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Ballachey world’s fourth best in duals

Tribune and USSA Reports

All Travis Ramos and Brooke Ballachey needed was a chance to demonstrate their abilities. The young and talented U.S. freestyle skiers cracked the top 10 again in the final World Cup dual moguls event of the season Sunday.

Neither of the South Shore mogul skiers participated in the Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, last month, but you couldn’t tell it by their late-season performances.

The 19-year-old Ramos’ fifth-place finish propelled him to 12th in the final World Cup dual moguls standings.

“It was a pretty intense day. I had a lot riding on it — the Nations Cup as well as my own standing. This was my rookie year,” Ramos said, “so I feel pretty good about my season. It was a great honor to represent the United States in the Finals. I only wish I could I have done better.”

Canada won the Nations Cup for the second straight season, finishing 208 points ahead of the USA.

Ballachey, 18, capped a remarkable comeback from a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament last year. Her ninth-place finish in dual moguls Sunday gave her fourth place in the final standings.

Ballachey’s teammate, Jillian Vogtli of Ellicotville, N.Y., ignored a heavy, wet snowstorm and climbed onto her first World Cup podium as she finished third. Kari Traa of Norway won the women’s final for her second straight duals victory and clinched the World Cup title, nipping singles champion Marje Elfman of Sweden, who was tied for fifth in the World Cup Final. Vogtli knocked off Mina Karhu of Finland for third place while Ballachey was tied for ninth with Ann Battelle of Steamboat Springs, Colo. Battelle finished 10th and Vogtli 13th overall.

“It’s amazing,” Vogtli said. “I never thought of myself as a fast skier, so I made a breakthrough. I had nothing to lose today; now, I was to carry this into my singles. I like the prefection of singles moguls where it’s not just speed.”

In the men’s contest, Johann Gregoire of France defeated Sweden’s Jesper Roennbaeck in the final run, but Roennbaeck captured the duals crown.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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