Hernandez in World Cup moguls in Japan
It was Chris Hernandez’s turn to keep the good World Cup results flowing for South Shore bumpers.
Hernandez placed a World Cup career-high seventh in a singles moguls event Sunday in Lizunda Kogen, Japan.
“I don’t now the reason why all the Tahoe boys are doing so well. It must be the water,” Hernandez said. “We’ve all been training really hard and now it’s paying for all of us. I don’t think any other team has four out of seven guys from the same town on World Cup, and all making finals. It’s a Tahoe team.”
Team Tahoe, however, which placed four in the top 9 in the previous World Cup stop in Japan, didn’t fare as well this time – outside of Hernandez. Travis Cabral and Jonny Moseley didn’t qualify for finals, finishing 21st and 40th, respectively. Travis Ramos, who had placed first, fourth and ninth in his three World Cup starts, wasn’t listed as participating in the event.
A score of 25.84 put Hernandez fifth among the Americans: Toby Dawson of Vail, Colo., was third (26.66) and Ryan Riley of Steamboat Springs came in fifth (26.05).
Finland’s Mikko Ronkainen won with a score of 27.07.
Hannah Hardaway of Moultonborough, N.H., took second as Norwegian Kari Traa captured the women’s event.
Traa, the World Cup points leader, won with a score of 25.25. Hardaway followed with a 25.20 and Japan’s Aiko Uemura was third, posting a 24.69. Ann Battelle of Steamboat Springs, Colo., finished just off the podium in fourth with a 24.15. Donna Weinbrecht of Killington, Vt., took seventh (23.89) and Jillian Vogtli (Park City, UT) was 11th (22.65).
Shannon Bahrke of Tahoe City came in 23rd.
In Saturday’s duals, three-time Olympian Battelle posted her best result of the season, finishing second in a dual moguls event.
Canada took a double victory with Tami Bradley and Stephane Rochon topping the fields.
Following Bradley and Battelle, Traa was third and Japan’s Aiko Uemura was fourth. Emiko Torito of Englewood, Colo., had the best World Cup result of her career, placing seventh.
Battelle, who has won the past two World Cup titles, is coming back from a shoulder injury suffered during a Mount Hood training camp in September. She had surgery to repair the broken socket on Sept. 21 and did not compete until Jan. 17 at World Championships. Battelle just missed making the finals in moguls, but rebounded to take sixth in duals at worlds. She finished fourth on Jan. 28 in a World Cup moguls contest at Sunday River, Maine.
Bradley strung together several flawless runs to take the win. Traa, who won gold medals in singles and duals in January at the World Championships, remains the World Cup overall points leader.
For Rochon, it was his fourth dual mogul victory of the season. He defeated Japan’s Yugo Tsukita in the finals on the Tae Satoya course, the ’98 Nagano Olympic hill. Yusuke Kitamura from Japan was third over Finland’s Janne Lahtela, the World Cup points leader.
Lahtela had to call it quits following the quarterfinals after suffering an apparent left knee injury. No official word was given except that Lahtela will return to Finland for further examination and diagnosis.
“I don’t think it’s serious,” said Lahtela. “I’ve had worse than this before.”
No American male competed Saturday. They are concentrating on training and competing in single moguls, which is the Olympic discipline.
The World Cup Finals are next on March 9-11 in Himos, Finland.
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