U.S. team shows its depth in dual moguls contest at Deer Valley


U.S. team shows its depth in dual moguls contest at Deer Valley{mosimage}USSA — Jeremy Bloom finished second Saturday night to Finland’s Janne Lahtela in dual moguls, the final event of the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Grand National at Deer Valley. Toby Dawson took third with Nate Roberts in fourth as U.S. men filled six of the top eight places.

Hannah Kearney was the top U.S. woman in fifth place behind 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 at 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.

“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 (and six in the women’s event) 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 teammates

“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, Dawson was the bronze medalist in both moguls and dual moguls. “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.”

He landed a heli-cross 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.,” Dawson said. “And, really, this sport’s all about showing off … and we gave ‘em a show. The energy from the crowd was great.”

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

Freestyle World Cup
Sprint U.S. Freestyle Grand National
Deer Valley, Utah
Dual Moguls (8 made quarterfinals)
Men

1. Janne Lahtela, Finland
2. Jeremy Bloom, Loveland, Colo.
3. Toby Dawson, Vail, Colo.
4. Nate Roberts, Park City, Utah
5. Luke Westerlund, Breckenridge, Colo.
6. Travis Mayer, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
7. Sami Mustonen, Finland
8. Dave Babic, Washington, Vt.
Also:
9. Tim Preston, Campton, N.H.
12. Travis Cabral, South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
15. Brady Johnson, Littleton, Colo.
18. Ryan Riley, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Women
1. Kari Traa, Norway
2. Sara Kjellin, Sweden
3. Margaret Marbler, Austria
4. Jennifer Heil, Canada
5. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, Vt.
6. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, Calif.
7. Sandra Laoura, France
8. Stephanie St. Pierre, Canada
Also:
9. Jillian Vogtli, Ellicotville, N.Y.
11. Laurel Shanley, Squaw Valley, Calif.
13. Michelle Roark, Denver
15. Emiko Torito, Denver
17. Shelly Robertson, Reno, Nev.
24. Allison Levi, Denver
26. Katie Bodzioch, Dunstable, Mass.
31. Lauren Crawford, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

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