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Megan Nick extends historic season for U.S. women’s aerials

FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup Deer Valley - Day 2

PARK CITY, UTAH - FEBRUARY 07: Megan Nick of the United States competes during Woman’s Aerials at the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup at Deer Valley on February 07, 2020 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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Megan Nick won her second World Cup aerials title of the season, giving the U.S. women three consecutive World Cup victories in the freestyle skiing discipline for the first time ever.

Nick, a 24-year-old former gymnast, landed a full double full and prevailed in Raubichi, Belarus, over World Cup leader Laura Peel of Australia. Another rising American, Winter Vinecki, placed third.

Vinecki won last week’s World Cup event. Two other Americans -- three-time Olympian Ashley Caldwell and Kaila Kuhn -- made a podium in one of the five World Cups so far this season.

Vinecki, Nick and Caldwell rank Nos. 2-4 in the season standings behind Peel. Before the recent tear, the U.S. women went three years without a World Cup victory.

It’s the most success in one season for the program since 1998, when Nikki Stone won the U.S.’ only Olympic women’s aerials medal (gold), plus won four World Cups and finished runner-up three other times.

The World Cup fields have been respectable despite the pandemic. Peel, plus the last two Olympic champions from Belarus have been regulars. However, no woman from stalwart China has competed.

The world championships were recently rescheduled for March 10-11 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. There, the U.S. can look to put multiple women on a worlds podium for the first time. Caldwell was the last American to win a world title in 2017.

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