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Press Release

PARK CITY, Utah (October 29, 2019) 16 athletes have officially been named to the USA Nordic Junior National Team. This team consists of elite ski jumpers and nordic combined skiers under the age of 20, from eight different states, all the way from Alaska to New Hampshire.

Most of these named athletes will continue training with their home clubs while focusing on finishing high school. This group will continue their development on home soil competing in US Cup events, Junior National Championships, and the Park City Continental Cups.

Abroad, they will begin to sharpen their teeth at European Continental Cups, Junior World Championships, and the Youth Olympic Games. This year’s Junior World Championships will take place February 28th – March 8th in Oberwiesenthal, Germany. The Youth Olympic Games take place once every four years and highlight the next generation of talent from around the world. The 2020 YOG will be hosted in Lausanne, Switzerland from January 10th – 22nd.

In addition, the 2020 YOG will be the first to feature women’s nordic combined. The list of women’s nordic combined events continues to grow with a stacked 2020 Continental Cup schedule, World Junior Championships, a World Cup campaign in 2021, and World Championships in 2021 as well.

Holding nominations in the spring and naming in the fall is a new method implemented by USA Nordic. This method allows athletes not nominated in the spring to work their way onto the Junior National Team through training and competition over the summer and fall months.

The Junior National Team reflects the investment in development that has been made by USA Nordic. In doing so, USA Nordic has created a team that represents our entire country, from Alaska to New Hampshire, comprised of dedicated athletes who approach sport and life with courage, confidence, and character.

2020 Junior National Team

Men’s Ski Jumping

Greyson Scharffs (Park City Ski & Snowboard – Park City, Utah – 18 years old)

Canden Wilkinson (SSWSC – Steamboat Springs, Colo. – 17 years old)

Erik Belshaw (SSWSC – Steamboat Springs, Colo. – 15 years old)

Hunter Gibson (Norge Ski Club – Fox River Grove, Ill. – 18 years old)

Landon Lee (Flying Eagles Ski Club – Eau Claire, Wis. – 16 years old)

Women’s Ski Jumping

Jillian Highfill (Park City Ski & Snowboard – Park City, Utah – 15 years old)

Rachael Haerter (Park City Ski & Snowboard – Park City, Utah – 14 years old)

Cara Larson (Norge Ski Club – Barrington, Ill. – 19 years old)

Men’s Nordic Combined

Beckett Ledger (NYSEF – Lake Placid, N.Y. – 19 years old)

Evan Nichols (Ford Sayre Ski Club – Lyme, NH – 16 years old)

Niklas Malacinski (SSWSC – Steamboat Springs, Colo. – 16 years old)

Bennet Gamber (SSWSC – Steamboat Springs, Colo. – 18 years old)

Aidan Ripp (Cloquet Ski Club – Cloquet, Minn. – 19 years old)

Gunnar Gilbertson (SSWSC – Steamboat Springs, Colo. – 16 years old)

Carter Brubaker (Team AK – Anchorage, AK – 15 years old)

Women’s Nordic Combined

Alexa Brabec (SSWSC – Steamboat Springs, Colo. – 15 years old)

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Tara Geraghty-Moats (center) remains steady for the win. Russia’s Stefaniya Nadymova (left) placed second and Germany’s Jenny Nowak (right) was third in Kingenthal Germany’s FIS NoCo Summer Grand Prix individual Gundersen NH/5k. (Photo: fisski.com/© Romina Eggert)

FIS Press Release 

A jump of 78 metres (112.4 p.) put her in the pole position for the race but Russian Stefaniya Nadymova was hot on her heels with a jump of 77.5 metres. A point total of 111.4 points only gave Geraghty-Moats a head start of four seconds and Nadymova the chance to truly pit her cross-country strength against the American.

Germany’s Jenny Nowak was also fully in the game after the jumping part. 77 metres and 111.2 points had her start just five seconds after the leader, making it a trio which could fight for the victory on almost equal footing. PCR winner Thea Minyan Bjørseth also showed 77 metres but with a weaker landing, she only accumulated 108.9 points and had to make up 14 seconds on the track.

Following 26, 29 and 34 seconds behind the leader were Austrian Lisa Hirner, and a Italian duo consisting of Daniela Dejori and Annika Sieff. Fast skier Anastasia Goncharova, who had a great jump during yesterday’s PCR could not follow up with the same level of jumping today and had to contend with a delay of one minute and eight seconds.

The cross-country race was another start – finish victory for Tara Geraghty-Moats but this time the gap to her pursuers was considerably shorter. Stefaniya Nadimova battled Jenny Nowak for the second place and again, the Russian prevailed but only in a photo finish this time. So in the end, the result was the same as in the individual event in Oberwiesenthal but with Nadymova and Nowak crossing the finish line only 21.9 / 22.1 seconds after Geraghty-Moats.

The fastest cross-country time of the day went to Anastasia Goncharova again. The Russian needed 13:01.0 to complete the 5 km and improved from position eleven to the final fourth rank, +36.9 after the winner. Lisa Hirner (AUT) and Ema Volavsek (SLO) were fifth and sixth.

In the overall standings, Geraghty-Moats leads with 200 points ahead of Nadymova (160) and Nowak (120).

Ski Jumping Results
Final Results
Overall Standings

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Taylor Fletcher (leading skier) on his way to posting a 20th overall during the first day of NoCo World Cup racing in Val Di Fiemme, Italy. (Photo: @tfletchernordic Instagram screenshot)

Starting last Friday in Val di Fiemme three days of the Nordic Combined World Cups were contested. Day one featured an individual large hill/10 k Gundersen start race, the second day a large hill / 2 x 7.5 k team sprint, and day three another individual large hill 10 k Gundersen start.

Germany’s Johannes Rydzek won the first day of competition after ranking fifth in the jumping portion. He began the ski with a 53 second deficit to first place jumper- first-to-start skier Mario Seidl of Italy. Rydzek’s winning time was 26:58.4 minutes in the 10 k skate race.

Norway’s Jørgen Gråbak placed second (+5.9) after jumping to sixth place and beginning the ski 52 seconds back. Seidl skied to third overall, 7.2 seconds behind first-place skier Rydzek.

USA Nordic’s Taylor Fletcher continued his positive trend in the results. Fletcher jumped to 41st earning him a 3:13 minute setback as he began the ski portion of the day’s events. Again with his ski speed, he posted the second fastest time of day on his way to moving up 21 bib numbers to finish 20th overall, 2:02 minutes back.

Fletcher skied the 10 k course in 25:47.4 minutes, 0.3 seconds off the fastest time of day posted by Germany’s Fabian Rießle.

The second day in Val di Fiemme’s NoCo World Cup highlighted the two-person team event.

Norway’s combo of Jan Schmid and Gråbak placed first off the jump and went on to win the 2 x 7.5 k ski in a time of 34:30.9 minutes.

But all was not cool and stress-free for the Norwegians. They were almost taken at the line by the second and third to start the relay. Germany I’s Rydzek and Vinzenz Geiger placed second (+0.5) and Germany II’s Eric Frenzel and Rießle were third (+0.5) in a photo finish.

The U.S. team of Fletcher and Ben Loomis jumped to 14th and began the ski 2:18 minutes back. Fletcher and Loomis placed 10th overall (+1:53.0) after skiing the third fastest time of day in the 2 x 7.5 k ski.

Video of Day Three Highlights

Day three in Val di Fiemme went to Germany. The individual 10 k Gundersen start was won by  Germany’s Geiger in a time of 26:34.0 minutes. Geiger jumped to fourth, began the ski 37 seconds back, and skied the fastest time of day on his way to the win. Austria’s Franz-Josef Rehrl was in first place after the jump and skied off first in bib 1. Rehrl faded a bit during the ski portion to place fourth (+47.4).

Geiger’s teammate Rydzek placed second (+7.6) in the final standings. Rydzek jumped to sixth and had the second fastest ski split on Sunday. Japan’s Akito Watabe placed third (+40.6). Watabe also jumped to third place and began 36 seconds behind Rehrl.

Fletcher jumped into 39th to begin the ski with a 3:10 minute deficit. He skied the 10th fastest time during the ski to place 30th (+3:37. 4).

Canada’s Nathaniel Mah was positioned 42nd after the jump but was pulled from the ski race after being lapped.

After the three-race series, Jarl Magnus Riiber of Norway leads the Nordic Combined World Cup with 730 points. Riiber placed fourth overall in Friday’s individual race. Rydzak sits second overal with 581 points, and Watabe third with 462 points.

Fletcher is curently ranked 35th on the Word Cup.

Day 1 Results | Day two Results | Day three Results

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American Taylor Fletcher in Otepää, Estonia on his way to 19th place in Sunday’s Individual Gundersen 10 k when he skied the fastest time of day. (Photo: fis-ski.com screenshot)

 

FIS Nordic Combined World Cup Otepää, Estonia Day 1 Individual Gundersen 10 k

The Nordic Combined World Cup got back to jumping and skiing on Saturday in Otepää, Estonia for a two-day event.

Due to high winds on Saturday, jumping results from Friday’s provisional rounds were used to determine the start order for the ski portion of Saturday’s racing.

In Friday’s provisional round, Austria’s Franz-Josef Rehrl placed first, Norway’s Jarl Magnus Riiber second, and teammate Esen Bjørnstad third.

The 10 k ski race provided an opportunity for some reshuffling as the ski race shook out.

Ribber, who began the ski race three seconds behind first starter Rehrl, won the race in 23:18.1 minutes. Japan’s Akito Watabe, the fifth-placed jumper and starting with an 11 second penalty, skied himself into second place (+3.2). And ninth-place jumper, starting with a 46-second deficit, Austria’s Martin Fritz placed third (+5.0).

The U.S. Nordic Combined team had three athletes entered. Taylor Fletcher jumped to 45th but skied up to 30th place (+2:16.1). Fletcher skied the third fastest ski leg after starting 3:18 minutes back. Ben Loomis placed 38th (+3:26.5). Loomis began in bib 44, 3:14 minutes back when he started. Jasper Good jumped to 41st and a 2: 57 minute penalty. Good ended up 45th overall (+4:17.3). Jared Shumate jumped to 50th. He began the ski 3:42 minutes behind, and placed 46th (+4:28.6).

Saturday Results

 

Norway’s Jarl Magnus Riiber won both of the weekend’s races in Otepää, Estonia on the men’s Nordic Combined World Cup. (Photo: his-ski.com)

 

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FIS Nordic Combined World Cup Otepää, Estonia Day 2 Individual Gundersen 10 k

On day two in Otepää, Riiber scored the most points off the jump hill and went on to win the 10 k individual Gundersen in 22:31.1 minutes. Germany’s Johannes Rydzek was second (+20.9) after placing third in the jump and beginning the ski with a 36-second deficit.

Japan’s Watabe, the eighth best jumper, placed third overall (+43.6). Watabe began the race 49 seconds back.

American Fletcher jumped to 40th and began the ski portion 2:34 minutes back. On his way to skiing the fastest time on the day, Fletcher reeled in 21 skiers to place 19th overall, 1:17.9 minutes off the leader. Loomis was the next best American in 34th (+2:31.0) after jumping to 36th place. Good placed 42nd (+3:07.1) and was the 37th best jumper Sunday. Shumate jumped to 49th and placed 47th (+4:39.4) after the ski.

Sunday Results

Overall World Cup Results after Otepää

FasterSkier will be running an article later in the week on U.S. women’s NoCo skier Tara Geraghty-Moats.

 

 

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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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