Utah Nordic combined skier Eric Camerota celebrated his 19th birthday at the top of the podium Friday at the North American Junior Championship Nordic combined sprint event.
"I wanted to go out hard and then take it easy," Eric Camerota said. "I haven't been feeling that great, so I didn't push it."
After jumping to second place in the one-jump, 7.5-kilometer race, Eric Camerota didn't have to work that hard to secure the win in the second event of the North American Junior Championships.
The member of the U.S. Nordic Combined team's development squad skied past jumping leader Skyler Keate shortly after leaving the starting line of Friday's race and never looked back.
"I wanted to make sure that I won, but nobody really pushed me today," Eric Camerota said.
The biggest threat came from his twin brother, Brett Camerota, who recorded the fastest cross country ski time of the day in an effort to move up from seventh after the jumping.
He worked with teammate Trevor Keate to claw his way through the pack in the cross county race to finish second. Trevor Keate placed third.
Brett Camerota finished 37 seconds back and Trevor Keate was 55 seconds back.
"We just kind of worked together to see who we could catch," Brett Camerota said. "Our goal was to catch everybody by the third lap, which we did."
Willy Graves from the East placed fourth, jumping leader Skyler Keate dropped to fifth and Steamboat's Alex Miller placed sixth. His brother, Davis Miller, placed seventh, and Steamboat Springs skier Bryan Fletcher, who is recovering from double knee surgery, placed eighth.
Andy Garber placed 11th, Niels Morck was 13th, Kyle Lockhart was 14th and Taylor Fletcher came in 17th.
The Nordic skiers will return to the jump hill at 9 a.m. today for the first portion of the two-jump, 10-kilometer individual event. The cross country race is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209
or e-mail email@example.com