LAKE PLACID, NY Jan. 18, 2003 (USSA)–Travis Cabral (South Lake Tahoe, CA) ignored sub-zero cold to win his second World Cup moguls event of the season Saturday with Luke Westerlund (Breckenridge, CO) fifth in the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Grand National at Whiteface Mountain. Aiko Uemura of Japan led qualifying and went on to collect her first victory with Emiko Torito (Englewood, CO) in fourth place.
NBC will televise coverage of the day at Whiteface Mountain next Sunday, Jan. 26, at 4 p.m. EST.
Sub-zero cold greeted the athletes — “It was —32 when we got up and we were, like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s like Finland,” Cabral said — but temperatures warmed to just above zero by the final runs in early afternoon. “We train for this and it’s not a problem,” he added.
Cabral, who won the opening event of the season in Tignes, France, received 26.79 points for his final run and Olympic champ Janne Lahtela of Finland was runnerup (25.80) with Canadian Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau was third.
CABRAL: “…NOTHING TO LOSE…”
Luke Westerlund (Breckenridge, CO), who was second in the qualifying, had problems with his second off-axis “Hucklebuck” or “dinner roll” in finals and finished fifth while Chris Hernandez (South Lake Tahoe, CA) was eighth, David Babic (Washington, VT0 11th and Mike Friedberg (Boulder, CO) 12th.
“There was nothing to lose here. I made it into finals and I just wanted to ski a clean run,” Cabral said. “I’m doing pretty well, I guess.”
Friday night at the U.S. Olympic Training Center where the athletes stay, he met with Coaches Donnie St. Pierre and Liz McIntyre.
“We decided first run I was gonna keep it simple — double-twister spread instead of cross-spread, heli-X spread, just to make it in. And then in finals train heli-X spread and see where it goes. I did a few good jumps and decided to throw it in the finals,” Cabral said.
He hit a heli-X off the top airs and the heli-X spread off the second jump. “The only guy who skied really well today was Travis,” Lahtela told a press conference
HEAD COACH FEELING BETTER
“I’m smiling a little more today,” U.S. Head Coach Jeff Wintersteen said, a reference to Saturday’s results vs. Friday’s aerials in which only one U.S. man and one woman made it into finals.
“I thought it was going to be too cold, and temperature was going to be a factor, but it turned out to be pretty good. The wind picked up a little in the afternoon, but it was great,” the coach said.
He praised Cabral for his focus and execution and shrugged off lackluster results from Olympic silver medalists Travis Mayer (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Shannon Bahrke (Tahoe City, UT) as well as defending World Cup moguls champ Jeremy Bloom (Loveland, CO), all three of whom failed to reach finals.
“Travis has been knocking on the door — he switched his air package and they’re (judges) starting to look for it. That was nice,” Wintersteen said. “Y’know, as an athlete, there are those days when you’re training and you say, ‘I hope I never have a competition on a day like this’ Well, we had a competition on a day like that…I’m not too worried about it.
“It was a tough course. It was a great course but it’s really challenging,” he added. The run had an erratic pattern — gaps between the moguls on the upper half, then smaller gaps on the lower half, so athletes had to change rhythm partway through the way and some became mouse-trapped.
BAHRKE STILL LEADS WOMEN; MAYER IN MEN’S HUNT
In the women’s contest on Wilderness trail, Uemura finished with 25.84 points — one-hundredth of a point ahead of Sandra Laoura of France with Norwegian Ingrid Berntsen in third place at 24.95. Torito was fourth (24.91), Jillian Vogtli (Ellicotville, NY) sixth, Michelle Roark (Denver) eighth, and Bahrke 12th.
With the points list including best four cof six events, Bahrke retained her lead in the women’s tally while Mayer has the same points as Rousseau but gave up the yellow leader’s bib to the Canadiann on a tiebreaker formula.
The Sprint World Cup weekend concludes Sunday with another round of aerials at the MacKenzie-Intervale Olympic Jumping Complex.
FIS FREESTYLE WORLD CUP
Sprint U.S. Freestyle Grand Naitonal
Lake Placid, NY — Jan. 18Moguls (12 make finals)
1. Travis Cabral, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 26.79 points
2. Janne Lahtela, Finland, 25.80
3. Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau, Canada, 25.57
4. Stephane Rochon, Canada, 25.20
5. Luke Westerlund, Breckenridge, CO, 24.97
8. Chris Hernandez, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 24.33
11. David Babic, Washington, VT, 19.71
12. Mike Friedberg, Boulder, CO, run not scored
14. Travis Mayer, Steamboat Springs, CO
17. Toby Dawson, Vail, CO
19. Fred Mooney, Winter Park, CO
37. Nate Roberts, Park City, UT
44. Jeremy Bloom, Loveland, CO, run not scored
1. Aiko Uemura, Japan, 25.84
2. Sandra Laoura, France, 25.83
3. Ingrid Berntsen, Norway, 24.95
4. Emiko Torito, Denver, 24.91
5. Berenice Gregoire, France, 24.82
6. Jillian Vogtli, Ellicotville, NY, 24.52
8. Michelle Roark, Denver, 23.92
12. Shannon Bahrke, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 21.48
17. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, VT
19. Laurel Shanley, Olympic Valley, CA
20. Shelly Robertson, Reno, NV
22. Jessica Davis, Tahoe City, CA
32. Lauren Crawford, Steamboat Springs, CO
World Cup standings (Best 4 of 6 results)
1. Rousseau, 368 points (Leads on tiebreaker)
2. Mayer, 368
3. Dawson, 360
4. Cabral, 352
5. Rochon, 332
9. Westerlund, 284
10. Babic, 280
14. Friedberg, 220
20. Bloom, 184
24. Brady Johnson, Littleton, CO, 160
29. Hernandez, 100
32. Mooney, 48
1. Bahrke, 392
2. Kari Traa, Norway, 372
3. Margaret Marbler, Austria, 352
4. Berntsen, 340
5. Laoura, 336
6. Roark, 336
11. Vogtli, 264
14. Robertson, 244
16. Torito, 232
22. Justine Van Houte, Telluride, CO, 160
25. Shanley, 120
31. Kearney, 36
34. Davis, 16