81.78 to put her in third place. Vinecki was less than a point off the podium, scoring 81.20.
Eric Loughran and Jon Lillis made it to the finals for the men. Loughran, a 2018 Olympian, finished fifth while Lillis, a 2017 world champion and 2018 Olympian, was sixth.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.