Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Steamboat Springs The Nordic combined Summer Grand Prix may be taking place on European soil, but Steamboat Springs athletes Todd Lodwick and Johnny Spillane are dominating the summer series.
Lodwick won his second straight individual event, scoring 262.7 points, with a top jump of 137 meters and second-place finish in a 10-kilometer race held Saturday in Bischofshofen, Germany.
The win pushed Lodwick past Spillane in the overall points standings, giving Lodwick the yellow bib and moving Spillane to second.
It's the first time Lodwick has won two straight events on either the Summer Grand Prix or World Cup tours.
"I'm wearing the yellow bib now," Lodwick said. "It's nice to have it on, nice to have it stay within the team since Johnny was wearing it coming into (Saturday)...I consider myself in the best shape I've ever been in."
Spillane finished third in the Saturday event. He was 15th in the race but fourth in the jumping to earn 259.7 points.
"I am satisfied with the day," Spillane said. "My jumps were average, and I know I can do better. The hill here in Bischofshofen is awesome, and it gives you a thrilling feeling that you can jump on such a famous hill."
Norway's Espen Rian was second with 259.9 points.
Bill Demong, another Steamboat resident, was 15th in the Saturday, giving the United States three racers in the top 15.
"It's been a good week," said Lasse Ottesen, the U.S. Nordic combined team jumping coach.
"We're building a team ... it's been going good, but we haven't started the hardest work yet. We've built a good base so far, and now, as we head into September and October, we have to go into the smaller details."
Lodwick and Spillane followed up their podium finishes in Bischofshofen with a top result in a team competition Sunday in Berchtesgaden, Germany. They won a two-man team sprint event under sunny skies, defeating Austria and Norway.
The Grand Prix has two individual events remaining: a Friday competition in Harrachov, Czech Republic, and a Sunday event in Steinbach-Hallenberg, Germany.