U. S. Olympic Team: 6 Nordic Combined Skiers, 5 Jumpers
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. ( Jan. 22) -- The U. S. Ski and Snowboard Association has named six nordic combined skiers and five jumpers to the 1998
Olympic Team for the Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, in an announcement by officials of USSA and Olympic sponsor Visa U. S. A. on Thursday ( Jan. 22).
The teams were formally announced by USSA Vice President- Athletics Alan Ashley and Visa Vice President- Event Marketing Michael Lynch via
teleconference in Steamboat Springs where the teams are training before departing for the Olympics or final training in Europe during the next 10 days.
The Olympic squads:
Nordic Combined -- Bill Demong, 17, Saranac Lake, N. Y.; Tim Tetreault, 27, Norwich, Vt.; and four Steamboat Springs skiers: Kristoffer Erichsen, 19; Todd Lodwick, 21; Dave Jarrett, 27; and Johnny Spillane, 17. Tetreault was on the 1992 and ' 94 Olympic teams while Lodwick and Jarrett competed in the
' 94 Olympics, too.
Jumping -- Alan Alborn, 17, Brighton, Colo.; Casey Colby, 23, Lake Placid, N. Y.; Brendan Doran, 18, Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Mike Keuler, 19, Bloomington, Minn.; and Randy Weber, 20, Steamboat Springs, Colo. Weber was on the 1994 Olympic Team.
Lodwick -- who won the Chevy Truck U. S. Ski Team Gold Cup event in Lake Placid, N. Y. on New Year's eve -- earned the second World Cup victory of his career earlier this season and has five other top- 10 results. He stands fifth in World Cup points at midseason while Tetreault had registered a pair of top- 10
" I like this group because we've got obvious talent but a good balance of veterans and young guys moving up," said U. S. Coach Tom Steitz. " I'm sure we'll see most of these guys competing at Salt Lake City when the Olympics are held in 2002."
Colby, the defending national jump champion, won the Chevy Truck Gold Cup jumping event, also on New Year's Eve. Weber, the only U. S. jumper to earn World Cup points in the last four seasons, posted another top- 30 in predazzo, Italy last month.
USSA was required by the U. S. Olympic Committee to name at least five members to each team, and a maximum of six.
Head Coach Kari Ylianttila has an extremely young team without a great depth of international experience, but a team which has been making incremental progress. " We're looking for progress, and we're seeing that," said Ylianttila from on- hill at Steamoboat. " Still, everyone must remember that this is a very
young group of ski jumpers."
Ashley echoed his two coaches. " It's no secret we've got some excellent potential in combined; everyone in Europe has an eye on Todd and Tim. Our hope for jumping, though, rests in the future and we hope that this experience will help this group of young jumpers focus on 2002 in Salt Lake City."
U. S. Juniors Move Up To 6th In Nordic Combined Relay
St. MORITZ, Switzerland ( Jan. 24) -- U. S. nordic combined skiers, with a super- quick second leg from Johnny Spillane ( Steamboat Springs, CO), hung- up
the third- fastest time Saturday in a 4x5- km relay to move up to sixth place overall behind Finland in the team event at the World Nordic Junior Ski
The American foursome was 10th Friday after the 95- meter jumping phase of the two- day event. However, they began gaining ground from the 5- km leg as
Kristoffer Erichsen ( also Steamboat Springs) had the fifth- fastest opening leg and Spillane was the second- fastest on the second leg. In the end, Finland, keyed
by World Cup veterans Hannu Manninen ( who won the individual combined event) and Samppa Lajunen ( the defending World Cup champion), won by
2: 46.3 over Slovenia; Switzerland was third with the USA 4: 24.9 back.
" It's our best team result," said U. S. Coach Chris Gilbertson. " Of course, I think it's our first team event... but we had beautiful conditions, the guys got great
waxing from Robi [ Powers] and they went at it. Johnny's been training 5- K intervals for the past month and it really showed."
Later in the day, Wolfgang Loitzl of Austria led both round, going 94.5 and 93 meters, to win the world junior jumping title with 231.5 points. Alan Alborn
( Brighton, CO) was 51st with Ben Erlandson ( Westby, WI) was 54th.
In the mixed technique cross country relays Friday, Sweden won the women's 4x5- km race with Finland second and the USA 14th while the Czech Republic
was 13.2 seconds ahead of Norway in the men's 4x10- km with the USA 12th. Rob Whitney ( Anchorage, AK) had the fastest time on the second leg -- 22
seconds ahead of the second fastest skier ( from Norway) -- while Rebecca Quinn ( Telluride, CO) was fourth- fastest on the women's third loop.
The World Juniors conclude Sunday with the distance freestyle races, the men's 30- km and women's 15- km.
WORLD NORDIC JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
St. Moritz/ Pontresina, SUI
Nordic Combined Team - Jan. 24
( K95 Jumping Jan. 23/ 5- km race Jan. 24)
1. Finland ( 1/ 1)
2. Slovenia, ( 2/ 5) 2: 46.3 back
3. Switzerland, ( 4/ 4) 2: 58.8
4. Germany, ( 6/ 2) 3: 03.9
5. Czech Republic, ( 3/ 6) 3: 06.1
6. USA ( Kristoffer Erichsen, Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Johnny
Spillane, also Steamboat Springs; Bill Demong, Saranac Lake,
N. Y.; Carl Van Loan, Webster, N. H.), ( 10/ 3) 4: 24.9
Demong, Erichsen Crack Top- 20 At World Juniors
St. MORITZ, Switzerland ( Jan. 22) -- Bill Demong ( 17, Saranac Lake, NY) and Kristoffer Erichsen ( 18, Steamboat Springs, CO) showed surprising cross
country strength and moved into the top- 20 Thursday in nordic combined at the World Junior Championships Demong has been 28th Wednesday in 95- meter jumping on the opening day of the championships with Erichsen 32nd. However, while World Cup veteran
Hannu Manninen, the 1995 World Juniors champion, won his second title, the two young Americans surged ino the top- 20; Demong, with the 11th- fastest
time in the 10- km race, moved up to 18th while Erichsen turned- in the 12th- fastest time and finished 20th.
Elsewhere on the second day of competition, the U. S. foursome of Demong, Erichsen, Alan Alborn ( 17, Brighton, CO) and Ben Erlandson ( 16, Westby, WI)
were 10th in the 4- man team jumping competition. Germany won with 787.5 points; the USA had 596.0.
In addition, Karla Keck ( Oconomowoc, WI) finished fourth in a special women's jumping event which was held in conjunction with the junior championships.
Finnish jumper Heli Pomell went 95 and 94 meters for 218.7 points to edge stylish Austrian Eva Ganster by .4. Keck jumped 85 and 88 meters for 189.9
points with Lindsey Van ( Park City, UT) surviving a fall on her second to finish sixth; if she hadn't fallen - - and lost the obligatory 30 points -- the 13- yer- old
Van would have finished third.
On the first day of the championships, Rob Whitney ( Anchorage, AK) was 20th to lead all four U. S. skiers into the top- 50 in the men's 10- km freestyle race.
Rebeccacca Quinn ( Gunnison, CO) was 24th for the best American result in the women's 5- km FR race.
At day's end, both Demong and Erichsen -- along with teammate Johnny Spillane ( also Steamboat Springs) and Alborn -- were named to the 1998 Olympic
nordic combined or jumping team.
The World Juniors continue Friday with the men's 4x10- km and women's 4x5- km mixed relays in cross country.
WORLD NORDIC JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
St. Moritz/ Pontresina, SUI
Nordic Combined ( K95 jumping/ 10- km race) - Jan. 22
1. Hannu Manninen, Finland, ( 2/ 4)
2. Samppa Lajunen, Finland, ( 5/ 3) 33.8 seconds back
3. David Kreiner, Austria, ( 1/ 18) 2: 12.6
4. Vladimir Lysenin, Russia, ( 25/ 2) 2: 35.3
5. Jaroslav Kriz, Czech Republic, ( 7/ 9) 2: 40.6
18. Bill Demong, Saranac Lake, N. Y., ( 28/ 11) 4: 44.6
20. Kristoffer Erichsen, Steamboat Springs, Colo., ( 32/ 12) 4: 59.6
29. Carl Van Loan, Webster, N. H., ( 36/ 23) 6: 18.6
44. Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, Colo., ( 42/ 48) 9: 11.9
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