Cabral enhances his 16th birthday plans |

Cabral enhances his 16th birthday plans

Staff Reports

National moguls champion Travis Cabral keeps on truckin.’

In fact, the Tahoe Paradise bump skier plans to purchase a Chevy truck after placing second in the Bust & Burn Invitational duals last Saturday in Sugarloaf, Maine.

Cabral, 15, earned $5,000 for finishing runner-up to American Sean Smith, who competed for the U.S. freestyle team for eight years.

Smith, who received a first prize of $10,000, and Cabral overcame a field stacked with Canadian national team members to provide an all-American final. The final round of 16 competitors included Canadian’s Stephane Rochon, Pierre Rosseau, former Olympic gold medalist Jean-Luc Brassard and Christian Marcoux.

“I just wanted to go out and see how I put myself up against those guys since I haven’t competed against World Cup guys before,” Cabral said.

In the finals, Smith and Cabral split the judges’ votes on turns and air, but the speed judge gave the nod to the 1994 Olympian.

“It was real close, but Sean got me on speed. Speed counts and is the difference between $5,000 and $10,000,” Cabral said.

Smith, who was born in London, Ontario, Canada, knocked off No. 1 qualifier Marcoux in the first round of Saturday’s duals. Marcoux led Friday’s qualifying with a score 26.93. Rosseau was second with 26.65 and Cabral a close third at 26.58.

Cabral advanced to the finals by bumping off Canadian John Smart, Brassard and Rosseau. Rochon finished third, followed by Rosseau and Brassard.

In his past two events Cabral has earned $7,500. Even though the South Tahoe High sophomore won’t be eligible for a driver’s license until September, he intends to be ready for his 16th birthday.

“I’m going to spend it. I want a truck, but we’ll see. If it’s a truck, it has to be a Chevy,” Cabral said.

As hot as Cabral has been, he’s sorry to see his season end.

“I might as well as free ski until the snow goes away,” Cabral said.

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