St. Lary, France, Jan. 14, 2002--On Sunday, Shannon Bahrke of Tahoe City, CA earned her second World Cup moguls podium in two days and Hannah Hardaway of Moultonborough, NH collected her third of the season. Nagano Olympian Evan Dybvig of Plainfield, VT -- overcoming a torn right knee ligament -- shuffled the men's Olympic selection process with his first podium of the season.
Kari Traa of Norway made it four wins in five World Cups, setting a women's record with 27.65 points. Bahrke, who clinched her Olympic berth by winning the U.S. Ski Team Gold Cup on Dec. 31, hit a heli-X on her top jump and a helicopter at the bottom, good for 26.74 while Hardaway, who has battled back pains all week, threw a double twister and double daffy for 26.25.
Ann Battelle of Steamboat Springs, CO, aiming for her fourth Olympics, posted her third top-5 of the week, finishing fifth and Donna Weinbrecht of Killington, VT had her third top-10 in eighth place.
On the men's side, Finns Sami Mustonen and Janne Lahtela went 1-2 with 27.51 and 27.42 respectively. Dybvig hit a heli on the top air and a heli-X on the bottom to receive 27.31. Jeremy Bloom of Loveland, CO was fourth with his third top-5 of the season. Toby Dawson of Vail, CO was ninth with Ryan Riley of Steamboat Springs, CO missing the finals by .01 when Finn Tapio Luusua -- the last skier in semifinals -- came down and bumped him to unlucky 13th.
"We had some really good skiing out there today," said moguls Head Coach Don St. Pierre. "Sometimes in training I'm watching the women and I get this feeling about when to panic, and then they lift their game and come to the fore and they definitely did it today. Kari's sort of invincible at the moment and on an easy hill where her back isn't giving her trouble, she can shine."
"But Shannon is over the moon, too," St. Pierre said. "Every week she wants to keep her bib as a souvenir of an outstanding result, and again today. Kari set a record but, I'll tell you, Shannon's heli-X is on a par with Kari's; her improvement has been fabulous with her jumps and other things. She's obviously feeling a lot more confident."
Bahrke added, "I can't quite explain a win and two second place finishes in seven days, but I've been training hard and it's paying off."
Her helis, she said, "have been on and off. Sometimes I hit it really well and sometimes not so well. Friday my heli wasn't so good. Today it was better. I'm really excited...
"I'm just taking it course by course, trying to adjust my skiing and be confident but not over-confident."
Hardaway, limited in training by back problems during the week, has struggled with her helicopters, so St. Pierre suggested dropping back a bit. Saturday, she clicked on the doubles and climbed onto the podium. "We're looking to get Hannah back on track in Lake Placid during the coming week as that Olympic medical staff gets to work with her. They're so good and just what she needs at this point," he said.
Dybvig's result in only his third World Cup of the season, put him squarely into the men's Olympic mix. Travis Mayer of Steamboat Springs, CO has an Olympic slot from his Gold Cup victory, Olympic champion Jonny Moseley of Tiburon, CA won Friday's bumps contest in St. Lary, Bloom -- the World Cup points leader -- has two thirds, and Travis Ramos of South Lake Tahoe, CA has a third-place finish, too.
"Nothing's guaranteed," Dybvig said. "There are five guys with top-3s and I'm the fifth one. I'm psyched but I'm also subdued. I guess I'm happy but I'm kinda tentatively happy. My knee certainly feels better after being third. It was sore as hell this morning; Friday I really cranked it."
He plans to stop at home in Vermont, grab a day, maybe two with wife Sarah and their four-month-old son, Owen, and continue on to Lake Placid for next weekend's Gateway Freestyle Classic. Saturday the 19th will be the final Olympic moguls selection event and there will be aerials Friday and Sunday. The Olympic Team is expected to be announced Jan. 22.
Jonny Moseley, the defending Olympic moguls gold medalist, performed his innovative, horizontal-rotational "dinner roll" on the bottom of his lone run. He had problems off his top jump, so he didn't get the points for finals but said he was pleased to have the chance to show the move to judges and, hopefully, get them thinking about accepting the innovative air.
"I totally stomped it, so I'm glad about that, but I had some other shaky parts in my run and probably got the score I deserved," Moseley said after finishing 27th. But I'm glad we could show it to the judges, get it on the record in a World Cup and let people see it."
WORLD CUP MOGULS
St. Lary, FRA - Jan. 12
1. Kari Traa, Norway, 27.65 (world record)
2. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, Calif., 26.74
3. Hannah Hardaway, Moultonborough, N.H., 26.25
4. Tae Satoya, Japan, 26.13
5. Ann Battelle, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 25.96
8. Donna Weinbrecht, Killington, Vt., 24.62
18. Jillian Vogtli, Ellicotville, N.Y.
21. Emiko Torito, Denver,
1. Sami Mustonen, Finland, 27.51
2. Janne Lahtela, Finland, 27.42
3. Evan Dybvig, Plainfield, Vt., 27.31
4. Jeremy Bloom, Loveland, Colo., 27.15
5. Stephane Rochon, Canada, 26.95
9. Toby Dawson, Vail, Colo., 25.55
13. Ryan Riley, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
22. Travis Ramos, South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
27. Jonny Moseley, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
WORLD CUP STANDINGS
1. Kari Traa, Norway, 27.65 400
2. Hannah Hardaway, Moultonborough, N.H., 368
3. Aiko Uemura, Japan, 328
4. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, Calif., 312
5. Marina Cherkasova, Russia, 308
6. Ann Battelle, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 304
14. Donna Weinbrecht, Killington, Vt., 228
16. Jillian Vogtli, Ellicotville, N.Y. 200
24. Emiko Torito, Denver, 108
1. Jeremy Bloom, Loveland, Colo., 352 points
2. Stephane Rochon, Canada, 348
3. Janne Lahtela, Finland, 344
4. Sami Mustonen, Finland, 312
5. Jean-Luc Brassard, Canada, 292
11. Jonny Moseley, Steamboat Springs, Colo. 196
16. Travis Mayer, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 172
19. Toby Dawson, Vail, Colo., 148
20. Evan Dybvig, Plainfield, Vt., 136
25. Ryan Riley, Steamboat Springs, Colo. 104
33. Alex Wilson, Buffalo, N.Y., 60
41. Travis Cabral, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., 28
43. Garth Hager, Bothell, Wash., 16