Sports briefs: Nordic combined events today

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— The Rocky Mountain Jumping Extravaganza begins at 9 a.m. today at Howelsen Hill.

The event begins with three jumps today, a roller ski race at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and a target jump competition starting at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The top U.S. Nordic combined athletes in the nation are expected to compete, including world champions Todd Lodwick, Bill Demong and Johnny Spillane.

Today's second jump will be paired with Saturday's roller ski race as part of a Nordic combined competition.

The roller ski race takes place on Lincoln Avenue just before the Fourth of July Parade.

For those who have never seen ski jumping, it's quite the sight. All the jumping will take place on the HS-75 jump at Howelsen. Competitors in the jumping portion will reach speeds upwards of 60 mph before flying off the jump.

The target jump begins at 11 a.m. Saturday with a qualification round. From there, event officials cut the field to 24, 12 and six before a winner is determined.

The target jump is unique in that the whole field has a good shot at it, because a predetermined distance is set. The closest to that distance wins.

Team Lightning shows well in Grand Junction

Despite having a smaller than usual team, the Steamboat Springs Team Lightning summer swim team placed eighth in the Grand Junction Invitational Swim Meet.

Although the team usually takes about 70 swimmers, during the weekend event the team took only 15.

Still, the finish sheet was filled with top finishes.

Finishing strong were Frank Ruppel with three firsts, a second and three thirds; Kane Park with two seconds; Harry Wilson with a third; and Samantha Terranova with a first. The girls relay team of Piper Rillos, Taylor Kortas, Sarah Kite and Terranova finished third in the 200 medley and 200 free. The boys relay team of Harry Wilson, Park, Ruppel and Tyler Terranova finished third in the 200 medley.

"It's unlike any other one we go to," said Paul Rose, who coaches the 11- and 12-year-olds. "You have preliminaries in the morning, and then in the afternoon, you go onto finals."

The Grand Junction pool was a 50-meter pool, something the team rarely trains in.

Rose said he especially was pleased with most of the swimmers recording faster times in the finals than their preliminary races.

Team Lightning next races July 10 to 12 in Craig. The team is expected to take more than 100 swimmers to the event.

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