Cheever is ultimate blue-collar snowboarder

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PARK CITY, Utah (AP) -- Snowboardcross racer Jonathan Cheever is ready to defend his U.S. title this weekend on his home mountain at Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah.

The top 32 men from Friday's qualifying runs in the U.S. Grand Prix will compete in Sunday's finals for a $10,000 first-place check.

The Grand Prix jumpstarted Cheever's season a year ago, as he went on to win World Cup silver twice and finish No. 3 overall in the world.

He's hoping for the same this year after mixed results so far -- four top-10 World Cup finishes but no podiums.