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USA’s Loomis Third in Nordic Combined 10km at FIS Junior World Championships

release by USA Nordic

January 30, 2018 (Park City, Utah) – USA Nordic athlete Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, WI) climbed the podium today, finishing 3rd in the 10 kilometer individual event at the FIS Junior World Championships. It was the first individual medal since 2002, when Alex Glueck and Nathan Gerhart were 2nd and 3rd in Schonach, Germany, and only the fourth US individual medal ever.

Junior Men's NC 10k (l-r) Oftebro 2nd, Pazout 1st, Loomis 3rd [P] jwsc2018.
Blue skies and fast snow conditions set the stage for a hard fight today at the event in Kandersteg, Switzerland. Conditions on the hill were fair, with a slight breeze for the round of jumping. Loomis began the race in seventh, after a solid performance on the hill.

“Jumping was pretty good today, but I know I can improve,” said Loomis. “Overall it’s been consistently getting better and better so I’m happy with the direction things are going.”

Loomis began the race 38 seconds behind the leader. Within the first few kilometers a pack was formed with places third through seventh, and the chase was on. Loomis skied smart, jockeying for position when necessary and trading off the lead in the chase pack, but never going out of his comfort zone.

“It was definitely a really hard race,” said Loomis. “I had some ground to make up after the jumping, but I was able to push hard and ski a really smart race and I’m very happy with the outcome.”

“I was able to finish on the podium which was my goal for this race,” added Loomis. “It was a really tough course, but the race organizers did a really good job of keeping the course maintained.”

“Now I just want to focus on finishing the week here strong. I think we have a good chance in the team event, so I’m looking forward to putting our best effort into that and seeing what we can do as a team,” said Loomis.

While Loomis was the highlight of the day, he wasn’t the only American who turned in a good performance. Stephen Schumann (Park City, UT) had a strong race, skiing from 29th to 13th with the fifth fastest time. And Jared Shumate (Park City, UT) turned in a solid performance of 29th after skiing the 16th fastest time.

“Today was a great day,” said coach Tomas Matura. “I was a little nervous after we had some trouble in the PCR (provisional competition round) but everyone stepped up and did well today.”

“All of our athletes skied well on the course today,” added Matura. “I was expecting Ben to ski well, but Stephen, Jared surprised me with their times on the course. And Tucker (Hoefler) had a good day as well.”

The next Nordic Combined competition for the men will be the 4x5K Team Sprint on Thursday, February 1.

1. Ondrej Pazout (CZE)
2. Einer Luraas Oftebro (NOR)
3. Ben Loomis (USA)

13. Stephen Schumann (USA)
35. Jared Shumate (USA)
51. Tucker Hoefler (USA)

Full results here.

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