Dawson wins as U.S. men dominate moguls; Kearney second to Traa{mosimage}USSA — Toby Dawson won and defending World Cup champion Travis Cabral was third, leading a display of strength Friday by the U.S. men’s World Cup moguls troupe in the Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge in Deer Valley. U.S. men went 1-3-4-5-7.

Kari Traa of Norway was the women’s winner with Hannah Kearney second as U.S. women went 2-5-6. The event will be televised on ESPN at 2 p.m. ET on Feb. 5.

“We’re smiling. We’re psyched,” said moguls head coach Donnie St. Pierre. “It’s continuing the philosophy that if one can’t do it, another will…and that happened again today. Hannah stepped up big and Toby was huge!”

Dawson was eighth in the qualifying round but nailed a heli-cross off the top jump and a cork-7, an off-axis move with two spins, off the bottom jump to finish with 26.42 points for the third win of his career. Finland’s Janne Lahtela, the 2002 men’s Olympic champion at Deer Valley who leads the current standings, was second (26.25) and Cabral took third at 26.18. The top five skiers were less than a half-point apart.

When he took the bronze medal in dual moguls last January at the World Championships at Deer Valley, Dawson threw an off-axis jump at the bottom to clinch the medal. “Yeah, this was very similar to that; I’ve worked on it to put it to my feet [land it],” he said.

“It was one of those runs where you know where every single turn is gonna be placed,” Dawason said. It was kinda like being on auto-pilot. It’s always nice to have that kind of run. We’ve gotten so much from the coaches working with all of us individually, video analysis … they’re doing a great job for us.”

Cabral was third for the third time in the last four World Cups as he looks to defend his moguls title. Deer Valley is the sixth of 15 World Cup contests.

Kearney, 17, an Olympic forerunner who just finished her last classes (she’ll pick up a high school diploma in the spring), led the qualifying round and survived a slight bobble near the finish to place second behind Traa, who won the 2002 Olympic gold medal and the 2003 World Championships gold medal at Deer Valley.

“My first run was good. Obviously, I was psyched with that. The second was probably just as good [until] the bottom,” Kearney said. “Then I had a bobble just before the finish line … but I’m still really happy.”

Her pre-competition training runs hadn’t been stellar, Kearney said, “so I was a little nervous. I did a heli-cross on the top and a heli on the bottom. Then I just tried to lay down the same run” in finals.

She said conditions “were really nice lots of soft snow, and the course was all sorts of tight, little moguls, really fun to ski. It was a little shorter than usual, so you didn’t get quite as tired…not that my legs aren’t plenty tired.”

“This is what you want pretty exciting finals and the members of the team pushing each other to do well. They train together,” St. Pierre said, “and they work with each other.”

The Sprint U.S. Freestyle Grand National concludes Saturday with double-barreled action — aerials during the day and dual moguls under the lights.

Freestyle World Cup
Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge World Cup
Deer Valley, Utah
January 30, 2004
Moguls (12 make finals)

1. Toby Dawson, Vail, Colo., 26.42 points
2. Janne Lahtela, Finland, 26.25
3. Travis Cabral, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., 26.18
4. Jeremy Bloom, Loveland, Colo., 26.07
5. Luke Westerlund, Breckenridge, Colo., 25.93
6. Dale Begg-Smith, Australia, 25.59 (higher on tiebreaker)
7. Dave Babic, Washington, Vt., 25.59
8. Tapio Luusua, Finland 25.24
9. Brady Johnson, Littleton, Colo., 24.63
10. Laurent Niol, France, 24.53
11. Yugo Tsukita, Japan, 22.47
12. Marc-Andre Moreau, Canada, 12.57
22. Nate Roberts, Park City, Utah
36. Travis Mayer, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
43. Ryan Riley, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
46. Tim Preston, Campton, N.H.

1. Kari Traa, Norway, 26.00
2. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, Vt., 25.58
3. Jennifer Heil, Canada, 25.27
4. Margaret Marbler, Austria, 25.20
5. Laurel Shanley, Squaw Valley, Calif., 24.31
6. Michelle Roark, Denver, 23.91
7. Sandra Laoura, France, 23.18
8. Aiko Uemura, Japan, 23.13
9. Bereneice Gregoire, France, 22.97
10. Shelly Robertson, Reno, Nev., 19.01
11. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, Calif., 13.66
12. Ljudmila Dymchenko, Russia, 4.85
13. Emiko Torito, Denver
15. Jillian Vogtli, Ellicotville, N.Y.
27. Allison Levi, Denver
29. Katie Bodzioch, Dunstable, Mass.
31. Lauren Crawford, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

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