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Fletcher Earns First National Title in Placid; Hendrickson & Fairall Victorious

Monday, October 13th, 2014
Bryan Fletcher earned his first U.S. national title Sunday at the 2015 U.S. Ski jumping and Nordic Combined Nationals in Lake Placid, N.Y. The 28-year-old was able to hold off his younger brother, Taylor Fletcher, after having a strong jump that gave him a 1:36 advantage. Taylor, who earned the fastest rollerski time on the day finished second overall. Adam Loomis placed third.
“This is awesome! I’ve been chasing the national title for a while. I think that I’ve been third like four or five times. Every time, including last year, I was really disappointed with my jumping. I would have an amazing (roller ski) race, but still wind up in third place because I was quite a bit back,” Fletcher told USSA.
“I could feel him [Taylor] and I could see him on a couple of sections. There were a few places where we would pass each other going opposite directions, and every time he was inching a little bit closer, so that was a little bit nerve-racking. But in the end, even with him chipping away hard, I was getting more excited reaching the finish line and I came in hot,” he said.
There were two athletes in the women’s competition: Tara Geraghty-Moats, of Women’s Ski Jumping USA, who won and also placed third in the U.S. Ski Jumping Championships, and runner-up Gabby Armstrong.
The K95 U.S. Ski Jumping Championships also took place at Lake Placid’s Olympic Jumping Complex on Sunday, with Sarah Hendrickson winning her third national title and Nick Fairall winning the men’s competition for his second national title.
Hendrickson edged teammate Jessica Jerome with a second jump of 97.5 meters, according to a USSA press release. Fairall, who won the 2014 Olympic Trials last season, was tied with Anders Johnson through the first round, then leapt 100.5 meters on his second jump. The two competitions for first were the closest in recent nationals history. Will Rhoads placed third in the men’s comp.

U.S. Nordic Combined Olympic Trials on Saturday

Friday, December 27th, 2013
Snow is set on the 2.5k cross country track while the jumps stand ready in the background for this weekend's Olympic Trials for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined at the Utah Olympic Park. (U.S. Ski Team - Tom Kelly)

Snow is set on the 2.5k cross country track while the jumps stand ready in the background for this weekend’s Olympic Trials for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined at the Utah Olympic Park. (Photo: US Ski Team/Tom Kelly)

Several Americans will be contending for a guaranteed Olympic spot on Saturday at the U.S. Nordic Combined Olympic trials in Park City, Utah. The HS-100 jumping competition starts Saturday at 10:15 MST and the two-lap 10 k race will take place at 2 p.m.

After Saturday’s NoCo events, men’s and women’s ski jumping will hold their own Olympic trials on Sunday with NBC live streaming the events (and recapping the nordic-combined trials) from 1:30-3 p.m. EST.

Bryan Fletcher in the competition jump at the Ramsau World Cup last weekend.

Bryan Fletcher (U.S. Nordic Combined) jumping at the Ramsau World Cup last weekend.

 

SCHEDULE (via US Ski Team)

All events at Utah Olympic Park

Saturday, Dec. 28 – 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials – Nordic Combined

  • Nordic Combined Trial Jump – 9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. MST
  • Nordic Combined Competition Jump – 10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. MST
  • Nordic Combined 10k (4×2.5k) – 2:00 p.m. – 2:35 p.m. MST
  • Nordic Combined Awards Ceremony – 2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. MST

Sunday, Dec. 29 – 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials – Ski Jumping

  • Men’s and Women’s Trial Jump – 11:10 a.m. – 11:38 a.m. MST
  • Men’s and Women’s Competition Jump 1 – 11:50 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. MST
  • Men’s and Women’s Competition Jump 2 – 12:36 p.m. – 12:52 p.m. MST
  • Men’s and Women’s Awards Ceremony – 1:00 p.m. – 1:10 p.m. MST

Demong’s Final Continental Cup Win Gives U.S. Fifth World Cup Spot

Friday, December 20th, 2013

On Thursday, the final day of the Continental Cup competition in Park City, Utah, U.S. Nordic Combined’s Billy Demong rose the the challenge, beating Austria’s Tomaz Druml to give his team a fifth World Cup spot for the rest of the 2013/2014 season.

Demong started off with the winning jump of 95.5 meters at Utah Olympic Park, giving him a 40-second head start in the 10 k race at Soldier Hollow. He held off Druml, who started 52 seconds behind, by 23 seconds in 23:55.8. Druml placed second, followed by France’s Hugo Buffard in third (+41.6).

Demong started the week off with a victory in Tuesday’s Continental Cup opener in Soldier Hollow. He was second on Wednesday and secured a final victory on Thursday to enable his team to bring U.S. Nordic Combined’s World Cup quota from four to five.

“It’s good to have practice being out front and experience what that feels like to be the hunted person instead of hunting other people down,” Demong said in a USSA press release.

Rounding out the American finishes, Adam Loomis placed 20th, Nick Hendrickson was 22nd, Michael Ward 25th, Ben Berend 31st, Alek Gantick 34th, Erik Lynch 36th, and Nicholas Madden 45th.

“Another great day for Team USA and especially Bill,” said national-team coach Greg Poirier. “He did exactly what we needed him to do this week—earned us that fifth and crucial spot going into the next period of the World Cup. Bill did what Bill came home to do. The others, another good day, just not quite finding great form on the ski jump, but still looking really sharp on the cross country. So, I’m also excited for our B Team group behind Bill.”

Results

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Frenzel Takes World Cup Lead with Lillehammer Win; U.S. Notches 10th and 11th (Updated)

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Second heading into the Sunday’s 10-kilometer race on the final day of the World Cup in Lillehammer, Norway, Germany’s Eric Frenzel took control and won in 29:27.7, beating his competition by nearly a minute on a snowy afternoon.

Norway’s Magnus Krog placed second, 52 seconds back, and Akito Watabe reached the podium for the second-straight day in third (+52.6).

“It was a race how you want it; I am pleased that I have the yellow jersey again,” Frenzel told Sueddeutsche.de, according to a translation. “I had to give it a day, but [I] fought back.”

Coming off his first World Cup win this season at last weekend’s opener in Kuusamo, Finland, Frenzel placed 10th in Lillehammer on Saturday. Sunday’s win, the 11th of his career, put him back on top of the overall World Cup rankings.

Skiing the fifth-fastest 10 k behind Frenzel, whose time ranked fourth, Bryan Fletcher led the U.S. in 10th — an improvement from finishing 16th on Saturday. He finished 1:44.3 minutes behind Frenzel after starting 26th.

“The race went about as well as I could have asked for,” Fletcher wrote in an email. “Looking at the start list I was thinking to myself if I have a good race, I could finish top 10 realistically I was thinking I would be happy with just a good race no matter what place. … This weekend I was able to make solid steps to get back on track to where I need to be.  I was really happy to be back in the game and I am excited for the weeks to come!”

Fletcher’s teammate Todd Lodwick was 7.9 seconds behind in 11th after posting the 16th-best jump and skiing the 13th-fastest time. For Lodwick, it was his best World Cup result in nearly three years.

Billy Demong suffered his second disqualification in two weekends of racing. “… forgot my bib. 2x too many for one career. I think @fisnc should keep a couple spares at the top and just fine instead,” Demong tweeted.

Results

Germans dominate podium; US Men Finish 7th in Lahti, Finland

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Johannes Rydzek (GER) and Eric Frenzel (GER) claimed the Team Sprint HS 130/2×7.5km victory today in Lahti, Finland.

The German duo began the sprint course in first position after a commanding jumping performance.  Their winning time was 24:53.

France , consisting of Jason Lamy Chappuis and François Braud, held second position across the finish but were later disqualified because of an illegal passing violation.

This left the second podium spot to Germany’s second team, Tino Edelmann and Fabian Riessle), whom finished in a time of  25:15.7.

Norway, represented by Mikko Kokslien and Håvard Klemetsen, had been taken out of the medal hunt due to a piece of misfortune.  On the last lap before the finish Kokslien broke a pole and the battle for the podium spot was relinquished to the German second team.  After the disqualification of the French, the Norwegians were promoted to 3rd place, finishing in a time of 25:17.0

Behind the front runners a tight battle was waged for places between Austria I, Japan I, and Austria II, whom finished in 4th, 5th, and 6th places respectively.  The result was disappointing for both Japan I and Austria II, whom couldn’t capitalize on promising 2nd and 3rd starting positions.

The United States, represented by Bryan and Taylor Fletcher, skied to a 7th place finish, neither gaining or losing a place from their 8th place starting position (Given the disqualification of France).  They finished in a time of 25:48.6, 55.6 seconds out of the win.

Results

Gruber Denies Frenzel, Taylor Fletcher surges to 5th in Sochi

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

Bernhard Gruber (AUT) interrupted Eric Frenzel‘s lavish run of recent form to take the win earlier today in Sochi, Russia.  Gruber jumped well through tough, foggy conditions, beginning the skating portion of the Gunderson HS 140/10km competition in 2nd place.  He quickly overtook compatriot Mario Seidl (AUT), a diminutive 20 year old that destoryed the field away in the jumping but lacks skiing speed.  Gruber finished in a combined time of 28:19.7.

Frenzel (GER), had a less auspicious jump (5th), but showed strong skiing form, though it wasn’t enough to overtake Gruber (AUT).  Frenzel notched a second place finish in 28:33.8, 14.1 seconds in arreas.

Wilhelm Denifl (AUS) posted a 3rd place finish after a 4th place jump.  He held off a strong challenge from Taiei Kato (JAP) to finish in 28:35.2, a mere 0.3 seconds ahead of the Japanese.

A few seconds later Taylor Fletcher (USA) broke the line for a 5th place finish.  Of the top  5 finishers his result is notable in that he overcame a large deficit after jumping 15th.  Taylor was just 18.2 seconds behind winner Gruber (AUT), finishing in 28:37.9.

Brother and countryman Bryan Fletcher (USA) finished farther back in 15th after a promising 10th place jump.  He posted a time of 29:24.6.

Bill Demong (USA) also tested out the Olympic venue, finishing 28th in 31:05.3.

Results

Nordic Combined action continues with the Team HS140/4x5km competition Sunday.

Lodwick Wins Day 2 of Summer Grand Prix

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

A runner-up on Saturday, Todd Lodwick made it to the top on Sunday, winning the second competition of the FIS Summer Grand Prix in Sochi, Russia.

Lodwick ranked fifth after the large hill (140-meter) jump and used his jets in the 10 k Gundersen start to finish first in 19:39.7, beating Saturday’s winner Bernhard Gruber of Austria by 0.4 seconds. Gruber was first after the jumps and finished second overall. His Austrian teammate Tomaz Druml was third (+47.3).

American Johnny Spillane rose to seventh overall after ranking 15th in the jumps. He had the sixth-fastest race split, and teammate Taylor Fletcher was close behind in 10th.

Other North American results:

21. Bryan Fletcher (USA); 25. Wesley Savill (CAN)

Sunday’s overall results 

Complete results from Sochi

The Grand Prix resumes in Oberwiesenthal, Germany, Aug. 25-26. For a schedule, click here.

 

Lodwick Opens Sochi Grand Prix with Silver

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

U.S. Nordic Combined member Todd Lodwick posted a solid jump and even better race result at the first competition in the FIS  Summer Grand Prix, placing second Saturday in Sochi, Russia.

Lodwick finished 4.3 seconds behind winner Bernhard Gruber of Austria, who ranked first on the 140-meter large hill and had the fifth-fastest race split. Lodwick was ninth after jumping and skied the fastest 10 k in 19:11.8. Teammate Billy Demong had the second-fastest time (19:32.2) and ended up seventh after placing 17th in the jump.

Japan’s Akito Watabe was third overall after posting the second-best jump.

Other North American results:

14. Johnny Spillane (USA);  25. Wesley Savill (CAN)

Complete results

The Summer Grand Prix continues Sunday in Sochi with another large hill and 10 k Gundersen start.

Grand Prix schedule

 

Schmid Nabs Second WC Victory; Fletcher Seventh in Lahti

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Jan Schmid of Norway tallied his second Nordic Combined World Cup victory of the season in Lahti, Finland, on Saturday, the third-last event on the circuit this year.

Schmid skied the seventh-fastest 10 k after placing 12th in the jumping portion. Tino Edelmann (GER) was second by 4.3 seconds after starting in second, but fell to 21st in the race. Another German, Johannes Rydzek notched his first podium of the season in third.

American Bryan Fletcher finished seventh (+16.5), missing the podium by about 11 seconds. He was coming off the fourth-best jump and ranked 20th in the ski.

“Close to the Podium again today,” Fletcher tweeted after the race. “I need to work on my strategy… Two more shots next week!”

Taylor Fletcher was 26th (+1:51.4) with the 15th-fastest race split, and Nick Hendrickson finished 50th for the U.S.

The final weekend of competition kicks off March 9-10 in Oslo, Norway.

Complete results

Norway Wins NoCo Team Sprint; U.S. Places Sixth and 10th

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Norway’s Mikko Kokslien and Magnus Moan captured gold in the team sprint on Saturday in the Nordic Combined World Cup competition in Val di Fiemme, Italy, winning the 2 x 7.5 k race in 36:25.1.

Norway, Nordic Combined World Cup

Mikko Kokslien (NOR) leading the pack in the first leg of the men's 2 x 7.5 k team sprint at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Val di Fiemme, Italy, on Saturday. He and Magnus Moan won the event in by 9.6 seconds. (Photo: Fiemme2013)

Mikko Kokslien (l) and Magnus Moan (r) after claiming gold for Norway in the team sprint at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Val di Fiemme, Italy, on Saturday. (Photo: Fiemme2013Maxime Laheurte and Jason Lamy Chappuis of France were second, 9.6 seconds behind, and France's second team of Francois Braud and Sebastien Lacroix was third (+11.0).

The Americans had two teams in the top 10 of 16 teams, with Bryan Fletcher and Billy Demong placing sixth (+19.6) and Johnny Spillane and Taylor Fletcher finishing 10th (+1:50.4).

U.S. head coach Dave Jarrett wrote in an email that the day was an overall success with an exciting race and great jumping from all four athletes, especially with Spillane battling a sickness and not feeling 100 percent.

“Both teams were in the hunt halfway through the race,” Jarrett wrote, adding that they ran into some trouble in the narrow and crowded exchange zone.

“Billy was there at the end for the podium, but couldn’t quite match the short burst up the last hill and got dropped a bit,” he wrote. “Still two in the top 10 is a good. We know we are putting ourselves in position to podium almost every weekend but haven’t had things line up quite right yet. It is coming.”

Germany was fourth overall with Eric Frenzel and Fabian Riessle (+12.2) and Japan edged the U.S. in fifth (+18.3).

Complete results