Monday, February 16, 2004
Steamboat Springs' Todd Lodwick and Johnny Spillane captured top-five finishes Sunday in a World Cup event.
Lodwick placed third and Spillane fifth in the Nordic combined sprint in Oberstdorf, Germany.
It was Lodwick's fourth podium this season, and it was Spillane's first top-five finish since he won the sprint World Championship last year in Italy. Spillane is the only American ever to claim a world championship in Nordic combined.
Finland's Hannu Manninen won the Oberstdorf sprint event.
Spillane scored 122.1 points to finish fourth after the single K-120 jump. Lodwick scored 119.5 to finish 10th in the jump.
Spillane's jump placed him 39 seconds behind France's Ludovic Roux in the 7.5K sprint. Lodwick was 49 seconds behind.
Lodwick made up the deficit by the halfway mark, pitting the Steamboat Springs resident with Japan's Daito Takahashi and Manninen all the way to the end. Lodwick finished 2.9 seconds behind Manninen.
After Saturday's team competition, in which Lodwick and Spillane paired up with a Canadian jumper to finish sixth, Lodwick said he wasn't felling well and didn't plan on doing much Sunday.
"I think I could've won it if I'd known I was going to be there all the way," Lodwick said. "I didn't think I was going to podium. I had really good skis -- my Rossi rockets -- and I surprised myself with how strong I felt. I should've made my move sooner, but I didn't realize I'd be there to the end."
Spillane finished 39.5 seconds behind Manninen, holding off Germany's Ronny Ackermann, one of the world's best Nordic combined athletes.
U.S. Nordic combined coach Bard Elden said Spillane impressed him on the German swing.
Spillane was sidelined from World Cup competition with an illness for much of December into January.
"Johnny jumped well again (Sunday)," Elden said. "He jumped well Saturday in the team comp too, so that's good to see."
Lodwick and Spillane return to competition for two events this weekend in Liberec, Czech Republic.