Steamboat ski jumpers, Nordic combined skiers make junior national team |

Steamboat ski jumpers, Nordic combined skiers make junior national team

Decker Dean flies from the HS75 ski jump at Howelsen Hill in 2017 during the Fourth of July ski jumping competition. After years competing in Nordic combined, Dean has shifted this summer to special jumping.
Joel Reichenberger

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Seven Steamboat Springs athletes were named Thursday to the USA Nordic Junior National Team, a second-year program designed to lend a hand to young ski jump and Nordic combined athletes.

Tess Arnone, 14, and Alexa Brabec, 13, made up two of the three members of the girls Nordic combined team, along with Charlotte Ripp, 13, of Cloquet, Minnesota.

It’s the first year any female Nordic combined athletes have been a part of national teams. USA Nordic named its first senior women’s Nordic combined competitor last week, then again broke ground by adding the trio of girls to the junior national squad.

“I’m especially excited about having a women’s Nordic Combined Junior National Team,” said Jed Hinkley in a news release.

Hinkley is the USA Nordic sport development director and Nordic Combined Junior National Team director.

“I consider it a privilege to be able to help guide the future of the sport in this country. We have some really talented young ladies, and I am thrilled to see what they can do this year and beyond,” he said.

Decker Dean, 17, made the squad as a ski jumper for the second consecutive season. Bennet Gamber, 17, Canden Wilkinson, 16, Erik Belshaw, 14, and Niklas Malaciski, 14, all also made the Nordic combined team from Steamboat Springs, all on for their first time.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9.

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