Steamboaters shine in Park City | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboaters shine in Park City

— Bryan Fletcher took the spotlight for Steamboat Springs by winning his second consecutive U.S. Nordic combined National Championships, but last week's Springer Tournee competition and camp in Park City, Utah, was far from a one-race event, and it was deep with Steamboat athletes.

Todd Wilson, Ski jumping and Nordic combined director for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, said local athletes thrived on the trip. Few came away with better results than Decker Dean, the 14-year old who's emerged as one of the program's top young jumpers.

Competing Friday, he jumped to the top of the standings in the HS100 hill in the U20 special jumping division, a fine feat for anyone, but even more impressive considering he's only 14 years old and was competing with athletes who were as much as five years older.

He won with 224 points based on a jump of 92.5 meters.

"We knew he would do well and that the 92.5-meter jump was a great one, but we had no idea he was going to win," Wilson said. "For his age, he has really good technique, and he's a great flier who can handle himself in a lot of different conditions."

That was just one result of a heap of strong ones for Steamboat. In that event, Grant Andrews was seventh, Koby Vargas 13th, Nolan Sankey 27th, Bennett Gamber 29th and Brenden Andrews 30th in the same division.

Recommended Stories For You

Logan Sankey was fifth among the U20 women, while Bryan Fletcher was fourth, Ben Berend seventh, Taylor Fletcher ninth, Adam Loomis 11th, Jasper Good 14th and Michael Ward 16th in the senior men's class.

Bryan Fletcher was seventh, Taylor Fletcher ninth, Loomis 10th, Berend 11th, Ward 14th, Andrews 15th, Dean 26th and Vargas 27th in the senior men's class on the K120 hill.

Dean was fourth, Gamber 13th, Brendan Andrews 14th, Gunnar Gilbertson 17th and Erik Belshaw 18th on the HS68 hill in the U16 class, while Nolan Sankey was fourth on that jump in the U18 division.

Annika Belshaw, participating this summer in the Fly Girls camp, was fifth on the HS68 hill in U16. Logan Sankey was fourth in the U18 class.

Belshaw won the U14 division on the HS42 hill, while Alexa Brabec was seventh and Tess Arnone ninth. Gilbertson was sixth in boys U14, Erik Belshaw seventh, Tommy Mewborn 17th and Reid Sias 18th.

On the HS20, Alexa Brabec won the U12 girls competition. Shea Sias was fourth on the HS15 in the U10 girls division.

"Alexa had the longest jump on that U20 hill, boys or girls," Wilson said. "That was her first time to Park City, and often, when it’s your first time going to something like that, you're not your best, but she did a really great job."

In Nordic combined competition, Shea Sias was second among the U10 girls. Tess Arnone was second in the U14 girls division, Gilbertson second, Erik Belshaw third and Reid Sias fourth in the U14 boys skiing class. Annika Belshaw was first in U14 girls, Tommy Mewborn seventh in U14 boys running class, Brenden Andrews second in U16 boys and Gamber third.

In the senior results, Fletcher won, followed by Loomis, 5 seconds back, Taylor Fletcher, 47 seconds back, Ward in fourth, Good in fifth, Berend in sixth, Grant Andrews in eighth and Dean in 14th.

"We had a really, really great week of training," Wilson said. "The Springer Tournee is a week the whole North American ski jumping and Nordic combined community can get together. There were about 150 athletes there, and it was a week of training and testing and coaches seminars and stuff for parents. Those older guys become mentors to the younger kids and lead training groups, and it's all just amazing."

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9