Steamboat Springs An intense day of action Saturday led to a big day of recognition Sunday for a group of Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Nordic combined athletes. The J1 and J2 skiers who will compete at the Junior Nationals in Park City, Utah, for the Rocky Mountain Division were selected and the team was announced Sunday afternoon at Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs.
Jake Barker, Ben Berend, Fritz Carpenter, Aleck Gantick and Tyler Smith were named as J1 boys competitors, along with Adam Loomis, Erik Lynch, Michael Ward and Cliff Field, who won’t compete in Utah as they’ll be at the Junior World Championships in Turkey.
Grant Andrews, Jasper Good, Nicholas Madden, Finn O’Connell, Davis Petersen, Spencer Petersen and Koby Vargas were named to the boys J2 team while Natalie Bohlmann and Nikki Katthain were named as J2 girls competitors.
“It shows the hard work of training has paid off,” said Nikki, who was named to the team even though she won’t be able to compete thanks to a pre-scheduled school trip to Sweden.
Athletes who finished in the top 80 percent in their best two of three Nordic combined qualifiers were named to the team and athletes in the top 70 percent had the chance to be considered.
Those rules left a few athletes with plenty to worry about Saturday, when the Winter Sports Club played host to the final of those qualifiers.
Davis Petersen, a 12-year-old trying to make the team for the first time, was among them. He had a strong finish in the season’s first event, but missed his start in the second, meaning he had to nail down a good performance Saturday.
He did, soaring to a third-place overall finish set up by a huge best-of-the-pack jump.
“I jumped my socks off,” Davis said. “I knew I had to jump really well. I was really nervous.”
Grant Andrews, 14, meanwhile, found himself outside the automatic entry threshold. He fell on his jump in the second qualifier but was much more consistent in the third and was thrilled Sunday to discover his efforts — not just Saturday, but all season — had paid off big.
“Last year I tried to go for it and didn’t get it,” Grant said. “This is great.”
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com