Nordic team soars at festival

Coach happy with the way Steamboat jumpers perform

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The members of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's Nordic team celebrated the end of the summer jumping season with a solid showing at the Flaming Leaves Festival in Lake Placid, N.Y., last weekend.

"I feel really good about where these guys are at right now," coach Chris Gilbertson said. "Not only because of the way they jumped, but because of the physical testing we did there, as well."

Gilbertson said the Steamboat athletes have been focused on conditioning and cross-country skiing this summer. It's an area where Gilbertson thought the Steamboat skiers were weak last winter.

"We jumped all right last winter," Gilbertson said. "But I felt like our Nordic combined skiers could have done better in cross country."

On Saturday, the members of the U.S. Special Jumping team stole the show at the Super Tour event.

Alan Alborn won the event, which was held on the plastic-covered 90-meter jump in Lake Placid, with 259 points on jumps of 97.5 and 95.5 meters.

He was followed by teammate Clint Jones, of Steamboat Springs, who scored 251 points on his jumps of 99 and 91.5 meters.

Steamboat junior Trevor Wert also had a solid showing. The 15-year-old jumper placed sixth in the final standings with 183 points on jumps of 86.5 and 73 meters.

"Trevor had a great jump," Gilbertson said. "He still needs to work on his consistency, but he's improving."

Tommy Schwall was seventh, Logan Gerber finished eighth, and Davis Miller was 16th. Alex Miller came in 19th, and Bryan Fletcher was 21st on the first day.

Alborn and Jones led the field on the second day, which also was held on the 90-meter jump, but was not part of the Super Tour.

Alborn won by scoring 274 points on jumps of 101 and 99.5 meters. Jones was second with 273 points on jumps of 100 and 101 meters. Steamboat's Tommy Schwall finished fourth, Logan Gerber was 10th, and Bryan Fletcher came in 19th.

Taylor Fletcher finished second in the junior class Sunday, and Niels Morck was seventh in that class.

Gilbertson said the team has taken part in four summer jump meets this year. He said that though it's important for the jumpers to maintain their form on the plastic-covered jumps, he admits that the team has been more focused on conditioning the past three months.

"Jumping on plastic is very helpful, and it's a good gauge of where you are at in your training," Gilbertson said. "But it's important not to let the summer jumping results go to your head. These athletes will have to keep pushing if they want their success on plastic to carry over to the winter."

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