Dawson wins second straight in Japan
INAWASHIRO, Japan – Vail local Toby Dawson nailed two huge jumps Saturday to win a World Cup moguls event – his second straight victory – with Jeremy Bloom of Loveland finishing third in soft snow on the steepest course of the tour. Five United States men packed into the finals.
Austrian Margaret Marbler won the women’s contest with Jillian Vogtli of Ellicotville, N.Y., third, and four U.S. women in the finals.
Dawson, who won the moguls event Jan. 30 during the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Grand National at Deer Valley, Utah, had 25.45 points and was followed by Canadian Jim Schiman, second with 24.22 points, and Bloom, who took third with 24.11.
Luke Westerlund of Breckenridge was fourth, Nate Roberts of Park City, Utah, took 10th and Dave Babic landed in 12th place.
In the women’s competition, at Inawashiro, a resort about 150 miles north of Tokyo, Marbler, with 25.24 points, edged World Cup leader Jenn Heil (25.16) of Canada with Vogtli (24.51) completing the podium. Shannon Bahrke of Tahoe City, Utah, finished fifth, Michelle Roark of Denver placed sixth and Laurel Shanley of Squaw Valley, Calif., took ninth.
“It was a lot of fun. I finally did a two-720s (two double-spin jumps) run and I’m pretty psyched,” Dawson said after the fourth win of his career. “On the top I threw a 720-mute grab and on the bottom I threw a kinda D-spin (off-axis, double spin]). I went way big in semis and it was pretty big in finals, too … the transition (into the bottom air) was sticky, though, so I wound up doing a different trick; I’d tried lots of back-fulls (back flips with a twist) at Deer Valley, I had a good feeling when I was in the air and I got my feet down okay. So, that was good.
“It was very tricky because two days ago we trained on the course and it was almost boilerplate, and today we come out and it’s so warm and we had four or five inches of slush on the course. It was like summer skiing.”
The weekend visit calls for duals Sunday before the skiers move on to Naeba, Japan, for another moguls event Sunday, Feb. 22.
Head Coach Donnie St. Pierre said, “Toby was fantastic. He went huge up top with a 720 (double rotation) and then he went to the moon on his bottom air. And, I think it was even bigger in semis on the bottom,” said Head Coach Donnie St. Pierre. “He was hitting his jumps perfectly in training, and then he was patient and he landed ’em square in the competition. He was really incredible.”
St. Pierre also said that the conditions were full of complication.
“We have snow this time – it snowed a couple of days ago but the humidity’s been so high it gets warm and the snow gets soft,” said St. Pierre.
Inawashiro has the steepest course on the schedule – about 29 degrees of pitch, compared to 26-plus at Deer Valley Resort – so the skiing was tricky, he said.