The 23-year-old OWIA/VIS athlete joins Kirstie Marshall, Jacqui Cooper, Alisa Camplin, Lydia Lassila and Laura Peel as the only female athletes with this achievement.
The win and the 100 World Cup points that accompany the gold medal have sky-rocketed McElduff’s world ranking from 14 to five in just 24 hours.
She finished ahead of Russia’s second placed Veronika Korsunova and Belarusian Hanna Huskova in third in the revised one jump formatted event.
McElduff’s first win in 20 World Cup starts in three years was a result that has left her stunned.
“I’m very surprised,” McElduff admitted.
“It is absolutely the highlight of my career.”
The Australian thought her weekend had peaked in yesterday’s day one of a double-header in Lake Placid when she reached her first super-final, recorded a World Cup career best result of sixth and achieved her highest score for the jump she chose in one of the finals.
How wrong she was.
Using the same jump – a full full, which won her a place in yesterday’s super-final - McElduff scored 84.42, an improvement on yesterday’s 84.10.
After McElduff finished in sixth place on day one of Lake Placid, coach Jeff Bean predicted “bigger and better things” were ahead for McElduff. How right he was.
McElduff said that her significant improvement this season is all related to her newly-found confidence.
McElduff’s goal going into today’s event was to finish in the top six and is now hoping to reach at least one more super-final in the season’s remaining two events.
Her OWIA/VIS teammates Laura Peel and Danielle Scott ended today’s event in minus 20 degree Celsius conditions in 10th and 21st places respectively.
McElduff's win is the latest addition to Australia’s aerial squad’s highly successful season, which includes Peel winning the World Championships title Scott fifth at at the World Championships after taking the World Cup silver medal in Beijing at the start of the season.
The one jump format of today’s event was used to give organisers the opportunity to stage a nation’s team event on the same day.
The OWIA/VIS aerial squad now has several weeks to prepare for the season’s second last event in Moscow, Russia, on February 21.
IMAGE: Renee McElduff (middle) celebrates her win in Lake Placid © Ashley Merkur