Cabral, local bumpers await selection word
Competing against racers 10 years one’s senior might strike fear in the heart of an ordinary skier.
Local mogul expert Travis Cabral is not your ordinary skier, however.
The 15-year-old South Shore native finished third place in Saturday’s U.S. Ski Team Selection dual event in Snowbird, Utah. and is awaiting word on whether he will become a member of the U.S. Ski Team.
“Duals is my best event. I’ve been doing them for a while now,” said Cabral, who won last week’s mogul competition at Squaw Valley’s North Bowl. “I don’t know why, but I tend to go all out in duals without fear of getting beaten.”
On Wednesday, Cabral finished eighth in the preliminary singles competition. In Friday’s action, he qualified at 11th place, but a crash in his second-round run dropped him to 16th overall.
The U.S. Ski Team will award spots later this week to skiers based on the combined rankings from the two singles events. Racers must place first, second or third in the combined rankings or place directly behind one of the current members of the U.S. Ski Team.
The dual event is not factored into the rankings and is awarded separate spots on the U.S. team.
“I came off the air wrong and didn’t land it very well,” said Cabral of his second-round fall. “(But) I felt I did real well. I tried my hardest and that’s all you can ask for.”
The event welcomed 45 men’s skiers and 42 female competitors and included several members of the U.S. Ski Team. At 15, Cabral was the youngest skier in the event, competing against skiers up to 27 years old.
Despite his third-place finish in the duals, Cabral doubts he will be selected for one of the U.S. Ski Team’s two available spots.
“I probably don’t have too good of a chance [at a spot],” he said. “But I’ll just have to wait to find out.”
Cabral’s next competition will be a divisional event at the North Shore’s Alpine Meadows resort on Dec. 30. After the Alpine Meadow event, Cabral plans to test his wares in the Junior Nationals (a 19-and-under event) at Bogus Basin in Boise, Ida. early next year.
Local skiers Cristie Tibbetts and Travis Woodcock also competed in the selection event. Tibbetts finished seventh and 19th, respectively, in the singles competitions and placed fifth in the duals on Saturday. Tibbetts was in third place after the first run on Wednesday, but could not put up similar numbers in the following races. Woodcock, who has given up aerial events to concentrate strictly on moguls, placed 18th and 27th in the Wednesday and Friday men’s races. Both racers downplayed their chances for spots on the U.S. Ski Team.
“I had been doing really well in training, better than ever,” Woodcock said. “In the competition, I didn’t go 100 percent though. I guess I held back just a bit.”
Tibbetts said she may compete in the Junior World competition in Switzerland early next year, undoubtedly against some tough competition.
“It’s not intimidating anymore,” said Woodcock of racing against some of the sport’s best. “I’ve been doing it for several years now. It’s nerve-wracking though, because everybody has a chance at the first gate. It’s just a matter of performing.”
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