Demong takes ninth at event in Norway

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— Bill Demong led the U.S. Nordic Combined Team in Trondheim, Norway Wednesday with a ninth-place finish in a sprint event.

Finland's Samppa Lajunen won the event, making it three consecutive World Cup wins since the Winter Games in Salt Lake City concluded.

Lajunen held off Germany's Ronny Ackermann by 3.2 seconds to win the combined sprint.

Demong led the Americans and moved into eighth place in the overall World Cup standings. Todd Lodwick placed 28th and is now sixth in the standings.

In special jumping, former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club member Alan Alborn was the top American finisher in a meet in Falun, Sweden, which was also held on Wednesday.

Finland's Matti Hautamaeki laid down the longest jump on each round to hold off Martin Schmitt of Germany in a large hill (K-115) World Cup meet.

Alborn finished 26th and Clint Jones, of Steamboat Springs, was 32nd.

Jones was 26th and Alborn 27th in the first round, but three skiers tied for 30th place the cutoff for a second jump. In the final round of jumping, Jones had the shortest jump and placed 32nd overall, dropping out of World Cup points.

The World Cup season is winding down for the Nordic skiers.

The Nordic Combined World Cup has two events remaining in Oslo, Norway. The special jumpers have three more World Cup stops left.

They will compete today in Trondheim, Sunday in Oslo and complete the season on March 24 in Planica, Slovenia.

The American combined and special jumpers will return to Steamboat Springs this week for the Chevy U.S. National Championships, which are scheduled for Howelsen Hill.

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