Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athlete Madison Keeffe begins her first leg of the Junior Olympics relay race Friday at Howelsen Hill. Keeffe won the women’s J2 division.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athlete Madison Keeffe begins her first leg of the Junior Olympics relay race Friday at Howelsen Hill. Keeffe won the women’s J2 division.

Steamboat Nordic skiers golden at Junior Olympics

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France’s Lamy Chappuis wraps up overall title

France’s Jason Lamy Chappuis won the 2010 FIS Nordic Combined Overall World Cup title Friday by finishing 10th in Lahti, Finland.

Chappuis, who won a gold medal in the normal hill Gundersen event at the 2010 Olympics, cannot be caught.

Norway’s Magnus Moan was first, Finland’s Hannu Manninen was second, and Germany’s Tino Edelmann was third.

U.S. Olympic stars Billy Demong, Johnny Spillane and Todd Lodwick didn’t compete in Finland. First-time Olympian Taylor Fletcher was the top American in 43rd. Nick Hendrickson was 44th, Alex Miller was 50th, and Bryan Fletcher was 51st.

— Luke Graham

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For full results, visit http://jncjo2010....

— Aleck Gantick and Erik Lynch’s redemption run carried little suspense.

But that doesn’t mean it didn’t mean anything.

The two Ste­­a­­­­m­­boat Spr­ings skiers put past struggles in the Nordic combined team sprint event behind them and easily won the men’s J2 division Friday during the second day of the 2010 Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Junior Olympics at Howelsen Hill.

“We could have jumped to last place,” Lynch said. “It didn’t matter. We wanted it bad.”

The team didn’t jump to last place and actually had a 10-second start at the lead of the cross-country portion. From there, the two put last year’s Junior Olympics in the past. Last year, the two were battling for the gold when an official ruled that they didn’t tag each other at one of the changes. It cost the two 30 seconds and a gold medal.

“We wanted some redemption for last year,” Gantick said. “We showed them what’s up in the cross-country.”

The day was just a golden glimpse of performances for Steamboat skiers. Steamboat skiers swept the gold in the two-person Nordic combined team event.

Mary O’Connell and Mad­ison Keeffe won in the women’s J2 division, and Cliff Field and Michael Ward won in the men’s J1 division.

Ben Berend and Jasper Good were third in the men’s J2 division.

“At the beginning of cross-country, our goal was to widen the gap,” Ward said. “From there on, it’s an endurance issue.”

Earlier in the day, Steamboat’s skiers also wrapped up two golds in the team special jumping portion.

Gantick, Lynch and Berend added teammate Nicholas Madden to win. Field, Ward and Adam Loomis teamed up to win the gold in the J1 division. Madden had a career jump to help vault the team to the top of the podium.

“It was just one of my best jumps I’ve had in a long time,” Madden said about his 68.5-meter jump. “I’d been training good for a while, though.”

Thursday’s sunny conditions gave way to light snow Friday that turned into a full dump by the time the cross-country portion started.

The relay event for Nordic combined involved two skiers each doing 1 kilometer three times.

Wax choice was at a premium with snow accumulating fast.

Action continues today with an elimination jump competition. The trial round begins at 9 a.m. at Howelsen Hill.

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