Bill Demong new U.S. summer national champion
Hometown favorite Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) celebrated a weekend homecoming with his ninth national title at the U.S. Nordic Combined Championships in Lake Placid. Third after the morning jump, Demong posted the third fastest 10k cross-country roller ski time to hold off the hard charging Fletcher brothers, Taylor and Bryan (Steamboat Springs, CO), who took silver and bronze. Jump leader Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) finished fifth in a very tight field.
Lodwick led the jump and started 16 seconds ahead of Demong in cross country. Both Fletcher brothers had deficits around a minute after the jump, but set a torrid pace in the roller ski segment. Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) had the fastest roller ski cross country time to finish second with brother Bryan (Steamboat Springs, CO) third.
"The biggest threat today was either Todd (Lodwick), sprinting to the finish, or Taylor (Fletcher), who if he catches you, the chances are he’s just going to ski away from you on the bigger hills, especially lately, because he’s been training so well. So I just wanted to ski an even split and stay just 10 to 15 seconds in front of him so he didn’t have the opportunity to break away from me. It seemed like that worked out. He pulled within 10 seconds of the last lap, but I had enough energy to hold that gap to the finish line", the new champion who won his ninth national title with this victory, explained.
"This was a really good goal to accomplish, winning today, especially at home, but overall it shows that the entire team is on course. I had my best day of the summer. But overall there were four to five guys who could have won so I think that our team is exceptionally strong, even stronger than four years ago, so that’s the most important thing to me."
U.S. Nordic Combined Championships
Lake Placid, NY
Oct. 13, 2013
(Jumping rank, cross country rank)
1. Billy Demong, Vermontville, NY (3, 3) 25:47.8
2. Taylor Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO (8, 1) +0:11.1
3. Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO (7, 2) +0:11.4
4. Brett Denney, Steamboat Springs, CO (6, 4) +0:31.1
5. Todd Lodwick, Steamboat Springs, CO (1, 5) +1:14.5