U.S. team eighth at Nordic combined World Championships
Steamboat Springs — In what was a surprise to absolutely no one in or near the sport, the German Nordic combined team ran away with Sunday’s Nordic World Ski Championships 20-kilometer Normal hill men’s relay in Lahti, Finland, two days after the team accounted for the top two spots in an individual championship event.
The Germans jumped into first, then crossed the skiing finish line with a 41.7 second lead on the silver-medal Norwegians. Austria was third, while the United States finished eighth with an uneven effort.
The U.S. team was eighth after the jump and climbed as high as sixth as it ran its top two skiers first and second in the four-man setup. Bryan Fletcher skied the fifth-fastest time in his leg, and Taylor Fletcher had the fourth best time.
Ben Berend was next in the relay. He had another very strong jump, the best on the U.S. team and fifth, overall. He lost ground on the ski course with his leg’s 10th-best time. Ben Loomis, in his first World Championship event and second on the team with his jump, anchored the Americans with the leg’s ninth-best time.
Next up for the Nordic combined World Championships is the second and final individual event. The skiers will jump off the large hill in Lahti, then race 10 kilometers.
Bryan Fletcher recorded the team’s top result in the first individual event, placing 14th.
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