Young Nordic combined skiers compete in Lake Placid | SteamboatToday.com

Young Nordic combined skiers compete in Lake Placid

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

— Five Steamboat Springs athletes took to the jumps in Lake Placid, New York, Sunday in search of titles at the U.S. National Ski Jumping "normal hill" championships.

The local skiers didn't find the top of the podium at the event, but that didn’t stop them from walking away with results coaches are hoping the athletes can build on heading into a busy winter.

"I'm thrilled," said Todd Wilson, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Nordic director. "Our guys did a great job and should be really happy with where they placed. "

The event was won by Park City special jumper William Rhoads, who claimed his third national title. He cleaned up with the two longest jumps of the competition. He flew 101 meters on his first attempt and then backed it up with a jump of 106 meters on his second.

He easily won the event with 280 points — 25 more than second-place finisher Kevin Bickner. Casey Larson place third with a score of 249.5 points.

Top Steamboat finishers included Elijah Vargas in 10th (150.5 points), Decker Dean in 12th (131 points) and Brenden Andrews in 23rd. Bennett Gamber also made the trip to Lake Placid.

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Steamboat's top finish, however, wasn't on the men's side.

Skiing sensation Logan Sankey placed fifth in the women's event.

Sankey, who is currently taking classes at Dartmouth while training with the U.S. Women's Team, combined jumps of 62 and 65.5 meters to collect 105.5 points. She placed just a point-and-a-half behind fourth-place finisher Samantha Macula of the Intermountain Division.

Tara Geraghty-Moats of Vermont held off Lake Placid's Nina Lussi to win her first national title.

The normal hill championships were part of the annual Flaming Leaves Festival, which also included a second event Saturday as part of the two-day festival.

The local jumpers fared well in the junior division at that event where Dean combined jumps of 92 and 97 meters for 245 points and the win. He topped Intermountain ski jumper Robert Lock, who was second at 238. Dean's teammate Vargas was third with 232 points.

Members of the U.S. Nordic combined team were in Europe and did not compete in the final national ski jumping event.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966