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Lahtela Wins Deer Valley Duals; US Men Pack Leaders


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PARK CITY, Utah, Jan. 31 2004 — Two-sport star Jeremy Bloom finished second Saturday night against one-sport star Janne Lahtela of Finland in dual moguls, the final event of the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Grand National at Deer Valley Resort. Toby Dawson took third place with Nate Roberts in fourth as U.S. men filled six of the top eight places. Hannah Kearney was the top U.S. women in fifth place behind all-conquering Kari Traa of Norway.

“Oh man, I feel like it’s August and I just finished two-a-days,” said Bloom, the reigning duals world champion and a wide receiver and kick returner for the University of Colorado football team. “I need a waterboy and a trainer.”

Fourth Friday in moguls as Dawson and Lahtela went 1-2, Bloom conceded he was “frustrated” with not being in the top three. “This was good. I wanted to win,” he said, “but we put on a show and that’s what the crowd wanted…and, for me, it’s all practice for 2006 at the Olympics.

Bloom likes his mates on the podium, too

“I’m happy I got to be on the podium. And having two teammates with me is just so great. I’m sick of talking about the depth of the U.S. moguls team; the results speak for themselves.” Nine of the 16 spots in the men’s finals went to U.S. moguls skiers, but they were paired against each other multiple times in the run to the final foursome and then the final two, so they inevitably kept knocking off a teammate.

“I think that’s the worst thing – competing against a teammate,” Dawson said. “We all want everybody to go to finals, but this is really an individual sport in a team setting and so you do your best and what happens happens.”

A year ago, during the 2003 World Championships at Deer Valley, Bloom won the dual moguls title with Dawson in third place. Bloom took silver in moguls and Dawson was bronze medalist there, too.

“Wow! I’ve had some great luck here,” said Dawson, who won Friday’s moguls contest. “This isn’t bad, considering who I’m competing against. I pushed it.”

Dawson: “We gave ’em a show…”

He landed a heli-X off the top jump and threw a cork-7 off the bottom – “I know nobody does a cork-7 off the bottom air, but I think it’s more fun. And, really, this sport’s all about showing off…and we gave ’em a show. The energy from the crowd was great,” Dawson said. Added Bloom, “It was a great crowd – not Folsom but still pretty rowdy…”

In the women’s event, Traa defeated Swede Sara Kjellin and continued her mastery of Deer Valley. Her record in the last three seasons: 2002 – Olympic moguls gold medalist; 2003 – World Championships moguls and duals gold medalist; 2004 – Sprint Grand National moguls and duals winner. Kjellin had knocked off Kearney in the quarterfinals.