7 Steamboat athletes bound for Junior Worlds | SteamboatToday.com

7 Steamboat athletes bound for Junior Worlds

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — In late February, 17 American ski jumping and Nordic combined athletes will travel to Oberswiesenthal, Germany, to compete in the Junior World Championships from Feb. 28 to March 8. 

Of those 17, seven athletes hail from Steamboat Springs. In fact, the entirety of the women’s Nordic combined team is composed of three Steamboat Winter Sports Club skiers as Annika Malacinksi, Alexa Brabec and Tess Arnone will represent the U.S. 

Brabec and Arnone are coming off performances at the Youth Olympic Games in Switzerland, which earned them 15th and 14th place, respectively. Last year at Junior Worlds, Arnone finished 31st. 

Niklas Malacinski joined them, placing fifth at the games in men’s Nordic combined. He is the sole Steamboat skier on the men’s squad heading to Junior Worlds. He is joined by Aidan Ripp, Henry Johnstone and Evan Nichols. At the 2019 Junior Worlds, Malacinski finished 54th.

Also carrying experience from the Youth Olympics to Junior Worlds is Erik Belshaw, who was named to the men’s ski jumping team. He is the youngest on the team at just 15. The special jumper finished 22nd at the Youth Olympics.

He is joined on by SSWSC skier Decker Dean, who is competing at the World Cup level in Europe, recently posting a top-20 finish in Poland. At the 2019 Junior Worlds, Dean took 54th. 

2020 Junior World Championships Team

Men’s ski jumping
Andrew Urlaub, Eau Claire, Wis.
Decker Dean, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Erik Belshaw, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Shane Kocher, Algonquin, Ill.
Greyson Scharffs, Park City, Utah

Women’s ski jumping
Annika Belshaw, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Paige Jones, Park City, Utah
Anna Hoffman, Madison, Wis.
Jillian Highfill, Park City, Utah
Cara Larson, Barrington, Ill.

Men’s Nordic combined
Niklas Malacinski, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Aidan Ripp, Cloquet, Minn.
Henry Johnstone, Concord, Mass.
Evan Nichols, Lyme, N.H.

Women’s Nordic combined 
Annika Malacinski, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Alexa Brabec, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Tess Arnone, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Rounding out the men’s ski jumping team is Andrew Urlaub, Shane Kocher and Greyson Scharffs.

Annika Belshaw is the only Steamboat skier on the women’s ski jumping team. She earned 21st at the Youth Olympic Games a few weeks ago. Last year, Annika finished 37th in a field of more than 50 jumpers. 

Paige Jones, Anna Hoffmann, Jillian Highfill and Cara Larson complete the women’s ski jumping team.

To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.

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