The 4th of July festivities traditionally mark a busy competition period for the USA Nordic athletes and also 2018 was no exception.
The Nordic Combined team held their famous Fish Creek Time Trial, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined athletes competed in the joint ski jumping extravaganza on July 3rd, followed by a roller-ski show race in downtown Steamboat Springs on the 4th. The final Jumping & Jamming elimination competition closed out fun-filled days.
Fish Creek Time Trial
Taylor Fletcher, who had taken a timeout to consider his future in the Nordic Combined sport, returned with a vengeance and won the time trial with a total time of 23:48.0, followed by Ben Loomis, who posted 23:57.0. Jasper Good claimed the third rank with a time of 24:32.0. With Annika Malacinski, one woman braved the climb as well, posting a time of 36:50.0. The notorious fitness test goes back ten years and allows the athletes to see how their skiing has grown from the year prior.
Ski Jumping Extravaganza
The ski jumping extravaganza had the Nordic Combined athletes conquering ranks four (Ben Loomis), seven (Jasper Good), eight (Grant Andrews), nine (Taylor Fletcher), ten (Jared Shumate), eleven (Beckett Ledger), twelve (Stephen Schumann) and thirteen (Aidan Ripp).
The final roller-ski sprint had Taylor Fletcher taking the win ahead of Ben Loomis and Jasper Good. Annika Malacinski was the only senior woman to compete in Nordic Combined. In the U-16 categories, Niklas Malacinski won the boys’ event, while Alexa Brabac triumphed in the the girls’ category.
On his win Taylor Fletcher said, “It was a fun event, the hills were in good condition.” He added, “I feel like I did pretty well and I know some of my teammates had some good jumps too.” A large, family friendly, celebratory crown lined the main street of the town and cheered loudly as all the athletes passed by.
The win in the lonest-standing “Jumpin’-n-Jammin’" ski jumping elimination event went to local hero Decker Dean. In front of a record setting enthusiastic and knowledgable crowd, the elimination format Jumpin’-n-Jammin’ ski jumping competition had everybody there screamin’n-yellin’ for Team USA Nordic. Decker Dean jumped 73 meters to beat out Casey Larson’s 71.5 meters. That was, of course, after they had participated in round after round of sizzling elimination action under a sizzling summer sun. As the day progressed, the dedicated, young, local athletes of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, encouraged by the announcers and supported by the community, collected donations from the growing numbers of eager spectators. The donations collected right then and there served as the prize money the the big winner. The Steamboat fans raised the most money ever at a non-sanctioned, just for fun event like this one in Colorado, double what it was last year, a whopping $2,148.25, winner take all.