South Shore bumpers perform well at nationals
Three South Shore moguls skiers pierced the top eight in the Chevy Truck U.S. Freestyle Championships on Friday at Sunday River in Newry, Maine.
Evan Dybvig of Turnbridge, Vt., nailed a heli-iron cross on the first hit and a triple twister on the second to win the men’s national bumps title despite strong runs by South Lake Tahoe’s Travis Cabral, Chris Hernandez and Travis Ramos.
Cabral, the defending national champion, finished fourth with a score of 26.58, only .82 behind the winner. Hernandez came in seventh with a 26.21 score from the judges, with Ramos close behind in eighth at 26.18.
Nor Am champion Garth Hager of Breckenridge, Colo., was runner-up with 27.25 and Ryan Riley of Tabernash, Colo., clinched the bronze medal with a run of 26.93.
After an injury-plagued 1998-99, which ended before nationals because a broken arm, Dybvig felt it was turn to win a national title.
“I wasn’t nervous about this competition. I just wanted to focus and enjoy it this time around,” Dybvig said. “This has been the most enjoyable competition this year for me. I feel great. Everyone wants to be national champion, and now it’s my turn. Not only is this a great feeling, but it’s also a confidence booster for next year.”
Tony Basile of Squaw Valley, who finished third a year ago, placed 12th with a score of 24.23.
Hannah Hardaway of Moultonborough, N.H., pulled out a twister spread and a double daffy en route to a winning women’s score of 25.96. Justine Van Houte of Telluride, Colo., was second with a 25.32 and Shannon Bahrke of Tahoe City came in third with 25.24.
“My whole season has been growing on me,” said Hardaway, who is returning following knee surgery last year. “I’ve been going a little faster and getting better with each competition. This week I’ve taken it up a level. This couldn’t be a more perfect way to end my season. This was supposed to be my comeback year. Now I’m ready for next year.”
Shelly Robertson of Reno finished 11th with a 21.45 total, while Laurel Shanley of Squaw Valley placed 15th at 19.19.
Hardaway also won duals on Sunday. Erin Resko of Hailey, Idaho, was second and three-time Olympian Ann Battelle of Steamboat Springs, Colo., came in third.
“The mindset is different in duals,” Hardaway said. “You have to go fast and go big. In singles you have to concentrate more on perfection. After first round of duals I’m not nervous anymore. It turns into a long day, and you never know what is going to happen.”
Hager followed up his second-place singles performance by winning the men’s duals. It was his third national title: he won the 1998 duals at Sugarloaf, Maine, and singles in 1996 at Snowbird, Utah.
“The light was a little dim, but I’m not that picky,” Hager said. “I just focused on finding good places to land and working on getting my speed faster right from the start. I also had to come into my jumps faster. I don’t like to see the person next to me. If I do, I’ll stiffen up, and today was not a day to do that.”
William Boyle of Brooklyn, N.Y., was runner-up and Donovan Power of Missoula, Mont., placed third.
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