Lodwick, Fletcher win July 4 Nordic events | SteamboatToday.com

Lodwick, Fletcher win July 4 Nordic events

Johnny Spillane, right, and Erik Lynch lead a pack of roller-skiers Sunday during the Nordic combined event in downtown Steamboat Springs.

— There have been bigger competitions for Steamboat Springs Olympians Todd Lodwick and Taylor Fletcher, some of the most significant of those coming just last February when the pair helped represent the United States at the Win­­ter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.

There has been more glory, more reason for celebration.

Still, each found something to be happy about Sunday as they emerged as winners in the Nordic combined and special jumping competitions that were part of Steamboat's Independence Day celebration.

Lodwick surged past a pack of skiers to win the morning's roller-ski race that capped off the Nordic combined competition.
Fletcher later landed the longest jump of the day, flying off the plastic K-68 hill at Howelsen Hill and landing 75.5 meters down range to win the special jumping competition.

"I'm a family man and that's a big, important part of my life, but when it comes down to it, I'm pretty serious about what I'm doing," Lodwick said. "I was pretty psyched to win. It's fun and it's great to have so many people watching our sport."

The morning's race came just before the start of the downtown Fourth of July parade, so there was a massive crowd on hand to cheer on the wide spectrum of contestants who competed. There were Olympians like Lodwick, Fletcher, Johnny Spillane and Brett Camerota, members of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and jumpers from Utah and even Canada. They were serenaded by applause as they made two circuits of a 1-kilometer downtown loop, with many of the spectators being visitors taking in their first bit of winter sports in the middle of a hot summer.

Recommended Stories For You

"The atmosphere is meant to be fun," Winter Sports Club coach Todd Wilson said. "We do this every day, so it's second hand to us, but we love that there are so many spectators here to watch us. 

"We're trying to educate the general public to this great sport, and what better place to do that?"

The crowds got up to speed quickly as the attention shifted from the parade route across the Yampa River to the jumping venue after the final floats passed by.
Thousands gathered to fill the grass lot at the base of Howelsen Hill and cranked their eyes skyward as some of the nation's best ski jumpers dueled one another to try and land the longest jump. It wasn't a competition to be dominated by five-time Olympian Lodwick or even Spillane, a three-time silver medalist.
Spillane made it through the first two rounds of the competition, but couldn't make the finals.

There, Utah jumper Abby Hughes tried to steal the show with her final jump, sliding in at 72.5 meters. Fletcher did her one better, however, landing the longest jump of the day to win the competition.

"It's nothing like the Olympics, but it's great to get out here and have fun while jumping in this community," Fletcher said. "Then to have those jumps and feel good about them, too, is great."

Eric Camerota took second in the Nordic combined competition, followed in third by Steamboat up-and-comer Cliff Field.

Nordic combined event results

Men’s race

  1. Todd Lodwick, 103.8 jump points, 4:58 cross-country time
  2. Eric Camerota, 119.6, 5:37
  3. Cliff Field, 105.5, 5:13
  4. Brett Camerota, 110.5, 5:26
  5. Nick Hendrickson, 93.0, 5:26
  6. Erik Lynch, 91.3, 5:06
  7. Tyler Smith, 87.7, 4:58
  8. Michael Ward, 88.3, 5:01
  9. Taylor Fletcher, 92.9, 5:21
  10. Brett Denney, 85.7, 5:18
  11. Aleck Gantick, 90.3, 5:30
  12. Adam Loomis, 81.2, 5:11
  13. Wes Savill, 89.8, 5:32
  14. Channon Pretorius, 76.3, 5:37
  15. Stig Fjeldheim, 67.5, 5:39
  16. Ben Berend, 69.1, 6:06
  17. Zeb Tipton, 60.4, 5:48
  18. Jasper Goode, 69.1, 6:21

Women’s race

  1. Mary O’Connell, 61.9, 5:38
  2. Madison Keefe, 47.6, 5:31

Go back to article