While the ski jumping team was sending it through the air, the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team was entrenched in some equally heated competitions over the weekend. After the dust settled, it would be veteran Todd Lodwick who would emerge as the leading athlete for the team. Lodwick endeavored to secure his 20th U.S. Championship title, coming from behind to win the competition. Victory seemed like an unlikely conclusion after the skier landed eighth in the jump, however he persevered to make up a deficit of a 1 minute, 7 seconds to earn his victory while skiing the fastest cross country race.
“This win is huge”, exclaimed Lodwick. “For me it’s a benchmark. I won my first U.S. Championship in 1994 and to be U.S. Champ 18 years later is humbling. I’m very fortunate to be doing what I’m doing and have the support system that I have through teammates and coaches and the people around me. I’ve got a lot of training still to do but this is a lot of motivation going into the winter.”
Dave Jarrett, U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team Head Coach was just as impressed with Lodwick come from behind performance, saying, “It was an exciting race. I was surprised that Todd caught up so quickly, but he was strong in Sochi, Russia and is showing that he’s in good shape right now. Todd and Billy [Demong] got in an little entanglement on the course which may or may not have changed the outcome for Todd but for sure it did for Billy and that’s unfortunate, but “rubbing is racing” and it’s going to happen. I was psyched with the way everyone raced under the hot conditions. Thanks to the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow for providing great venues for the competition.”
Joining Lodwick on the podium were teammates Johnny Spillane and Taylor Fletcher. Defending U.S. Champion, Billy Demong ended up getting caught up with his teammates (namely Lodwicks) while coming around a corner, and ended up losing time due to the tight spot.
Park City, UT – Aug 4, 2012
Nordic Combined – Large Hill (HS134)
(jump rank/XC rank) finish time