Skiers try out for US team
The frantic effort to prepare the Red Dog course at Squaw Valley USA paid considerable dividends for local skiers with the start of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team selection event on Monday.
Four feet of natural and man-made snow covered the machine-carved course thanks to what Far West chairman Lou Basile called, “an awesome effort by Squaw Valley” to ensure proper conditions.
The course was completed late Saturday night with final touches added Sunday so the competitors could have a full day of practice.
“Some of the competitors are saying this is the best mogul course they’ve been on,” said Basile.
One of the those may well be Travis Ramos, who skis for the Squaw Valley Ski Team. He won the first of two singles competitions this week at the event. In his first major race after tearing his ACL last season, Ramos scored a 26.22 on his final run. Travis Cabral finished third and Chris Hernandez, who skis for Heavenly, came in fifth. Rounding out the top finishers were Tony Basile, Tim McKeever, Justin Self and Nat Shirman, all skiing for Squaw Valley. They finished 12th, 13th, 14th and 16th, respectively.
“We’re doing awesome,” said Squaw Valley Freestyle team head coach Raymond deVre. “(The event) is going off just wonderful. We have tons of coverage. Squaw used about two million gallons of water (to make snow).”
On the women’s side, Far West had three skiers qualify for the finals of the single mogul event with Shelley Robertson finishing the event in second place, Jessica Davis right behind her in third and Laurel Shanley in the 12th spot.
The dual moguls were held on Tuesday with Shanley winning the event, Davis coming in fourth and Robertson taking the eighth spot. On the men’s side, Basile clinched second, Hernandez finished eighth and Tim McKeever was 32nd overall. Ramos and Cabral did not compete in order to rest for Thursday’s second single’s mogul event which will be televised by FOX, as will Friday’s dual mogul event.
The two mogul events, singles and dual, are run twice in the week with the skiers top scores determining their position on the U.S. team. While the only openings on the U.S. Ski team for the World Cup circuit are in the men’s and women’s single mogul events and the Acro event, which was held yesterday at Squaw Valley, there are several development team slots open.
Front runners for the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team appear to be Davis and Robertson on the women’s side and the two Travis skiers, Ramos and Cabral.
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