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Steamboat skiers fare well in Nordic combined at Utah Winter Games

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Nordic combined skiers from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club returned from the Utah Winter Games earlier this week with plenty of top finishes.

The Steamboat skiers dominated the Nordic combined events at last week's Utah Winter Games by sweeping the top spot in nearly all the age divisions.

Steamboat's Jake Barker led the charge by winning the J-5 division, which involved competition on the K-10 jump and a 1K cross country race at the Winter Sports Park. Jace Worden was second, and Aleck Gantick took third.

Erik Lynch won the J-4 class, which competed on the K-20 jump, and completed a 2K course. Steamboat's Cliff Field was second, and National Sports Foundation skier Tyler Smith was third.

Steamboat maintained its streak when Charlie Stoddard took the top spot in the J-4 class, which jumped on the K-40 hill and skied a 3K cross country race.

He was followed by teammate Adam Peters in second and Utah skier Andrew Jerome in third.

Steamboat' Brett Denney won the J-2 class, which competed on the K-64 and skied on a 5K cross country course.

Utah skier Buck Bailey was second, and Steamboat's Sam Chovan came in third.

Steamboat swept the podium in the J-5 special jumping event with Lynch in first, Worden in second and Barker in third. Gantick was fifth.

But outside of that division, skiers from Utah's National Sports Foundation dominated the special jumping.

Smith won the J-4 class on the K-20 jump. Steamboat's top finisher was Lynch in fifth. Luke Anderson was sixth, Barker was seventh, Worden was ninth and Gantick was 13th.

Anders Johnson led an NSF sweep by winning the K-64 event. Top Steamboat finishers included Denny in seventh, Stoddard in 12th and Chovan in 16th.

Utah ski jumper Chris Francis topped the K-90 event and the junior event in the K-120 competition. Steamboat's Denny was 12th in the K-90,

U.S Ski Team member Johnny Spillane won the senior class in the K-120 and Connor Walsh won the K-40 jumping event, providing two other bright spots for Steamboat.

A smaller group of Steamboat jumpers traveled to Lake Placid, N.Y., over New Year's for the first of two World Junior Team tryouts. The second will take place in Steamboat this weekend.

After two Nordic combined qualifying events, Steamboat's Davis Miller is ranked sixth and his brother Alex is eighth. Bryan Fletcher, who is coming off double knee surgery, is ranked ninth in the Nordic combined race. Special jumper Trevor Wert is ranked 11th in the special jumping tryouts.

The Steamboat athletes will have a chance to move up during this weekend's ski jumping and Nordic combined events in Steamboat.

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