Nordic combined skier Cliff Field takes flight off a plastic-covered ski jump Tuesday morning during the jumping portion of the Fourth of July Ski Jumping Extravaganza in Steamboat Springs. The event will continue Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. with the Nordic combined roller-ski race on Lincoln Avenue and an elimination ski jumping event at 11 a.m. on Howelsen Hill.

Photo by John F. Russell

Nordic combined skier Cliff Field takes flight off a plastic-covered ski jump Tuesday morning during the jumping portion of the Fourth of July Ski Jumping Extravaganza in Steamboat Springs. The event will continue Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. with the Nordic combined roller-ski race on Lincoln Avenue and an elimination ski jumping event at 11 a.m. on Howelsen Hill.

Steamboat’s Ski Jumping Extravaganza continues on Fourth of July

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Ski Jumping Extravaganza

Past Event

Nordic combined roller ski race

  • Wednesday, July 4, 2012, 9:30 a.m.
  • Downtown Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Springs
  • Not available / Free

More

Past Event

Ski Jumping Extravaganza

  • Wednesday, July 4, 2012, 11 a.m.
  • Howelsen Hill, 845 Howelsen Parkway, Steamboat Springs
  • Not available / Free

More

— World-class athletes revel in stability. And when it comes to the U.S. Nordic combined team, routine is a regular word.

So every Fourth of July, a pen works just fine for the team’s calendar. This is the holiday when the team heads to Steamboat to hold a training camp, put on a little friendly competition and continue its strong and deep relationship with the Yampa Valley.

For the seventh straight year, the team is in Steamboat for the Fourth of July Ski Jumping Extravaganza.

The event featured a ski-jumping competition Tuesday that leads into Wednesday's roller-ski race on Lincoln Avenue.

“It’s one of those events that’s perpetuated itself,” said Gary Crawford, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s head Nordic combined ability coach. “We just hope the people come out and keep supporting it.”

It used to be that Steamboat’s Winter Carnival in February would feature the top American jumpers and Nordic combined athletes. But with those guys traveling Europe on the World Cup circuit, the Winter Carnival appearances faded. With most of the team now based in Park City, Utah, the Ski Jumping Extravaganza is a way for Steamboat to show off its gem of athletes and training facilities.

“It’s crazy it’s come this far and been around this long,” U.S. team member and Steamboat Springs resident Taylor Fletcher said. “It’s cool to see what started out and what has kept on going. To come back to your hometown is something you always enjoy.”

It also helps that the Fourth of July event continues to draw the best. With a similar event in Lake Placid, N.Y., that draws the U.S. men’s special jumping team, this year’s Steamboat competition features the U.S. Nordic combined team as well as the women’s national jumping team.

The event’s staple attraction takes place Wednesday.

The roller-ski event is something to behold. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., athletes will fly up and down Lincoln Avenue in a two-kilometer Gundersen start. The athletes with the top jumps from Tuesday will start first, with subsequent athletes going afterward.

There also is an Elimination Jump Competition at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Howelsen Hill.

“It’s not often you get 5,000 or 6,000 people to watch you in the U.S.,” Fletcher said. “I’m the first to admit it’s not the most popular sport. But we have the hometown backing. We get a lot of people back in town and outside for the Fourth of July. Then it’s 1,000 more people that think it’s a cool sport. It spreads the roots and grows the sport.”

Next year might be even more special.

Crawford said it isn’t 100 percent, but the U.S. National Championships could return to Steamboat next summer. He said the event may take the place of the Fourth of July.

One thing is certain: The Ski Jumping Extravaganza will be in Steamboat next year.

No need to mark your calendars.

Tuesday's special jumping results

J2 girls

Natalie Bohlmann 172.1

Manon Maurer 154.3

Sabina Gasienica 154

Dominique Katthain 104.1

Logan Sankey 92.2

Kathleen O’Connell 87.6

J2 boys

Ben Loomis 230.5

Jasper Good 229.7

Davis Petersen 225.2

Finn O’Connell 219.2

Koby Vargas 216.9

Nicholas Madden 211.8

Decker Dean 200.2

Grant Andrews 198.8

Stephen Schumann 186.2

Jake Lock 182.2

Patrick Gasienica 166.1

Wyatt Gebhardt 154.1

Jared Shumate 149.1

Tucker Hoefler 137

Elijah Vargas 115.1

Robert Lock 84.7

J1 women

Jessica Jerome 222.8

Lindsay Van 210.6

Alissa Johnson 208.6

Abby Hughes 196.9

Brenna Ellis 186.9

Emilee Anderson 172.3

Elyse Hoffman 101.5

Elizabeth Wallace 83.6

Kathryn Elkins 36.8

J1 men

Alex Vodsedal 246.1

Cliff Field 235.5

Ben Berend 234.6

Todd Lodwick 233.3

Aleck Gantick 224.7

Adam Loomis 221.9

Erik Lynch 221.6

Billy Demong 221.5

Nick Hendrickson 221.2

Alex haupt 220.8

Bryan Fletcher 220.2

Taylor Fletcher 214.1

Johnny Spillane 212.4

William Rhoads 209.7

Michael Ward 208.5

Spencer Knickerbocker 207.8

Tyler Smith 194.4

Jake Barker 86.9

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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