Berend leads U.S. skiers at junior worlds

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— The FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships kicked off for Nordic combined athletes Thursday, putting a handful of Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes to the test.

Competing in a normal hill 10-kilometer event in Val di Fiemme, Italy, Steamboat’s Ben Berend led the way for United States skiers, finishing 26th. He jumped to 15th place but wasn’t able to defend that position in the skiing portion of the event.

Jasper Good was 34th, skiing his way up from 42nd place. Aleck Gantick gained five spots, moving into 36th place and Nicholas Madden was 49th overall after jumping 31st.

Two more Nordic combined events remain in the championships, a normal hill event with a 5-kilometer race is set for Sunday and a team race will take place Monday.

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