Geraghty-Moats, Steamboat Springs athletes rejoice in first-ever international women's Nordic combined competition on American soil | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs athletes rejoice in first international women’s Nordic combined competition on U.S. soil

New York Ski Educational Foundation athlete Tara Geraghty-Moats competes in the jumping round of the Nordic combined competition at the Continental Cup on Friday, Dec.14, at Howelsen Hill. (Photo by Leah Vann)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — No matter how they finished, all 15 women made history at the first night of the Steamboat Springs Nordic combined Continental Cup.

Tara Geraghty-Moats, 25, won easily, coasting down the finish line with her arms stretched out victoriously as the first woman to win an international Nordic combined competition on American soil.

Friday's women's results
  1. Tara Geraghty-Moats, USA
  2. Gyda Westvold Hansen, NOR
  3. Stefaniya Nadymova, RUS
  1. Annika Malacinski, USA
  2. Tess Arnone, USA

Find full results after the competition at SteamboatPilot.com.

“It was a long way for a lot of the competitors to come,” Geraghty-Moats said. “Most people live in Europe. The fact that we had a small but strong, passionate field of women is really important. It meant so much to have Tess and Annika here to be my women teammates. That is really special.”

Geraghty-Moats joined Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes Tess Arnone, 13, and Annika Malacinski, 17, as the women’s U.S. Team. Other countries represented were Italy, Norway, Russia, Germany, Finland, China, Canada and Kazakhstan.

Malacinski finished in 7th place, battling in a pack with two other racers, including Arnone. Arnone followed close behind in 8th place. All three U.S. women were within the top 10.

“Hopefully, one of these days, we can be more Taras,” Arnone said. “To be that strong of a competitor. I’m really excited about my results today.”

Malacinski, who is battling a shoulder injury after a ski jump crash three weeks ago, felt hesitant on her jump, but was proud of her result in the race.

“I’m still in that comfort zone since I crashed three weeks ago,” Malacinski said. “I still always have that fear in my mind that, if I fall, it’s like it for me, so definitely not some of my best jumps, at all.”

But for the Steamboat competitors, it’s not about the finish. It’s about the experience. Geraghty-Moats had to fight for her opportunities at their ages.

“There were no international events for women’s Nordic combined,” Geraghty-Moats said. “And it was hard to get people to let me race in any Nordic combined events, even if I was the only competitor.”

Tara Geraghty-Moats skis in the cross country portion of the women’s Nordic combined competition at the Steamboat Springs Continental Cup on Friday, Dec. 14. Geraghty-Moats claimed first place. (Photo by: Leah Vann)

Geraghty-Moats’ first international competition was this summer in Oberwiesenthal, Germany. This was her first winter international competition in Nordic combined, and Steamboat was a special place for her to win it.

“My first junior nationals for Nordic combined were actually 10 years ago right here in Steamboat,” Geraghty-Moats said. “So, it’s really special for me to come back and get my first win in the winter time here.”

The three U.S. women are slated to compete in Saturday’s competition, which starts with a jump at 11 a.m. and ends with the race at 6 p.m. The next Continental Cup will be Wednesday, Dec. 19, and Thursday, Dec. 20, in Park City, Utah.

“It’s been a long journey for me to get to this level,” Geraghty-Moats said. “And, hopefully, the next generation will have an easier time with it.”

Steamboat Springs ski jumpers place in Norway

Two Steamboat Springs ski jumpers placed in the top 20 at Norway FIS Continental Cup.

Annika Belshaw tied for 11th place while Logan Sankey placed 16th. The two were among five members of the USA Nordic Junior National Team athletes to place in the top 20. Belshaw received the highest placing.

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


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