Competition ramps up for Steamboat Springs winter athletes |

Competition ramps up for Steamboat Springs winter athletes

Luke Graham

Nordic combined Continental Cup, World Cup set for the weekend

— U.S. Nordic combined skiing takes off this weekend. The Continental Cup begins Friday in Park City, Utah, and a World Cup event begins Saturday in Ramsau, Austria.

The Continental Cup serves as a steppingstone to the World Cup circuit. At the Continental Cup, Steamboat will be well-represented.

Leading the way will be veteran Todd Lodwick, who is taking a brief reprieve from the World Cup circuit.

Other Steamboat Springs skiers expected to compete include Brett Denney, Michael Ward, Aleck Gantick and Erik Lynch. The event runs Friday through Sunday.

In Ramsau, the U.S. will look to get on track after struggling at the first two World Cups. Bryan and Taylor Fletcher along with Billy Demong and Johnny Spillane will make the trip.

Freestyle World Cup season kicks off

The FIS Freestyle World Cup season begins Saturday with a dual moguls event in Ruka, Finland.

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The U.S. roster will be highlighted by a trio of Steamboat Springs skiers. Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club member Patrick Deneen will compete after finishing as the top American last year. Steamboat's Jeremy Cota and Eliza Outtrim also will compete.

Last year, Outtrim landed on the podium at the opening event, finishing second to Olympic gold medalist Hannah Kearney. Kearney, who suffered an injury from a crash in early October, will sit out the first two World Cups.

The next World Cup stop is Dec. 22 in Kreischberg, Austria.

Steamboat snowboarders struggle

Steamboat Springs snowboarders Benji Farrow and Matt Ladley struggled Thursday in the Dew Tour men's snowboard super-pipe semifinals.

Farrow's score of 66.25 on his first run put him in 15th place. Ladley scored a 62 on his first run and finished 16th.

Scott Lago was the top finisher with a score of 92.75. Shaun White was second with a 90.50, and Greg Bretz was third with an 89.

The men's finals take place Saturday. The women's semifinals are Friday and include Steamboat snowboarders Arielle Gold and Maddy Schaffrick.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email