Cabral still Bloom-ing |

Cabral still Bloom-ing

Steve Yingling, Tribune Sports Editor

World Cup champion Travis Cabral had a pretty good idea of where he was going to finish before the Chevy Truck U.S. Freestyle Championship started Friday at Montana Sugarbowl in Missoula, Mont.

Duplicating close friend Jeremy Bloom’s feats has become commonplace for the 19-year-old from South Lake Tahoe. Several years ago, Bloom won Nor Am races and soon after Cabral was doing the same. Last year, Bloom won his first World Cup event and ultimately his World Cup series title, which Cabral accomplished in a fabulous season that ended with three victories.

As expected Cabral, the 1999 national champion, finished second in Friday’s single moguls at nationals. Bloom did the same after winning wrapping up the World Cup season series last year.

“I’ll have to give coach Barnett a call,” joked the Sierra-at-Tahoe skier, referring to Bloom’s football coach at the University of Colorado. “When he does something, I can expect to do the same thing. It’s been happening for three years.

“What’s next?”

Bloom skipped nationals and only an amazing run by Luke Westerlund Breckenridge, Colo., prevented Cabral from winning his second national title. Westerlund scored 28.42 points to 27.70 for Cabral. Olympic silver medalist Travis Mayer of Steamboat Springs, Colo., took third place with 27.54.

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“I skied really well, but he deserved it,” Cabral said. “He put down the run of his life. He tore it up.”

Tahoe City’s Shannon Bahrke, the 2002-03 women’s World Cup series champion, also finished second. Hannah Kearney, the 2003 World Juniors champion from Norwich, Vt., became the youngest women’s champion in history at 17.

“This is the biggest win of my life. (National champion) may not sound as big as world junior champion, but it’s way bigger, way bigger,” she said. “I’m ecstatic and it still hasn’t hit me.”

Kearney was the only competitor to top the 27-point barrier, scoring 27.60. Bahrke was second at 26.40 and Emiko Torito of Englewood, Colo., came in third.

On Sunday, Bahrke captured the women’s duals title, while Travis Mayer took the men’s. Cabral came in fifth and Jessica Davis of Tahoe City was fourth.

Aerialist Ryan St. Onge of Winter Park, Colo., routed the men’s field Saturday as he collected his second consecutive national title. Christina Craddock of West Newton, Mass., was the women’s surprise winner.

Cabral and other team members will attend a testing camp this week in Park City.

Skiing fans can catch taped TV coverage of nationals on April 2 and 3 on ESPN.

— USSA reports contributed to this story.