Howelsen chapter closes
Hometown skier Todd Lodwick 'gave it best effort'
The awards ceremony had been over for several minutes, and the crowd was quickly thinning as people headed for home hoping to catch the first half of the Denver Broncos playoff game.
But Steamboat Springs Nordic combined skier Todd Lodwick remained, standing at the base of the historic Howelsen Hill ski jumps that had launched his career more than 13 years ago.
“I knew it would have to come to an end, but you always want to put it off as long as possible,” Lodwick said. “I’ve had way too many jumps on this hill. … It’s all my life, that’s what it is.”
Sunday wasn’t the storybook ending Lodwick had hoped for, but the competition on the HS100 jump was one of the best in recent memory. For the second day in a row, the event turned into a dual between Lodwick and hometown special jumper Clint Jones, who placed second in the large hill competition Saturday.
After the first round, the two jumpers were tied at 136 points. Another local jumper, Tommy Schwall, was also in the hunt in third place with 131.5 points.
It also wasn’t surprising that the second round came down to those three jumpers, with Jones taking the title on a record-setting effort of 101.5 meters.
“Clint should be winning this competition. He’s worked hard all summer and all winter, and it kind of hurts to have a Nordic combined skier come out and beat you,” Lodwick said.
“I would have loved to take it, but he came out with a lot more vengeance. He looked a lot better and looked more determined today than he did yesterday. I think he was trying too hard yesterday, but today, he just kind of let it flow, which is what you have to do.”
Despite not winning, Lodwick will finish his career with 17 national titles in ski jumping and Nordic combined. He won the 2006 large hill and Nordic combined titles Saturday and had hoped to go out with a win in Sunday’s event.
“I gave it my best effort, but Clint just beat me today,” Lodwick said. “I’m going to miss being at the top of these jumps, looking out over Steamboat. It’s been a lot of fun.”
— To reach John F. Russell, call 871-4209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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