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Successful 2019 USA Junior Championships
© Ben Pieper

The first-ever USA Nordic Junior Championships were held earlier this winter in Park City, Utah. The event was a success and 66 Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined junior athletes competed. These athletes gave their best representing five divisions and numerous clubs across the country.

“We really believe this is the capstone event at the end of each season to see the progress everyone has made over the past year,” said Junior National Team Coach Blake Hughes. As far as progress, the event was filled with milestones on all levels. Many young athletes competed on the national level for their first time while other more experienced athletes garnered the results they set out for at the beginning of the year. 

As part of a broader partnership with US Ski and Snowboard, we are excited to be hosting the Junior Championships,” said USA Nordic Executive Director Bill Demong. The number of athletes competing in the junior championships showed a 15% increase from the year prior- a milestone that shows the developmental work of USA Nordic paying off. According to Demong, “Participation has grown over 100% in the last decade as we strive to give athletes a reason to stay in the pipeline longer.”

Clubs such as Alaska, St Paul, Eau Claire, and Minneapolis have recently invested in new facilities allowing more access for kids and growth in the sport. Demong goes on to say, “USA Nordic has accomplished a lot in building up our pipeline along with newly expanded national teams as well as the expansion of the Fly Guys, Fly Girls, and Fly Kids programs.”

Bringing the Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined community in the US together for a week is rewarding for all. “I believe everyone left with a smile on their face,” said Hughes. The athletes and coaches are now home and already setting their sights on next year’s Junior Championships which will take place in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Results

U16 Female Nordic Combined
1st Tess Arnone (RMD)
2nd Alexa Brabec (RMD)
3rd Tinsley Wilkinson (RMD)

U16 Male Nordic Combined
1st Niklas Malacinski (RMD)
2nd Evan Nichols (East)
3rd Gunnar Gilbertson (RMD)

U20 Male Nordic Combined
1st Beckett Ledger (East)
2nd Aidan Ripp (Central)
3rd Henry Johnstone (East)

U16 Nordic Combined Team Sprint Female
1st RMD 1 Alexa Brabec and Tess Arnone
2nd RMD 2 Ella Stroock and Aspen Bennett-Manke
3rd Central 1 Sophia Schreiner and Charlotte Ripp

U16 Nordic Combined Team Sprint Male
1st RMD 1 Gunnar Gilbertson and Niklas Malacinski
2nd East 1 Tate Frantz and Evan Nichols
3rd Alaska 1 Skyler Amy and Carter Brubaker

U20 Nordic Combined Team Sprint Female
1st RMD 1 Annika Belshaw and Tinsley Wilkinson

U20 Nordic Combined Team Sprint Male
1st East 1 Beckett Ledger and Henry Johnstone
2nd Central 1 Tim Ziegler and Aidan, Ripp
3rd RMD 1 Canden Wilkinson and Erik Belshaw

 
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