SOLDIER HOLLLOW, UTAH (February 4, 2017) – 18 year-old Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, WI) earned his first ever World Junior Championship top-10 with a 9th place finish in the Nordic Combined 5km event. Loomis put himself in a good position with a jump to 10th place on the K90. His result was the third top-10 finish from USA Nordic’s athletes, with Casey Larson and Stephen Schumann both bringing in top-10 finishes earlier in the week.
Vincent Geiger (Germany) brought home the win, fulfilling the high expectations placed on the young athlete, who already has a World Cup podium under his belt. Arttu Maekiaho (Finland) the winner from the 10km event, took Silver, and France’s Laurent Muhlethaler grabbed Bronze.
“I was still struggling a little bit to put my best jump in the competition, but overall I was very happy.” Loomis said in an email. “As the week went on I definitely felt stronger each race. My goals for the 5k competition were to jump into the top ten, and to not lose any ground during the race. I was able to do this, but was still hoping for a higher finish….but to be 9th in the world is very special. I am already looking forward to next years competitions and approaching them with even more experience.”
The US athletes enjoyed their home hill advantage during this week, especially when the conditions got tough. Loomis said, “During the jumping competition we had a snow flurry roll in so the last 20 athletes had to wait for it to pass. I was able to stay relaxed, focused and have my best competition jump of the week. The home hill advantage made a huge difference in my jumping. Prior to this week, I had little jumps on the hill this winter. Luckily, I know the hill well and was able to get in rhythm with the jump very quickly.”
USA’s Stephen Schumann (Park City, UT) finished in 15th, adding another strong result to his 10th-place finish from the 10km. Also for USA was Grant Andrews (Steamboat Springs, CO), who placed 33rd and Tucker Hoefler (Park City, UT) who finished in 46th.
USA’s Nordic Combined Team also finished in 7th in the 4-man relay event on Friday. The team, consisting of Elijah Vargas (Steamboat Springs, CO), Grant Andrews, Stephen Schumann and Ben Loomis, jumped to 6th and finished 2:10 back from Austria, the winning team.
The World Junior Championships wrapped up this weekend. Many of the athletes will be heading to Europe for more competitions, with Continental Cups in Austria and Slovenia in the coming weeks.
February 4th 5km results.
February 3rd Team results.