Hernandez third in Gold Cup
Chris Hernandez made the best showing among the three South Shore mogul skiers competing at the U.S. Ski Team Gold Cup on Thursday at Lake Placid, N.Y.
Hernandez, 19, finished third in the men’s moguls with a score of 24.69 as the temperature dipped to 15 degrees for the one-run competition.
Alex Wilson of Buffalo, N.Y., tallied 26.08 points on his single run to win the event, claiming a spot on the 1998 U.S. Olympic Team bound for Nagano, Japan in February. The third-seeded skier behind Jim Moran and Squaw Valley’s Jon Moseley also earned $10,000.
Evan Dybvig of Turnbridge, Vt., claimed second place with 25.16 points.
Travis Ramos of South Lake Tahoe was eighth in the 12-competitor field with 23.53. Ramos received lower scores from the five judges scoring turns, but his air scores were higher than most of the participants.
Hernandez posted the highest score for air, 6.88, but his scoring in turns and his speed down the course (27.02) prevented him from winning the event.
Moseley, who has won two World Cup freestyle events this season, finished a disappointing sixth with 23.93. Reno’s Curtis Tischler, nursing a torn groin muscle, didn’t compete.
Meanwhile, Brooke Ballachey of South Lake Tahoe finished seventh out of nine women mogulists.
Ann Battelle of Steamboat Springs, Colo., secured her third trip to the Winter Games with a comfortable victory. Her score of 24.64 eclipsed scores of 23.58 by Jillian Vogtli of Ellicotville, N.Y., and 23.26 by Donna Weinbrecht of West Milford, N.J.
Ballachey finished with 20.59 points, scoring well on turns but her aerial points were lower than all but one competitor.
Battelle, a three-time U.S. champion, was eighth in moguls at the 1994 Lillehammer Games and was fourth at the 1995 and 1997 World Championships.
Wilson was freestyle’s rookie of the year in the annual coaches’ vote in 1996 with five top 10 World Cup finishes, but his best showing in 1997 was an eighth-place performance in Breckenridge, Colo.
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