Nordic team set for US Championships
Steamboat Springs — The U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships are set to begin today in Park City, Utah, the third year the championships have been held in the summer.
The competition begins today with the men and women’s national championships to be decided on the K90 jump.
After a full day of exhibition events Saturday, the Nordic combined guys get their opportunity for a national championship.
Men and women will start jumping on the K120 hill at 9 a.m. Sunday. Skiers then will move to Soldier Hollow for the roller skiing competition.
Steamboat Springs’ Todd Lodwick is the defending champion.
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Lodwick and fellow Olympic medalists Billy Demong and
Brett Camerota are expected to compete.
“It’s multifaceted,” U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team coach Dave Jarrett said. “It’s an opportunity for Bill to start jumping again. He took his first jump of the summer this week. It’s the same with Todd and continuing with training and building up to the season.”
As much as the veterans are expected to compete, Jarrett said the U.S. Championships should be a great opportunity for the next wave of skiers to perform well.
Brian Fletcher, Taylor Fletcher and Nick Hendrickson “have an outside chance to get a national championship,” Jarrett said.
There might be a little extra urgency, however. The U.S. Nordic combined team leaves for Germany on Tuesday to begin the season.
With recent changes, the Summer Grand Prix season counts toward World Cup standings. That means skiers like Camerota and Taylor Fletcher, who sit just outside the top 55, will have a chance to make it on the World Cup full time.
Currently, the United States has Demong, Lodwick and Johnny Spillane in the top 55 and has to pay for a fourth spot in the World Cup.
“Of course, it’s big for us because it’s National Championships,” Taylor Fletcher said. “It’s not the biggest competition, but Nationals are big, and it’s cool to do them in the summer. Normally, some people would be in Europe competing. Now that everybody is here, it’s cool we’ve all gotten to this level. There are five or six guys that could be on the podium.”
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