3 Steamboat skiers, 1st U.S. woman named to U.S. Nordic Combined squad
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — There are plenty of returning names to the U.S. Nordic Combined Team, officially announced Thursday by USA Nordic, the sports organizing body in the United States.
There are also a few major absences.
The team is led by Ben Loomis, a 19-year-old from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, coming off the best season of his short career. He logged three top-five Continental Cup finishes in Steamboat Springs last December, made the U.S. Olympic team and competed in February in his first Olympics, making the trip to Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the 2018 Winter Games. He also earned bronze at the junior World Ski Championships in Kandersteg, Switzerland, in January.
Loomis is the only member of the Nordic combined A team.
Steamboat Springs skier Taylor Fletcher is on the B team after competing in his third Olympics in February, and fellow Steamboat skier Jasper Good is there, as well, after making his Olympic debut last season. Stephen Schumann, of Park City, Utah, is also on the B team, while Steamboat’s Grant Andrews and Park City’s Jared Shumate are both on the C team.
There were two notable names missing. Both Steamboat skiers Bryan Fletcher, a two-time Olympian, and Ben Berend, who also made last winter’s Olympics, retired from the sport.
There was a big notable addition, however. Tara Geraghty-Moats became the first American woman named to the U.S. team, a member of the C team. Women’s Nordic combined was added to the Continental Cup circuit last winter and is expected to be phased into more international levels in the next few seasons and to be included in the 2021 World Championships and, organizers hope, the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Geraghty-Moats is a Vermont-based skier who’s been on both the national biathlon and women’s ski jumping teams at various points, but said Nordic combined is where it all comes together for her. Injuries kept her out of the Olympics in ski jumping in February and forced her to miss the first women’s Nordic combined Continental Cups.
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