The U.S. Nordic Combined Team continued its torrid trek to the 2010 Winter Olympics on Saturday, notching a podium and three finishes in the top six.
Todd Lodwick stood on the podium for the second straight week, finishing third at the World Cup event in Chaux Neuve, France.
Johnny Spillane finished fifth, Billy Demong finished sixth and Taylor Fletcher finished 39th.
In the cross-country portion, Lodwick, Demong and Spillane held leads.
“It’s nice to be on the podium, and that’s what we work for,” Lodwick said in a U.S. Ski Team news release. “But I have to give credit to the team. I didn’t feel good in the third lap, and they shared leading the group and enabled me to rest for the last tail end. I needed that extra effort to be up there.”
Norway’s Magnus Moan won the day’s competition. Nordic Combined head coach Dave Jarrett said the goal of the race, however, was to get all three Americans on the podium.
“It didn’t work out the way we wanted, but that’s the way it goes,” Jarrett said. “One on the podium and three in the top six is still a good day.”
With less than a month until the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, the team is looking at today’s last World Cup event to make a statement.
Already favorites to medal in Vancouver, today’s World Cup will be the last for the Americans before the team returns home for rest and a pre-Olympic camp in Park City, Utah.
“I think it’s important for the whole team. It enables us to work together and work out a strategy,” Lodwick said. “I think we need to keep in mind that we’re here to win this, and we’re going to do anything possible to do that.”
Steamboat’s Cota is top American in Deer Valley
Steamboat Springs mogul skier Jeremy Cota kept his bid to make the Olympic team alive Saturday evening at the Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, by being the top American finisher.
Cota finished seventh at the event. American and 2010 U.S. Winter Olympic Team Trials winner Pat Deneen wast ninth, and Steamboat skier Mike Morse was 17th.
On the women’s side, it was a near sweep. Heather McPhie kept her hot streak going with a second-place finish. Michelle Roark was third, Hannah Kearney was fourth and Shannon Bahrke was fifth.
Steamboat’s Eliza Outtrim was 13th, and The Lowell Whiteman School graduate Emiko Torito was 45th.
In aerials, Whiteman grad Ryan St. Onge finished 26th. Dylan Ferguson was America’s top finisher in sixth place. On the women’s side, Lacy Schnoor finished ninth, and Ashley Caldwell finished 10th.