Hernandez wins Far West moguls race
A glut of talent on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team has made the task of winning a Far West Division freestyle even tougher than usual.
Heavenly Ski Foundation bumper Chris Hernandez, a member of the U.S.’s C team, outpointed Tony Basile on Hernandez’s home terrain to win Saturday’s moguls singles event at Squaw Valley USA. Hernandez’s smooth run scored 24.95 as he edged Basile, who convinced judges for a point total of 24.52.
But the good results didn’t end with Hernandez. Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Amber Ramos and Heavenly’s Ryan Hickey were runners-up in the dual moguls Sunday.
Ramos, an eighth-grader at South Tahoe Middle School, followed her fourth-place finish in Saturday’s singles by making the finals opposite Squaw’s sizzling skier, Laurel Shanley. Shanley, who was impressive in the recent U.S. Select event at Squaw, outdueled Ramos, who only recently resumed skiing after competing in the junior national cross country championships in South Carolina.
Hickey, who placed ninth in singles, advanced all the way to the dual finals before losing to Squaw Valley’s Scott Fitzmorris.
“I thought Ryan had the guy beat, but he blew out in the middle of the course,” said Heavenly coach Jere Crawford. “Ryan took his skiing up to another level by showing a lot more speed.”
Other Heavenly moguls singles results included: Jeral Dutton, 24th overall, J4 winner, 16.95; Derek Dimitri, 25th overall, sixth J2, 16.92; Sho Kashima, 39th overall, ninth J3, 14.51; Tyler Bradford, 22nd overall, sixth J2, 17.05.
In addition to Ramos, Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Jason Scott was 20th overall and sixth among J2s; Luke Palmieri, fifth J4, 40th overall; Chris Stamey, fifth J1, 53rd overall; and Ryan Kraw, 14th J3, 57th overall.
“They’re doing pretty good for this early in the season. It’s a start-up team,” said Sierra coach Jeff Stowell, a former pro mogul skier. “People are welcome to come out and check us out and see what it’s all about.”
Stowell gave up his patience for the arrival of snow last month when he built a moguls training course on Dogwood off the top West Bowl chair.
“We’ve been shoveling snow from the woods and filling garbage cans with snow to fill in the course,” Stowell said.
Palmieri fared the best among Sierra bumpers in Sunday’s duals, qualifying for the round of eight.
“Most of the kids in his age group bowed out two rounds before,” Stowell said.
Rounding out the South Shore results were: Courtney Royce, 10th overall, second J4, 10.31; Brent Abrams, third J3, 16.83; Brad Lipovsky, 37th overall, ninth J3, 14.79; Ian Norman, 54th, 15th J5, 4.60; and Tim Lipovsky, 56th, 16th J5, 3.48.
Bradford, Dimitri and Dutton also were impressive in Sunday’s duals. Bradford advanced to the round of eight, while Dimitri and Dutton made it as far as the round of 16.
“I thought my kids did a great job for the amount of training they had. They’re still giving it 100 percent,” Crawford said.
The Far West Division’s next stop is at Alpine Meadows on Saturday or Sunday.
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