SSWSC athletes finish strong at USA Nordic Junior Championships |

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes finish strong at USA Nordic Junior Championships

The Nordic combined and ski jumping competitors from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club wear their medals from the USA Nordic junior championships. In the back Row, from left to right, Ella Stroock, Erik Belshaw, Gunnar Gilbertson, Canden Wilkinson, Niklas Malacinski, front row from left to right, Tinsley Wilkinson, Tess Arnone, Aspen Bennett-Manke, Alexa Brabec, Annika Belshaw. (Courtesy Photo)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club had one of its most successful USA Nordic Junior Championships in history at Park City, Utah, this weekend.

The championships featured individual competitions on the first day, team competitions on the second and an elimination-style bracket for ski jumping on the third.

Out of the 38 total medals, 17 went to the SSWSC athletes. Athletes who participated in the Nordic combined competition also scored toward a special jumping competition.

SSWSC athletes represented the Rocky Mountain Division. Canadian athletes who competed weren’t awarded official placements.

Steamboat’s Niklas Malacinski received the highest placement in the special jumping’s U16 division, taking second. Gunnar Gilbertson followed in third and Erik Belshaw in fourth. Tess Arnone took fifth on the women’s side while Alexa Brabec took eighth.

Annika Belshaw soared to a first-place finish in the U20 women’s division of special jumping.

The SSWSC continued to dominate the competition in Nordic combined. In the U16 competition, Arnone place first, and Brabec was second. Tinsley Wilkinson came in third, and Ella Stroock was fifth.

Malacinski took home the gold for the U16 men’s competition while Gilbertson was third, and Erik Belshaw finished fifth. Thomas Miller came in 10th. Canden Wilkinson was the highest finisher from Steamboat in the men’s U20 Nordic combined competition with a fifth place finish.

The team jump featured teams of two for the women and teams of four for the men. Top teams featured the most combined points.

The team of Arnone and Annika Belshaw placed third overall out of 11 teams for the women’s competition. Brabec teamed up with Aspen Bennett-Manke to take eighth. Stroock and Tinsley claimed 11th overall.

Erik Belshaw, Gilbertson, Malacinski and Wilkinson took home the gold in the men’s team jumping competition out of 11 teams.

The SSWSC continued to heat up the team competition in Nordic combined. The teams of Brabec and Arnone and Stroock and Bennett-Manke took first and second respectively out of five teams in the U16 women’s competition.

Gilbertson and Malacinski claimed first out of nine teams in the men’s U16 division. Jason Colby and Miller claimed eighth.

The U20 women’s team of Annika Belshaw and Tinsley Wilkinson claimed first as the only team while the men’s U20 team of Canden Wilkinson and Erik Belshaw took third overall out of eight teams.

The elimination bracket on the final day of competition included 32 athletes competing in ski jumping, with two vying against each other to advance to the next round of the bracket. Arnone and Bennett-Manke were top performers, battling each other in the championship round. Bennett-Manke claimed first while Arnone took second.

Along with the junior championship accolades, several SSWSC claimed overall U.S. Cup trophies. The U.S. Cup is a series of 11 competitions around the country culminating with the championships in Park City, Utah. The U.S. Cup trophies were limited to U20 athletes.

Gilbertson and Erik Belshaw tied for second overall in men’s ski jumping. Belshaw claimed second in men’s Nordic combined while Gilbertson claimed third.

Annika Belshaw took home first place in women’s ski jumping. Arnone and Brabec added first and second overall podium finishes respectively.

To reach Leah Vann, call 970-871-4253, email or follow her on Twitter @LVann_Sports.

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