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The USA Nordic Junior National Team has been named! Press Release

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

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)

Val di Fiemme Nordic Combined World Cup Wrap Up; Fletcher Continues at Warp Speed

Monday, January 14th, 2019

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

USA Nordic Announces 2018/2019 Junior National Team

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

(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



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.”

Kokslien Takes Steamboat Continental Cup by Storm; Ben Loomis Repeats in 5th

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

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

U.S. Junior Worlds Nordic Combined Team Named

Friday, January 13th, 2017

(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.


(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


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)


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