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Jarl Magnus Riiber of Norway sweeps the three-day Lillehammer Triple – winning all three events. (Photo: FISNordic Combined)

 

Day 1 of the Lillehammer Triple, a three-day series of Nordic Combined races in the storied Norwegian hamlet, began Friday and ran through Sunday.

On Day 1, Norway’s Jarl Magnus Riiber, after jumping to sixth place, won the men’s individual Gundersen 5-kilometer in a time of 12:45.7 minutes. Riiber made up a deficit of 47 seconds on the ski for the win. Fifth place jumper, Eric Frenzel of Germany lost to Riiber by 0.1 seconds, after starting the ski 44 seconds back. Third place went to the day’s best jumper, Austria’s Franz-Josef Rehrl. Rehrl finished 5.7 seconds back.

U.S. Nordic Combined Team member, Taylor Fletcher jumped and skied to 24th (+1:08.7). Fletcher jumped to 14th place and began the ski 1:13 minutes back. Also for the U.S., Ben Loomis was 49th (+2:45.0), Jasper Good 51st (+3:04.4).

On day two in Lillehammer, the International Ski Federation (FIS) brought back a mass start format for the first time in nearly a decade. Athletes went head-to-head Saturday morning in a 10 k skate. The first place skier earned zero points, all other skiers earned negative points based on their time back. Then, in the afternoon, only the top-50 skiers from the mass start began the jumping round. The athlete with the most points after the jumping round, wins the day.

Norway’s Riiber again won out. He placed fifth in the ski and scored enough points in the jump to accumulate 131.8 points. Frenzel placed second overall — he placed third in the ski and scored 123.7 total points. Germany’s Fabian Rießle placed third with 123.6 points. Rießle placed second in the mass start ski.

Fletcher finished in 39th. He skied to 40th place and had a total of 66.9 points after the jump. Good placed 45th overall; skiing to 50th and earning 56.5 points total.

Forty-seven athletes completed the competition, with three being disqualified.

The third day in Lillehammer was like groundhog day for Riiber and his competitors. The Norwegian made it a three-peat by scoring the highest during the jumping round and winning the cross-country portion of the day’s individual Gundersen 10 k. Riiber won the ski portion in 27:54.3 minutes to take the overall in the three-day competition.

Teammate Joergen Graabak was second (+35.8), and Germany’s Johannes Rydzek third (+36.6).

American Fletcher finished in 37th (+5:03.6). No other Americans were entered. 

Day 1 Results | Day 2 Results | Day 3 Results

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(Press release)

PARK CITY, UT – USA Nordic is excited to announce that 23 athletes from around the country have been named to the 2018/2019 USA Nordic Junior National Teams in the disciplines of Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined.

Now in its second year, the program is designed to assist younger athletes in their development, as well as providing a stepping stone between regional clubs and the USA Nordic National Teams. This year, 14 young men and 9 young women from around the country have been named to the largest team to date. A total of 11 new skiers have been added to the team for their first time, including the creation of the first ever Women’s Nordic Combined Junior National Team.

Team Members

(New athletes/new teams denoted in bold print)

 

Men’s Nordic Combined

  • Beckett Ledger, 18, Lake Placid, NY, New York Ski Educational Foundation
  • Bennett Gamber, 17, Steamboat Springs, CO, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
  • Canden Wilkinson, 16, Steamboat Springs, CO, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
  • Erik Belshaw, 14, Steamboat Springs, CO, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
  • Niklas Malaciski, 14, Steamboat Springs, CO, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
  • Aidan Ripp, 17, Cloquet, MN, Cloquet Ski Club
  • Henry Jonstone, 17, Concord, MA, Andover Outing Club
  • Evan Nichols, 14, Lyme, NH, Ford K. Sayre Memorial Ski Council

 

Women’s Nordic Combined

  • Tess Arnone, 14, Steamboat Springs, CO, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
  • Alexa Brabec, 13, Steamboat Springs, CO, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
  • Charlotte Ripp, 13, Cloquet, MN, Cloquet Ski Club

 

Men’s Ski Jumping

  • Decker Dean, 17,  Steamboat Springs, CO, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
  • Andrew Urlaub, 17, Eau Claire, WI, Flying Eagles Ski Club
  • Greyson Scharffs, 16, Park City, UT, Park City Ski and Snowboard
  • Hunter Gibson, 17, Fox River Grove, IL, Norge Ski Club
  • Patrick Gasienica, 19, Spring Grove, IL, Norge Ski Club
  • Mathew White, 17, Lake Placid, NY, New York Ski Educational Foundation

 

Women’s Ski Jumping

  • Anna Hoffmann, 18, Madison, WI, Blackhawk Ski Club
  • Mollie Immens, 18, Fox River Grove, IL, Norge Ski Club
  • Cara Larson, 17, Barrington, IL, Norge SKi Club
  • Sophia Nester, 18, Park City, UT, Park City Ski and Snowboard
  • Paige Jones, 15,  Park City, UT, Park City Ski and Snowboard
  • Highfill, 14,  Park City, UT, Park City Ski and Snowboard

 

Quotes:

Jed Hinkley, USA Nordic Sport Development Director/Nordic Combined Junior National Team Director:

“I am really excited for the coming year and I think we have a great group of young athletes to follow in the footsteps of those retiring or taking some time off.  The older guys better watch out because the next crop is talented and hungry.  Each year I think we are taking small steps forward on clarifying and strengthening the pathway from the U10 athletes all the way up. We know we still have a lot of work to do and we still need to support clubs more from the top down but I believe we are making progress. ”

“I am especially excited about having a Women’s Nordic Combined Junior National Team for the first time ever, and consider it a privilege to be able to help guide the future of the sport in this country.  We have some really talented young ladies and I am thrilled to see what they can do this year and beyond.”

Blake Hughes, Ski Jumping Junior National Team Director:

“USA Nordic staff and coaches are excited to continue our progress with our growing junior national teams. We feel this is an intricate part of our program to help, in conjunction with our clubs across the country, to develop our youth and better prepare them for our national teams. This year we were excited to promote members from our Junior team to the national teams. From our women’s jumping team Logan Sankey, Annika Belshaw, and Samantha Macuga and from our Nordic Combined athlete Jared Shumate have all qualified for our national team. This program has shown a clear path for our athletes to get to the highest level.”

“This program has shown a clear path for our athletes to get to the highest level. USA Nordic understands that our future is reliant on the strength of our pipeline. We invest in development across many fronts and bringing together this group of talented juniors, to train under the auspices of our world class coaching staff and alongside the best athletes in the United States, has proven to be a strategy which helps these athletes accelerate their development.”

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Bryan Fletcher will lead a team of five U.S. nordic combined skiers at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. (Photo: U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

(Press release)

Olympic Trials winner Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) will lead a team of five nordic combined skiers in PyeongChang. U.S. Ski & Snowboard today (Jan. 25) announced its selections for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Nordic Combined Team that will compete at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 beginning February 9. The selections will be confirmed by the United States Olympic Committee when it formally names Team USA this Friday (January 26).

Fletcher, a childhood cancer survivor who won his sport’s prestigious King’s Cup in 2011, earned his second Olympic Team spot as winner of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Dec. 30. The remainder of the team qualified through World Cup and Continental Cup results.

“We are very happy we will have a full team at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games,” said Nordic Combined Coach Martin Bayer. “It’s a relatively young team with great chemistry between them and a group of highly motivated athletes.”

The opening is set for February 13 with two individual events and a team event on the Games program.

NBCUniversal will present more than 2,400 hours of coverage across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network, NBCOlympics.com, and the NBC Sports app – the most ever for a Winter Olympics.

TEAM FACTS

Olympic Trials winner Bryan Fletcher is a childhood cancer survivor. As a young boy, ski jumping on Steamboat Springs’ Howelsen Hill was a vital distraction as he underwent treatment. 2018 is his second Olympics.

Brother Taylor Fletcher, who is known as one of his sport’s best cross country skiers, will be making his third Games appearance.

Four of the team members came out of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, with Ben Loomis from the Flying Eagles Ski Club in Eau Claire, Wis.

Ben Loomis was a silver medalist in the Youth Olympic Games in 2016 at Lillehammer, Norway.

2018 U.S. OLYMPIC NORDIC COMBINED TEAM

  • Ben Berend, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (6/29/1995)
  • Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (6/27/1986) *
  • Taylor Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (5/11/1990) *
  • Jasper Good, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (5/10/1996)
  • Ben Loomis, Eau Claire, Wis. (6/09/1998)

* Competed in past Olympics

Staff

Martin Bayer, Head nordic combined coach

 

QUOTES

Martin Bayer:

We are very happy we will have a full team at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. It’s a relatively young team with great chemistry between them and a group of highly motivated athletes. Bryan Fletcher is the oldest and brings the most experience on the international stage. It’s Taylor Fletcher’s third Olympics and he’s known as one of the fastest cross country skiers in nordic combined. Ben Loomis is the youngest with strength coming from the ski jumping side but I’m sure he’ll sure he’ll surprise us in cross country. It’s also the first Olympics for Jasper Good who has been one of our most consistent athletes and has a great attitude that will serve him well.

 

Taylor Fletcher:

It is always a great honor to be representing my country and team at the sports highest level and I am very excited to be representing my country in my third Olympics. It wasn’t an easy road to get to the Olympics this year as I have had some struggles with jumping and have had some bad luck that made it challenging until the last weekend of qualifying. I would like to think I got that out of the way and I can focus now on performing at my highest level during the Games. The Olympics bring out the best from each athlete and no one will have it easy. That being said, with a good jump I feel like it is possible to have a chance at the medals. I am also really excited to be sharing this moment with my brother who will be competing in his second games. It is very unique that we get to share this moment together and fight for the medals together. Our entire team is looking forward to Korea and I am proud of each one of my teammates for their hard work and dedication to the sport!

 

Ben Loomis:

I am extremely honored to be heading to PyeongChang and representing our country. The Olympics are something I have always dreamed of and to go at such a young age is extremely exciting. For me, the Olympics will be all about the experience. I am hoping to take it all in and use this experience in future. I look forward to sharing my first Olympic experience with Jasper Good as well as veterans Bryan and Taylor Fletcher.

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US Nordic Combined’s Ben Loomis (front) on his way to fifth place after jumping the furthest on Day 3 of the Continental Cup series in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Loomis will represent the United States at World Junior Championships later this month. (Photo: USA Nordic/Facebook)

(Press release from USA Nordic)

PARK CITY, UT – USA Nordic is excited to announce that 15 athletes have been nominated to take part in the 2018 Junior World Championships for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined in Kandersteg, Switzerland, January 27 through February 4.

A total of nine men and five women have been selected to compete in the annual competition. Qualification standards were based on both international and domestic results, as set forth by US Ski and Snowboard, in conjunction with USA Nordic.

The Women’s Ski Jumping team will be comprised of five athletes:
Logan Sankey (19, Steamboat Springs, CO)
Annika Belshaw (15, Steamboat Springs, CO)
Cara Larson (17, Barrington, IL)
Samantha Macuga (16, Park City, UT)
Anna Hoffmann (17, Madison, WI)

The Men’s Ski Jumping Team will also have five athletes:
Casey Larson (19, Barrington, IL)
Andrew Urlaub (16, Eau Claire, WI)
Hunter Gibson (16, Fox River Grove, IL)
Decker Dean (17, Steamboat Springs, CO)
Patrick Gasienica (19, Richmond, IL)

The Nordic Combined team will be made up of four athletes:
Ben Loomis (19, Eau Claire, WI)
Stephen Schumann (17, Park City, UT)
Jared Shumate (18, Park City, UT)
Tucker Hoefler (19, Park City, UT)

Women’s Nordic Combined:
Tess Arnone (15, Steamboat Springs, CO)

All of the athletes that have been named to the team are members of either the USA Nordic National Team or the USA Nordic Junior National Team for their discipline.

This year, four of the athletes on the Women’s Ski Jumping team qualified by scoring Continental Cup points earlier this season in Notodden, Norway, while Cara qualified with podium finishes in all three domestic qualifying events. There are four return athletes to the team this year, with one newcomer, 15-year-old Annika Belshaw.

“We have seen a lot of progress from all of the women on the team this year and we feel the team is getting stronger as a whole,” said USA Nordic Coach Blake Hughes. “We are excited to get over to Europe and continue their growth as international competitors.”

As an added bonus, the women’s team will all be getting their first World Cup experience the weekend before in Ljubno, Slovenia, in preparation for the Championships.

The Men’s Ski Jumping team will be led this year by veteran and USA Nordic National Team member Casey Larson. Larson will be accompanied by two teammates from last year’s team, Decker Dean and Patrick Gasienica. The team will be rounded out by two newcomers, Andrew Urlaub and Hunter Gibson.

“It’s great to see that Andy and Hunter could step up their game this year and qualify for the team,” said coach Hughes. “They are all excited to get over to Europe and compete with their international peers.”

Andrew, Hunter, Decker, and Patrick will stay stateside and compete in the US Cup events in Eau Claire, Ishpeming and Norge. Casey will stay on the Continental Cup (COC) circuit and will meet up with the team in Kandersteg.

The Nordic Combined team is full of experience, led by veteran and silver medalist at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games, Ben Loomis. Loomis is coming off of three top five finishes on the Nordic Combined COC circuit in December. Schumann has had a handful of top 20 finishes on the COC tour as well, and Shumate had the first top 30 COC finish of his career in December. Tucker Hoefler has had a good start to his season as well, including winning a domestic qualifier in Park City, UT.

Tess Arnone will be the lone women’s athlete in the women’s Nordic Combined test event. She will be joined by her dad, professional gelande jumper Pat Arnone.

“We’ve had a very successful start to the season,” said USA Nordic Nordic Combined COC coach Tomas Matura. “Several junior athletes have taken their game to the next level.”

The Nordic Combined team will meet in Oberstdorf, Germany, for a five day pre-camp before joining the other American teams in Kandersteg on January 27.

Schedule of Events:

Tuesday, January 30
Women’s Nordic Combined individual test event (HS72/5k)
Men’s Nordic Combined individual (HS106/10k)

Thursday, February 1
Women’s Ski Jumping individual (HS106)
Men’s Ski Jumping individual (HS106)
Men’s Nordic Combined team (HS106/4x5k)

Friday, February 2
Women’s Ski Jumping team (HS106)
Men’s Ski Jumping team (HS106)

Saturday, February 3
Men’s and Women’s Ski Jumping mixed team (HS106)
Men’s Nordic Combined sprint (HS106/5k)

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US Nordic Combined’s Ben Loomis (front) on his way to fifth place after jumping the furthest on Day 3 of the Continental Cup series in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. (Photo: USA Nordic/Facebook)

Last Friday through Sunday, Dec. 15-17, Steamboat Springs hosted three days of Nordic Combined Continental Cup individual competitions on the 75-meter “medium” hill and a 2.5-kilometer race course in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Day 1

Kicking the series off on Friday, Germany’s Tobias Simon jumped to first with 125.8 points in the initial medium hill/10 k Gundersen start competition. U.S. Nordic Combined’s Ben Loomis jumped to second with 124.3 points and started the 10 k race six seconds after Simon. Norway’s Sindre Ure Søtvik was just behind Loomis after the jump in third with 124.2 points and also started six seconds after Simon.

Also for USA Nordic, Jasper Good flew to 12th with 115.1 points and started the race 43 seconds back. Ben Berend jumped to 18th with 112.9 points and started 52 seconds back, Stephen Schuman jumped to 20th and started 58 seconds back, Grant Andrews was 27th off the hill to start 1:12 behind, Jared Shumate was 39th (+1:47), Tucker Hoefler 43rd (+2:27).

The podium after the 10 k race saw none of the top-three jumpers keep their places. Norway’s Mikko Kokslien, a longtime World Cup racer in his first Continental Cup competitions, rose from 14th to first place, crossing the line in 23:52.2 after starting with a 44-second deficit. Norway had two on the podium with Truls Sønstehagen Johansen racing from 17th to second (+0.6), and France’s Hugo Buffard placed third (+2.6) after jumping to 29th and starting 1:19 minutes back.

Loomis ultimately finished fifth (+14.5) for his best Continental Cup result since almost exactly a year ago, when he was fifth in Klingenthal, Germany. (The 19-year-old Wisconsin native’s career best on the circuit is fourth place, which he achieved in December 2015.) Good moved up to 10th (+38.4) and Schumann 16th (+1:15.3). Berend held his position in 18th (+1:19), and Shumate improved to 30th (+2:09.4), while Andrews slipped to 36th (+2:54.6), and Hoefler moved up one spot for 42nd (+4:28.6).

Canada’s Nathaniel Mah jumped to 35th and finished 40th overall (+4:00.8).

Results: Day 1 Jumping | Day 1 Overall

Day 2

In the second individual medium hill/10 k competition, Kokslien racked up his second-straight win again, jumping to eighth, starting 30 second back and finishing first in 23:49.5. Norway’s Harald Johnas Riiber led after the jump and ended up 11th overall (+1:04.2), after starting 9 seconds ahead of Japan’s Yuto Nakamura (who jumped to second but dropped to 29th in the ski race). France’s Buffard moved one step up on the podium in second place (+7.0) after jumping to 25th and starting the race 1:09 minutes back. Norway’s Johansen stepped down one spot to third (+0:15) after placing 20th in the jump and starting 56 seconds out of first.

For the U.S., Loomis repeated in fifth (+24.1) in a photo finish after jumping to third and starting the ski 12 seconds behind. Good skied to eighth (+38.8) after jumping to 13th and starting 46 seconds back. Schumann placed 15th (+1:33.7) also in a photo finish after jumping to 29th and beginning 1:14 minutes behind. Berend placed 24th (+1:51.4), up from 28th in the jump; Andrews was 30th (+2:07.7) after jumping to 27th and starting with Berend 1:12 minutes back. Shumate finished 33rd (+2:42.7) after jumping to 41st, Beckett Ledger finished 40th (+4:36.2), up two places from 42nd in the jump, and Aidan Ripp finished 42nd (+6:17.4) up from 46th in the jump.

Canada’s Mah jumped to 21st but lost positions in the 10 k for 35th overall (+2:56.3).

Results: Day 2 Jumping | Day 2 Overall

Day 3 

For the third and final day of Steamboat’s Continental Cup, the podium was a reordering of the Day 2 podium and a repeat of the podium from Day 1. So that meant Kokslein was once again on top.

The 32-year-old Norwegian swept the Steamboat series with his third-straight win, finishing first on Sunday in 24:17.7. He started 12th based on his jump and started the race 54 seconds behind Loomis, who jumped to first.

Loomis was first after the jumping portion of the day, scoring 123.8 points, just half a point ahead of Germany’s Simon with 123.5. Riiber jumped to third with 121.7 points.

In the 10 k, Loomis started just 1 second ahead of Simon, and Riiber headed out of the gate 8 seconds after the American. Loomis once again finished the race in fifth, 15.6 seconds behind Kokslien in first. Simon slipped to seventh (+20.4) and Riiber ended up 10th (+35.6).

Meanwhile, Johansen raced up from 19th after the jump (with a 1:04 starting deficit) to second place (+2.0) and Buffars claimed third (+4.2), posting the fastest 10 k time to rise from from 27th and a 1:26 starting deficit. Johansen’s time was second fastest and Kokslien’s was third fastest.

For the U.S., Good finished 12th (+54.6) after jumping to 24th and starting 1:09 back. Berend placed 18th (+1:25.8), down three spots after jumping to 13th, and Schumann finished 20th (+1:34.1) after jumping to 35th. Andrews, who’s based in Steamboat, finished 27th (+1:56.1), after jumping to 16th, Shumate was 31st (+2:11.1), up from 38th after the jump, Hoefler skied to 41st (+4:40.9), Steamboat’s Bennett Gamber placed 43rd (+5:26.1) after starting 40th based on his jump.

Mah jumped to 36th and finished 38th overall (+2:56.3).  

The Nordic Combined Continental Cup goes on break for the holidays before resuming in Klingenthal, Germany, Jan. 5-7.

Results: Day 3 Jumping | Day 3 Overall

— Jason Albert

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The all-Norwegian podium from Sunday’s Nordic Combined World Cup individual 10 k Gundersen start in Lillehammer, Norway. Espen Andersen (1) placed first, Jan Schmid (11) was second and Jørgen Graabak (9) placed third. (Photo: FIS Nordic Combined)

This past Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2-3, Lillehammer, Norway hosted a two-day Nordic Combined World Cup.

Day 1

Saturday’s Nordic Combined World Cup 4 x 5-kilometer team event initially saw each nation’s skiers flying from the storied venue’s 98-meter hill.

Home-nation Norway set itself up for the ski portion of the event by collectively flying farthest. Team members Jan Schmid, Espen Andersen, Jarl Magnus Riiber, and Jørgen Graabak ranked first in the jumping portion with 524.2 points. Germany’s formidable foursome of Eric Frenzel, Johanne Rydzek, Vinzenz Geiger, and Fabian Rießle jumped to second place, amassing 498.5 points, and thus started the relay 46 seconds after Norway. Japan’s team of Taihei Kato, Go Yamamoto, Akito Watabe, and Yoshito Watabe was third after the jump with 486.7 points and started 50 seconds back.

The U.S. team, constituted of Bryan Fletcher, Jasper Good, Ben Berend, and Taylor Fletcher, jumped to 10th place with 396.5 points.

The 4 x 5 k ski portion saw some drama in the fight for the podium’s top spot. Norway’s 46-second gap on Germany at the start dwindled to 1.7 seconds by the finish, yet Norway pulled off the win in 50:46, while Japan slipped to fifth place (+29.1).

France’s team of Francois Braud, Maxime Laheurte, Antoine Gerard, and Jason Lamy Chappuis, which jumped to fourth and started the relay 1:12 minutes after Norway, placed third, 21.4 seconds behind the winners. Finland followed in fourth (+22.0), up from sixth after the jump.

The U.S. finished ninth overall (+3:25) out of 12 teams, after skiing in eighth for the first 10 k with first- and second-leg skiers Bryan Fletcher and Good.

Day 2

The second day of competition in Lillehammer, the individual large-hill/10 k Gundersen start, took place on the 140-meter hill. Norway took the top three spots after the jump. Norway’s Espen Andersen flew the furthest with 147.4 points, Espen Bjoernstad was second with 143 points, and Harald Johnas Riiber third with 140.7 points.

Norway held onto the top-three podium spots after the 10 k race, but some re-shuffling occurred in terms of the Norwegians’ standing in second and third place.

Andersen, who was the first skier off, and began with an 18-second lead on the second starter Bjoernstad, placed first overall in 26:25.1 minutes. Second overall was Norway’s Jan Schmid (+3.4), who jumped to 11th place and began the ski 50 seconds back. The third podium spot was earned by Norway’s Jørgen Graabak (+4.2). Graabak started 54 seconds behind the day’s winner Andersen.

Bjoernstad the day’s second best jumper faded to 11th, 2.8 seconds back. Harald Johnas Riiber, the third place jumper, fell back to 27th overall, 1:40.2 minutes behind.  

No Americans started Sunday’s event.

Results: Day 1 team event | Day 2 individual 10 k

— Jason Albert

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Germany’s Björn Kircheisen (bib 4) placed first in Friday’s Nordic Combined World Cup competition in Sapporo, Japan. Akito Watabe (bib 2) from Japan was second, and Norwegian Mikko Kokslien (bib 17) third. (Photo: FIS Nordic Combined/Twitter)

FIS Nordic Combined World Cup (Sapporo, Japan)

With a hop, skip and a jump (emphasis on the jump), the Nordic Combined World Cup made its way from PyeongChang, South Korea, to Sapporo, Japan, last week. Last Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11, the Sapporo nordic complex hosted two days of jumping and skiing.

Friday’s individual gundersen large hill/10 k began with a Japanese skier flying the furthest: Hisaki Nagamine jumped 136 meters and earned 135.9 points. Two Japanese teammates were second and third after the jumping: Akito Watabe was second with 129.1 points and Taihei Kato third with 125.5 points.

10 k later on the ski tracks and the skier who placed fourth in the jump and started 42 seconds back, Germany’s Björn Kircheisen, won the overall after completing the 10 k in 25:59.3. Watabe, who began 27 seconds behind Nagamine, placed second. In third was Norwegian Mikko Kokslien (+32.1). Kokslien placed 17th in the jump and started 1:40 back — he skied the second fastest ski time on the day.

Two Americans contested the event. Adam Loomis jumped to 38th and skied up to 31st (+3:59.2). Jasper Good was 35th after the jump and slipped a spot in the ski to place 36th overall (+4:35.7).

Japan’s Akito Watabe (c) celebrates his Day 2 win in Sapporo, Japan. Switzerland’s Tim Hug (l) placed second, and Germany’s Manual Faisst (r) placed third. (Photo: FIS Nordic Combined/Twitter)

Saturday’s competition was also an individual large hill/10 k up for grabs. Off the hill, again Nagamine set the benchmark after flying 138 meters and earning 128.8 points. German Manual Faisst placed second with 127.7 points, and Norwegian Håvard Klemetsen was third with 124.7 points.

The day’s ultimate winner, Watabe jumped to fourth, starting the ski race 25 seconds back. He finished in 25:55.9, after posting the fifth-fastest 10 k time of the day. Switzlerland’s Tim Hug, after jumping to fifth and starting 32 seconds behind Nagamine in the 10 k, placed second (+4.0). Faisst completed the podium in third (+12.3).

Good jumped to 33rd and finished 34th (+4:28.1). Loomis ranked 38th after the jump and skied up to 36th (+5:06.9).

The Sapporo World Cup was the last regular-season event before 2017 World Championships take place in Lahti, Finland, with nordic-combined competitions from Feb. 24-March 3.

Results: Day 1 | Day 2

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Germany's Eric Frenzel (c) celebrates his 2017 Seefeld Triple victory on Sunday in Seefeld, Austria. German Johannes Rydzek (l) placed second, Austrian Bernhard Gruber (r) was third. (Photo: FIS Nordic Combined Twitter account)

Germany’s Eric Frenzel (c) celebrates his 2017 Seefeld Triple victory on Sunday in Seefeld, Austria. German Johannes Rydzek (l) placed second, Austrian Bernhard Gruber (r) was third. (Photo: FIS Nordic Combined/Twitter)

FIS Nordic Combined World Cup (Seefeld, Austria)

Seefeld, Seefeld, Seefeld. Last Friday through Sunday, Seefeld, Austria hosted the eponymous “Seefeld Triple” with three days of consecutive Nordic Combined World Cup competitions.

Day 1

Day 1 featured an individual normal hill/5 k. The top jumping spot went to Austrian Bernhard Gruber, with Italian Samuel Costa second and Germany’s Eric Frenzel third. Starting 19 seconds back in the ski portion was fifth-place jumper from Germany Johannes Rydzek.

The 5 k was decided in a photo finish, with Rydzek out-toeing Frenzel for the win— both were given the official time of 12:00.2. Costa, who started 4 seconds after Gruber, finished third (+6.8).

Three Americans contested the day: U.S Nordic Combined’s Bryan Fletcher was the highest ranked in 31st (+1:16.7). He had been 35th after the jump, and started the 5 k race 1:24 behind Gruber. Teammates Ben Berend and Taylor Fletcher jumped to 31st and 43rd, respectively, and Berend finished 37th (+1:42.9), while Taylor skied to 40th (+1:54.3) with the 10th fastest ski time of the day.

Day 2

When you’re good, you’re good. That was the case on Day 2 in the individual normal hill/10 k. These names will sound familiar. Rydzek jumped the furthest, with Gruber and Costa tied for second. Yet the difference in distance jumped by the top three was so minimal, they began the ski simultaneously. Frenzel was fourth after the jump and started the ski 4 seconds back.

Rydzek, who completed the 10 k in 24:36.5 minutes, took the win over Frenzel in another photo finish by 0.1 seconds. Costa was third (+11.3), Gruber fourth (+20.8).

Bryan Fletcher was the top American in 18th (+1:43.5). He started off by jumping to 30th, then started the 10 k race 2:11 minutes out of first. Fletcher skied the eighth-fastest time en route to the top 20. Taylor Fletcher ended up 36th (+3:21.5) after skiing the fourth-fastest ski time, moving up from 43rd in the jump. Berend jumped to 37th and finished 42nd (+4:10.5).

Day 3

On tap for Sunday’s Day 3 of the Seefeld Triple was an individual normal hill/15 k. Only the top 30 skiers after Day 2 qualified to contest Sunday’s competition, and that included American Bryan Fletcher. He jumped to 23rd on Sunday and finished the long weekend in 26th overall (+5:52.2). Fletcher’s time back is partially due to a lackluster jump which had him starting the ski 4:18 behind first-place jumper Rydzek.

Running down the names who led after Sunday’s jump was an exercise in redundancy: Rydzek in first, Gruber in second, a new name — Italian Mario Seidl — in third, Frenzel in fourth, Costa in fifth.

This time, no photo finish was required as Frenzel took the victory after two consecutive second places. He finished in 37:32.2 and put 30.5 seconds on Rydzek by the finish. Frenzel had started 20 seconds behind Rydzek.

Rydzek finished second overall (+30.5), Gruber was 1:18.6 back in third, Seidl fourth (+1:19.1), and Costa (+2:18.2) fifth.

Seefeld Triple Results:

Friday’s normal hill/5 k

Saturday’s normal hill/10 k

Sunday’s normal hill/15 k

— Jason Albert

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FIS Nordic Combined World Cup (Val di Fiemme, Italy)

U.S. Nordic Combined’s Bryan Fletcher recorded his second-best result of the season on Sunday, the last of three days of World Cup competition in Val di Fiemme, Italy.

Fletcher jumped to 33rd on the large hill then raced the second-fastest 10 k of the day to finish 13th, 56.8 seconds behind the winner, Eric Frenzel of Germany.

Frenzel started Sunday with the best jump, which gave him an 18-second head start on Japan’s Go Yamamoto, who started second in the 10 k Gundersen start.

Frenzel went on to hold off his challengers for first, crossing the finish in 27:21.7 minutes, while German teammate Johannes Rydzek finished 30.2 seconds later in second. One second behind Rydzek, Japan’s Akito Watabe placed third (+31.2) after starting 30 seconds back in third. Rydzek raced up from 16th and 1:26 back at the start, while Yamamoto dropped to 38th (+3:44.1) at the finish.

Taylor Fletcher finished 30th (+2:36.1) on Sunday, after jumping to 46th, Ben Loomis placed 39th (+4:00.8), and Ben Berend 40th (+4:13.0) for the U.S.

On Saturday, the U.S. team of Bryan and Taylor Fletcher finished eighth in the 2 x 7.5 k team event, 40 seconds behind the Norwegian winners, Espen Andersen and Jørgen Grabaak. The Americans ranked 16th after the jumping portion and clocked the fastest ski time to chip away at a 1:41 starting deficit.

Meanwhile, Berend and Loomis jumped to 10th and were slated to start the cross-country race 44 seconds behind the German leaders (Terence Weber and Fabian Rießle, first after the jump). But the U.S. second team did not start the 2 x 7.5 k race.

Norway’s Andersen and Grabaak ranked second after the jump and combined for the seventh-fastest ski time to finish in 35:02.4. They edged the Czech Republic’s Tomas Portyk and Miroslav Dvorak by 0.3 seconds for the win, and Italy’s Samuel Costa and Alessandro Pittin raced up from 11th to third, just 0.9 seconds behind the winners.

Germany finished off the podium in fifth (+11.6), behind Finland’s Eero Hirvonen and Ilkka Herola in fourth (+2.7).

To start the long weekend, Frenzel won the individual large hill/10 k on Friday, and just like Sunday, Rydzek placed second. Frenzel jumped to second and started Friday’s cross-country race 26 seconds behind Austria’s Mario Seidl, who led after the jump. Frenzel secured his first win of the weekend in 29:19.4, Rydzek followed 24.2 seconds later in second place, and Norway’s Magnus Moan was third (+25.9). Rydzek posted the fastest course time after starting 1:45 back in 25th, and Moan started just two seconds ahead of him in 23rd. Seidl ended up 11th (+42.3).

Taylor Fletcher led the U.S. in 21st (+1:41.4), skiing the fourth-fastest 10 k to pick off 25 places, after starting 46th and nearly 3 minutes back. No other Americans competed on Day 1 in Val di Fiemme.

The Nordic Combined World Cup is headed to Chaux-Neuve, France, for the next competitions on Saturday and Sunday.

Results:

Friday’s individual large hill/10 k

Saturday’s 2 x 7.5 k team event

Sunday’s individual large hill/10 k

***

FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup (Kuusamo, Finland)

Meanwhile, at the Nordic Combined Continental Cup in Kuusamo, better known a Ruka, Finland, the U.S. picked up a couple of top 10-results, with Adam Loomis placing seventh on Sunday and Jasper Good ninth on Saturday.

In Saturday’s individual large hill/10 k, Good jumped to seventh and started the cross-country race 1:03 minutes behind the jump leader, Norway’s Harald Johnas Riiber. Three Austrians proceeded to sweep the podium, with Lukas Greiderer winning in 27:51.3, Martin Fritz placing second (+26.5), and Harald Lemmerer third (+43.2), after starting in sixth, eighth and 17th, respectively.

Riiber slipped to sixth (+1:06.3), and Good finished ninth (+1:51.8) for the American’s first individual  Continental Cup top 10.

Also for the U.S. on Saturday, Stephen Schumann finished 18th (+2:57.1) for his first individual top 20, Loomis 30th (+4:35.4), and Grant Andrews 39th (+6:39.5).

On Sunday in another large hill/10 k, Loomis raced up from 14th in the jump to seventh at the finish, 1:27.5 behind the winner, Norway’s Sindre Ure Søtvik. Loomis started the ski race 3:30 behind the jump leader, Japan’s Hisaki Nagamine, while Søtvik started 32 seconds back in second and secured the win in 28:44.9.

Austria took second and third with Tomaz Druml (+16.4) and Fritz (+52.3), respectively, after Druml started sixth and Fritz jumped to fifth.

For Loomis, 24, it was his first Continental Cup top 10 in five years and his fourth-career individual podium.

Schumman achieved another personal best of 13th on Sunday (for his second top 20 of the weekend and his career), finishing 2:15.9 behind the winner. Good followed him closely in 14th (+2:17.7) and Andrews finished 36th (+5:38.8) to close out the weekend.

Next weekend, Otepää, Estonia, will host the NoCo Continental Cup with two individual normal hill/10 k competitions.

Results: Saturday | Sunday

Getting ready to compete on this mammoth this weekend! #skijumping #ruka #fisnoco #usanordic #hshive PC: @skiloomis

A photo posted by Jasper Good (@jaspergoody) on

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(Press release)

PARK CITY, UT (Jan. 13, 2017) – Six nordic combined skiers have been named to the team that will represent the USA at the International Ski Federation’s 2017 USANA Nordic Junior World Ski Championships Jan. 30-Feb. 5 at the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow Nordic Center. It’s the first time the global junior event has been held in the USA since 1986 in Lake Placid.

The team was named by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, in collaboration with USA Nordic, following the completion of trials last month and final international events. Selection was based on results of international Continental Cup competitions along with three trials events with jumps at Steamboat Springs, CO and Park City, UT.

The team blends some seasoned veterans with a host of newcomers to international competition.

The team will be led by Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, WI) of the Flying Eagles Ski Club. Loomis was the silver medalist at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway last February and is competing regularly on the World Cup tour. He will be joined by Stephen Schumann (Park City, UT) of Park City Nordic Ski Club. Schumann qualified through Continental Cup points scored in Klingenthal, Germany in December. He and Loomis each won one of the final two trials events in Park City in late December. Also on the team is two-time Junior Worlds veteran Koby Vargas (Steamboat Springs, CO) of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

Among the newcomers to Junior Worlds will be Grant Andrews (Steamboat Springs, CO) of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Andrews had his first international experience last season finishing fourth and 11th in a youth Nordic combined event in Norway. It will be the first international event for both Tucker Hoefler (Park City, UT) of the Park City Nordic Ski Club as well as Elijah Vargas (Steamboat Springs, CO) of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

“It is a great opportunity for these athletes to be able to compete at home against such a strong international field,” said Coach Martin Bayer. “We have some great experience on this team, especially with Ben Loomis who showed at the Youth Olympic Games last season that he can compete with the best in the world.”

The first competition day is Tuesday, January 31 with individual 10k event. The 4x5k team event is Thursday, Feb. 2 with the final 5k individual event on Saturday, Feb. 4. All jumping is on the HS100m Olympic jump at the Utah Olympic Park with cross country on the Olympic Trails at Soldier Hollow.

2017 USA JUNIOR NORDIC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM

(Name, hometown, USSA club, birthdate, age at start of championships)

  • Grant Andrews, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) 12/3/1997 (19)
  • Tucker Hoefler, Park City, UT (Park City Nordic Ski Club) 9/12/1998 (18)
  • Ben Loomis, Eau Claire, WI (Flying Eagles Ski Club) 6/9/1998 (18) * ***
  • Stephen Schumann, Park City, UT (Park City Nordic Ski Club) 3/14/2000 (16)
  • Elijah Vargas, Steamboat Springs CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) 8/5/2000 (16)
  • Koby Vargas, Steamboat Springs, CO (Park City Nordic Ski Club) 5/31/1998 (18)  * **

* Member of 2016 Junior Worlds team


** Member of 2015 Junior Worlds team

*** Member of 2016 Youth Olympic Games team

2017 USANA FIS NORDIC JUNIOR WORLD SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS

Monday, January 30

7:00 p.m. Opening Ceremony (Zermatt Resort, Midway)

Tuesday, January 31

9:00 a.m. Nordic combined HS100m jump (Utah Olympic Park)
3:30 p.m Nordic combined 10k (Soldier Hollow)

Wednesday, February 1

7:00 p.m. Medal ceremony (Ice Castles, Homestead Resort, Midway)

Thursday, February 2

9:00 a.m. Nordic combined HS100m team jump (Utah Olympic Park)
3:30 p.m. Nordic combined team 4x5k (Soldier Hollow)

Friday, February 3

7:00 p.m. Medal ceremony (Ice Castles, Homestead Resort, Midway)

Saturday, February 4

9:00 a.m. Nordic combined HS100m jump (Utah Olympic Park)
3:30 p.m. Nordic combined 5k (Soldier Hollow)

Sunday, February 5

6:30 p.m. Closing Ceremony and Medals Ceremony (Zermatt Resort, Midway)

TOP PAST JUNIOR WORLDS FINISHES FOR USA

1 – Todd Lodwick – 1996 Asiago, Italy
2 – Alex Glueck – 2002 Schonach, Germany
3 – Nathan Gerhart – 2002 Schonach Germany
5 – Eric Camerota – 2004 Stryn, Norway

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