A double dose for Cabral at Heavenly U.S. Freestyle
Travis Cabral made history in front of a hometown crowd on Sunday, winning the dual moguls at the Chevy Truck U.S. Freestyle Championships at Heavenly Mountain Resort after winning the individual moguls on Friday.
Cabral’s double was the first in at least six years. Race officials couldn’t be sure if the feat had ever been accomplished.
Cabral took two controversial decisions before an easy win in the men’s final. Patrick Deneen beat him to the finish line by more than a second in the quarterfinals, but Cabral moved on to the semifinals. A smattering of boos met the judges’ decision after that race, with a similar scene when Cabral beat Jordan Chiovarelli for a spot in the final.
The outcome of the last race was never in doubt, however, after Daimon Bushi fell before reaching the first jump. Cabral had the win in his pocket and decided to get some big air, launching himself off the second ramp with vigor. He came down hard on the landing and aggravated an injury to his left knee that almost kept him out of the competition. The injury was bad enough that Cabral had to be carried to the winner’s podium.
“I knew (Deneen) had made a mistake and I just decided to go big,” Cabral said. “I knew it was going to hurt coming down on the landing pad, but I held on.”
Cabral’s cheering section came with homemade signs and never wavered in their support. The 20-year-old was the only U.S. Ski Team member to compete at the championships, as the other three top men are all injured.
“I knew I couldn’t go all out, but I wouldn’t have missed this for anything,” Cabral said. “I’ve had a tough year on the World Cup and I just wanted to come home and have fun. I haven’t had this much fun in a long time.”
Tahoe City’s Scott Fitzmorris finished in third place, beating Chiovarelli in the consolation match. Whittell High student Sho Kashima, the only local youth qualifier to make the finals, lost in the round of 16 to Chiovarelli.
Shelly Robertson of Reno won the women’s dual moguls after finishing second in the singles. She beat 17-year-old McKenzy Golding, also of Reno, in the final.
Golding was among elite company in the semifinals as the other three competitors have all skied for the national team. Golding qualified for the team a month ago but has yet to compete officially.
“I’ve been here before, but I’ve never done this well before,” said Golding, who finished in 11th place at each of the previous three championships. “I really feel like I proved that I belong with these other girls.”