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Lake Tahoe locals Cabral, Robertson sweep dual mogul titles at nationals


Lake Tahoe locals Cabral, Robertson sweep dual mogul titles at nationals{mosimage}USSA — Local favorites ruled the final day of the Chevrolet U.S. Freestyle Championships Sunday as Travis Cabral and Shelly Robertson won the dual moguls titles in the Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge.

Cabral, already the youngest U.S. moguls gold medalist in history, became the first man to sweep moguls and duals at the same championships. ESPN will televise coverage from the Chevrolet championships at Heavenly Mountain Resort, on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe, at 1 p.m. EST on Thursday, April 8.

It was the second title in 48 hours — and the third of his career — for Cabral, who won Friday’s moguls title and then overcame continual pain in his left knee Sunday to defeat Daimon Bushi. The bronze medalist was Jordan Chiovarelli, who had been fourth behind Cabral in the moguls contest Friday; he defeated Scott Fitzmorris.

In a battle of Squaw Valley skiers from Reno, Robertson edged junior national champion McKenzy Golding for her first U.S. championship. The women’s bronze medalist was Hannah Kearney, who defeated former World Cup duals champion Michelle Roark.

“I’m way psyched. No one has ever done this,” Cabral said of his back-to-back gold-medal performances, “and to do it in my hometown is just amazing. All my family is out here. They brought three signs this time instead of one this time; it was nice.”

Cabral, the 2003 World Cup moguls champion, wasn’t sure if he would be able to compete at the championships after coming home early from the World Cup tour to have his knees examined. He received clearance from his doctor, though, to compete — and collected $3,400 for each victory.

“I’m a little bit injured,” said Cabral, 20, “and I couldn’t go all out, but I gave it the best I could, and it ended up working. I just skied clean and I think that’s what won it.”

In his final run against Bushi, Cabral took it easy on his final jump, knowing he was well ahead. He jumped high but did not do any trick, explaining, I went big and I knew he made a mistake up there [at the top of the run]. I figured I’m just going to go and then I saw the landing pad and I was like ‘This is gonna hurt,’ so I just prepared for it [landing] instead of doing a trick.”

He became the only male skier to have won both moguls titles at the championships; Ann Battelle (1999), Hannah Hardaway (2000) and Shannon Bahrke (2002) have swept both ends of the women’s championships in one year.

Robertson also had a big delegation of family and friends. “It feels so good. I’ve been working really hard this year and I’m just happy,” she said. “The course was awesome. Heavenly did a great job putting on a good show and I love having nationals here. I think we should do it every year.”

The springtime weather softened the moguls run as the day proceeded after being icy at the start. “It got a little slushy and right now it’s just mush,” she said after her victory. “You can go fast and do whatever jump you want. It definitely helps. … I love the cheers. I’m so glad everyone came out.”

U.S. head coach Jeff Wintersteen also gave high marks to Heavenly organizers, who started the championships after a storm left a foot or so of snow Thursday night. The sun came out as competitions got under way Friday and it was warm for the next three days.

“Heavenly did an exceptional job, especially with the extreme temperature conditions,” he said. “The moguls competitions were outstanding — Gunbarrel’s a terrific run — and the aerials [Saturday night] were exceptional. That was a great touch.”

U.S. Freestyle Championships
Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge
Heavenly Mountain Resort, California
March 28, 2004
Men’s Dual Moguls

1. Travis Cabral, South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
2. Daimon Bushi, Boise, Idaho
3. Jordan Chiovarelli, Port Washington, N.Y.
4. Scott Fitzmorris, Tahoe City, Calif.

Women’s Dual Moguls
1. Shelly Robertson, Reno, Nev.
2. McKenzy Golding, Reno, Nev.
3. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, Vt.
4. Michelle Roark, Denver

Emily Cook returns to aerialsJeret Peterson, Kelly Hilliman take national aerial titles at Heavenly

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