With less than four weeks to go to the event, USA Nordic is the first National Ski Association to nominate their starters for the season’s title event in Oberwiesenthal (GER).
Niklas Malacinski is the leader of the men’s Nordic Combined team at just 16 years old. Malacinski started the season notching his first Continental Cup points with a 29th place finish. More recently, Malacinski shone at the Youth Olympics finishing in 5th place just 30 seconds out of a podium spot.
Henry Johnstone, Evan Nichols, and Aidan Ripp fill out the rest of the men’s Nordic Combined team. “The biggest expectations will be from Malacinski but the rest of the team had really solid races at qualifiers,” says Nordic Combined Coach Tomas Matura. He continues, “I don’t like to predict results but I think we can definitely surprise some other nations.”
The Colorado trio of Annika Malacinski, Tess Arnone, and Alexa Brabec make up this year’s women’s Nordic Combined team. All three have gained experience on the world stage this winter.
Malacinski, the oldest of the group, is in Europe currently training and competing. “She’s improving a lot on the jump hill right now and is learning a lot on the cross country side from the men’s team,” says Matura.
Arnone and Brabec represented the United States at the Youth Olympics last month and Coach Matura was pleased with their performances. “I thought they did a great job at the Youth Olympic Games,” Matura continues, “Alexa and Tess are improving a lot as they gain more experience.”
The 2020 Junior World Championships will provide another valuable international competition for all these young athletes.