Competing in the World Cup dual moguls event at the American resort of Deer Valley today, Graham qualified for the finals in 17th place, won his dual in the first elimination round against Finland's Jussi Penttala before going down in the second final to current Olympic gold medalist Canadian Alexandre Bilodeau.
Graham’s 14th overall place was a personal best in World Cup competition and provided the perfect way to end his season, which started last November.
The result will also provide the perfect motivation for the Australian Institute of Sport / NSW Institute of Sport, Perisher-based athlete to capitalise on a tough off season training campaign in Australia, due to start after the team enjoys a brief break.
The event was won by Russian Sergey Volkov, Canadian Mikael Kingsbury finished second and third went to Russia’s Andrey Volkov.
In the women’s event, 17-year-old, Britt Cox, added an 11th place to her outstanding season, which reached its peak 48 hours ago when she claimed her first World Cup medal by finishing the individual moguls event, also at Deer Valley, in third place.
Cox qualified very strongly in sixth place with another excellent performance today but unfortunately the AIS/NSWIS athlete’s event finished in the first final when she made a mistake and fell before the top jump against American KC Oakley.
The event was won by the Olympic Champion American Hannah Kearney, with Canadian Justine Dufour-Lapointe in second place while American Heather McPhie finished third.
AIS mogul skiing head coach Steve Desovich has already started the season evaluation and not surprisingly has been very happy with the improvement made by Cox this season. However, he is quick to add that he is hopeful the teenager has much bigger achievements ahead.
He cites Cox’s enormous improvement with jumps and significant gains with speed as the two factors which have brought about her rise up the world rankings this season.
“For Britt until Friday the season was good, but with that podium her season is excellent,” Desovich said.
“There is no way we could have forecasted that she would be on the podium this year. What she did the other night was really great and completely unexpected.
“So for her, it has been an excellent campaign.”
Desovich is also pleased with the progress made by Graham and regards this season’s performances as very encouraging.
“Matt did well today. He qualified 16th, won his first dual run and finish in 14th position, which is a great way to end the season,” Desovich said.
“We are pleased with Matt. To see him do well today is a good result for him and hopefully this helps him to get going for the future.”
“Nineteen year old Nicole Parks finished in 22nd place in the dual mogul event but has also made significant progress during the last four weeks of World Cup competition.
“Nicole also has had some very bright moments over the past weeks. On Thursday night the 13th place was a huge step forward. Making two finals from four events is a big change this year in the right direction. With more work on her jumps Nicole will come prepared for next season, with a strong chance to really succeed at the World Cup level.” Desovich said.
In other results with Australians competing in the Deer Valley moguls, NSWIS athlete Taylah O’Neill, competing in her second World Cup event of the season, placed 29th.