Area freestylers bump for a friend |

Area freestylers bump for a friend

Steve Yingling

With their skiing season coming to a close, local mogul skiers took to the bumps at Alpine Meadows to remember a friend and compete with two U.S. Freestyle Team members.

Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Travis Cabral and Heavenly Foundation’s Ryan Hickey finished 1-2 in the Far West Freestyle Meridy Davidson Fun in the Bumps Saturday. The event is held in remembrance of former freestyle skier Meridy Davidson, who died in a car accident in 1996. Davidson of Idaho befriended Far West skiers through interdivisional competitions.

“Up until two years ago, Far West would have a fun event after nationals at Squaw, but when Meridy passed away they decided to name it after her, so we could remember a freestyler that would otherwise be with us,” said Travis Ramos, who returned from fifth- and sixth-place national performances to take part in the event, which Alpine Meadows has hosted the past two years.

Brooke Ballachey, a second-year member of the U.S. Freestyle Team, also competed.

Cabral, 14, who recently finished fifth in the U.S. Senior Nationals mogul duals and 11th in mogul singles, posted a winning score of 24.93.

Hickey, who won the U.S. Junior Nationals J-3 class last month, finished a career-best second overall with a score of 23.98.

“Ryan’s doing well because of a lot of hard work and he’s just good in all three aspects: speed, air and turns,” said Heavenly coach Jere Crawford.

Other local singles results from Saturday were: Cristie Tibbetts, fifth overall, third J-1, 15.39; Robin Ballachey, ninth overall, first J-2, 2.29; Brad Lipovsky, 32nd overall, seventh J-4, 8.14; Jerel Dutton, 35th overall, third J-5, 7.33; Grant Devore, 47th overall, 2.71; Sho Kashima, 52nd overall, 12th J-4; and Brent Abrams, 58th overall, .82.

On Sunday, Ramos won the men’s dual, beating Squaw’s Jesse Jenison in the finals. Robin Ballachey was second in the women’s division, and Lipovsky won the J-4, J-5 class.

Ramos enjoyed his return to the Far West Division, where he developed the skills that have made him a U.S. Ski Team member and World Cup skier.

“I was there backing my division, for the most part, to see if I can inspire kids to do well, and I haven’t competed in Tahoe for the whole year,” Ramos said. “It’s fun to come back to chat with coaches and see how the upcoming kids are doing. There was no pressure. I was just there with my friends.”

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