Eight Qualify in Steamboat for Cup
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO (Dec. 11) — Eight U.S. athletes, including veteran Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO), have qualified to compete in this weekend's FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup events in Park City and Soldier Hollow, UT following trials in Steamboat Springs. The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club played a key role in producing two days of outstanding qualifying events despite low early season snow.
“The crew in Steamboat did a great job on short notice to enable us to run these qualifiers,” said U.S. Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett. “They pulled them off without a hitch.”
The Continental Cup events are scheduled for Park City and Soldier Hollow Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13-14. Changes in FIS rules over the summer had cut available U.S. quota slots from 16 to 8, necessitating the qualifiers. There were 15 top U.S. athletes vying for the eight spots. The Continental Cup, formerly known as World Cup B, is an important international series for nordic combined athletes seeking to qualify for the World Cup.
Lodwick, who is returning after a two-year absence, won both qualifiers but was challenged by Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO), who edged Lodwick in the jumping portion of the second qualifier. Alex Miller (Steamboat Springs, CO) was also strong.
Jarrett was especially pleased with the three juniors who qualified, including Brett Denney, Taylor Fletcher (both Steamboat Springs, CO) and Nick Hendrickson (Park City, UT). All three are a part of a new junior residence program the USSA has developed in Steamboat Springs under Coach Martin Bayer.
The Continental Cup will feature a jumping round Saturday and Sunday at the Utah Olympic Park at 10:00 a.m. The cross country finale will be each day at 2:00 p.m. at Soldier Hollow. A field of 11 nations is expected. The Team then heads to the Olympic venue in Whistler, BC for a pair of midweek competitions next week.
Qualifiers for the Dec. 13-14 Continental Cup include:
Brett Camerota (Park City, UT)
Brett Denney (Steamboat Springs, CO)
Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO)
Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO)
Willy Graves (Putney, VT)
Nick Hendrickson (Park City, UT)
Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO)
Alex Miller (Steamboat Springs, CO)