Steamboat Springs The U.S. Nordic Combined team posted its best finish at a World Junior Championships in more than five years Thursday in Poland.
American Jed Hinkley placed eighth in the two-jump, 10-kilometer ski race, held in Karpacz-Szklarska Poreba. Local nordic combined skier Nathan Gerhart was 12th.
American coach Tom Steitz said it was the best American finish since Todd Lodwick won a World Junior Championship gold medal in 1996 in Asiago, Italy.
Hinkley was 29th after the jumping and moved up to eighth by recording the second fastest cross-country time in the race. He finished 2 minutes, 28 seconds behind winner Norihito Kobayashi of Japan. Jaakko Tallus of Finland was second and David Kreiner of Austria was third.
Hinkley will now to move up to the World Cup A level bringing the U.S. Team to an all-time high of seven skiers.
Steamboat's Gerhart was 23rd after the jumping and moved up to 12th place. Teammates Alex Glueck was 42nd and Adam Schwall was 46th in the event.
In special jumping, Steamboat's Tommy Schwall and Clint Jones joined jumpers Brian Welch of Maine and Jim Denney of Minnesota to place 13th in the K85 special jumping team event. Finland won the event and Austria was second.