Nordic combined skiers shine in Steamboat event

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— A big weekend of Nordic combined action came to a close Saturday in Steamboat Springs, and a number of local athletes stood at the top of the podium when it was all over at the Western Regional Championships.

More than 110 jumpers and skiers competed in the Friday and Saturday competition at Howelsen Hill.

With news earlier in the week about the Steamboat Springs City Council’s approval of funds for a new all-season jump, news early Saturday about Bryan Fletcher’s win on the World Cup circuit at the King’s Cup and a boatload of eager jumpers waiting for their turns Friday and Saturday, it’s been a good stretch, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club coach Todd Wilson said.

“It was a really neat weekend,” he said. “To have that many kids here jumping and competing in Nordic combined, there was just a lot of energy, and Steamboat kids did really well.”

Steamboat’s Decker Dean won the J4 boys classification, ahead of second-place teammate Elijah Vargas.

Steamboat’s Waverly Gebhardt was second in the J4 girls division, behind Canadian Nicole Maurer. Mae Thorp, also of Steamboat, was third.

Steamboat’s Annika Belshaw won the girls J5 category, edging out teammates Madison Knutson, second place, and Tess Arnone, third.

Steamboat’s Gunnar Gilbertson was second in the J5 boys division, ahead of fellow local skier Jack Colfer, who was third.

Erik Belshaw, meanwhile, won the J6 boys division, leading the way for a Steamboat sweep. Bridger Carlton was second, and Reid Sias was fourth.

The event was the final one of the season for the competing athletes.

“It was just a great way to finish up the year,” Wilson said.

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