Reuters – Mike Blake Blake (RUSSIA – Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS SPORT SKIING)

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — It wasn’t her best performance, but American freestyle skier Hannah Kearney did enough to inch one step closer to defending her Olympic gold medal in women’s moguls.

Kearney, 27, was one of two Americans to advance out of the first round of the finals late Saturday night. Her score of 20.95 was good enough for seventh place.

Eliza Outtrim, a 28-year-old Connecticut native making her Olympic debut, put together a nice run and posted the round’s second-highest mark, 21.81.

Heather McPhie, competing in her second Olympics, posted a score of 20.05 and was all smiles after her best run of the Olympics. But it wasn’t quite enough to make the cut. Only the top 12 skiers advanced to the second round of the finals, which gets underway shortly, and McPhie finished in 13th place, just seven-hundredths of a point away from 12th.

The top score from the opening round of the finals was from the Czech Republic’s Nikola Sudova, who posted a 21.82.

All three of Canada’s Dufour-Lapointe sisters — Maxime, Justine, Chloe — advanced to the next round.