Steamboat Springs The U.S. Ski Team’s Taylor Fletcher, of Steamboat Springs, was named the International Ski Federation’s Nordic Combined Athlete of the Week following last weekend’s career-first World Cup podium. Fletcher placed third in Seefeld, Austria.
Fletcher has raised the level of his game on the World Cup the past few weeks with the fastest cross-country leg four times, according to a release from the U.S. Ski Team. A strong jump Sunday put him in contention for the podium as he finished 2.9 seconds back from the win in third. Fletcher and his teammates will be back in action with a pair of events this weekend in Klingenthal, Germany.
The Ski Team quoted head Nordic combined coach Dave Jarrett as saying Fletcher’s recent results are the result of a strong work ethic and the faith that he could compete with the top athletes on the World Cup.
“We are psyched for the honor for Taylor,” Jarrett said in the release. “He is competing at this average level and now his average level is good enough for the World Cup podium.”
Fletcher was looking ahead this week.
“It has always been a dream of mine to get a World Cup podium, and now I feel like I can get many more. My level of skiing is rock solid from the great coaching and belief that I can achieve these results,” he said in the release. “Every weekend, I feel as though now I can start to build on my results and slowly start to feel more success. I look forward to a great weekend here in Klingenthal before we head to Sochi,” Russia.
Steamboat skiers compete at Junior World Championships
Several younger Nordic combined skiers from Steamboat also are competing in Europe this week.
Ben Berend again paced the U.S. Nordic combined B Team on Friday at the Junior World Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic.
Berend finished in 26th place.
Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club member Tyler Smith was 28th, Aleck Gantick was 40th and Erik Lynch was 48th.
The competition continues Sunday with a team event.