Steamboat Springs Todd Wilson, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's longtime Nordic director, said he had a good feeling before he took 29 athletes to Park City, Utah, last weekend for the Utah Winter Games.
"I knew we were looking good, but I didn't want to say anything and jinx us," Wilson said.
By the end of the weekend, the Steamboat athletes had proven Wilson's feelings were right by posting top results in Nordic combined and special jumping events across nearly every age division.
"This was our first real competition of the season, and it was terrific to see strong results at every level," Wilson said. "That doesn't happen all the time."
Charlie Stoddard led the way with an impressive weekend on the jump hill and the cross-country course.
Stoddard finished second in the special jumping event on the K-64 hill. Special jumper Andrew Jerome of the National Sports Foundation won the event with 227.6 total points. Stoddard, a Nordic combined jumper, placed second with 220.9 points, and Steamboat's Erik Lynch was third with 215.2 points.
The jump results from the K-64 hill were used to seed the 5-kilometer Nordic combined cross-country race. Stoddard posted the second fastest time to win the event. Utah skier Nick Hendrickson, who is qualified for the World Juniors, made a run at the Steamboat skier by moving from fourth to second in the final results. Lynch was third, and fellow Steamboat skier Cliff Field was fourth.
Other top Winter Sports Club finishes included Jake Barker in eighth, Aleck Gantick in ninth, Austin Reed in 11th and Zeb Tipton in 12th.
While Stoddard led the impressive Steamboat showing, the Winter Sports Club was strong in nearly every age division in the Nordic combined competitions. Steamboat's Jack Rosenthal and Lucy Franklin tied for the win in the Open C class, and teammate Morgan Mertz finished third.
Steamboat's Tamara Katthain won the girls J-6 class, and Domonique Katthain topped the J-5 class. Kathleen O'Connell was second in that class, and Margaret Lichtenfels was third.
Steamboat's Koby Vargas and teammate Finn O'Connell led the boys J-5 class. Vargas was first and O'Connell came in second. Steamboat's Peter Rosenthal was fourth.
Steamboat's Madison Keeffe won the girls J-4 class with teammates Meg O'Connell coming in second and Lena Barker finishing third.
Steamboat's Ben Berend led the way in the boys J-4 class with teammates Lars Hannah in second and Nicholas Madden in third. In the J-3 class, Steamboat's Emily Hannah finished first, and Mary O'Connell came in second. Steamboat's Dylan Reed was second in the boys J-3 class.
Steamboat also posted several impressive finishes in the special jumping events. Taylor Fletcher was fifth in the K-90 event that was swept by athletes from the National Sports Foundation. Field was ninth, Brett Denney was 11th and Stoddard came in 12th.
Steamboat also received several top showings from its younger skiers.
On the K-40 hill, Lynch finished second behind Utah skier Tyler Smith in the J-3 class. Gantick was third, Barker was fourth and Berend came in seventh. Steamboat's Emily Hannah was third in the J-3 girls class, and Mary O'Connell was fourth.
On the K-20 hill, Nicholas Madden lead a 1-2 Steamboat finish. Berend was second and Lars Hannah came in ninth. Lucy Franklin was second in the Open C class, and Madison Keeffe was third in the J-4 girls class.
The smallest jumpers competed on the K-10 jump. Steamboat's Koby Vargas won the J-5 boys class. Teammate Finn O'Connell was fourth, and Peter Rosenthal finished sixth. Domonique Katthain topped the girls J-5 class. Kathleen O'Connell was third, and Lichtenfels was fourth. Other top finishes included Jack Rosenthal's fifth in the Open C class and Tamara Katthain's second in the J-6 girls class.