Oberwiesenthal, Germany (August 28, 2023) – Men’s and Women’s Nordic Combined kicked off the FIS Summer Grand Prix circuit in Oberwiesenthal, Germany, this past weekend. Stephen Schumann and Grant Andrews were able to record new Summer Grand Prix personal bests, with Annika Malacinski and Alexa Brabec each recording top twenty finishes.
Men’s Nordic Combined got things started on Saturday, August 26th, as athletes took the hill for the HS105/10km Summer Grand Prix event. Grant Andrews recorded an 85.0 meter jump, tallying 83.7 points, which put him in 25th place for the start of the 10km race. Stephen Schumann jumped to 79.5 meters for a total of 69.3 points, placing him 33rd overall for the 10km. During the 10km, Schumann was able to ski up, recording a course time of 27:15.1 and placing 19th overall for a new Summer Grand Prix personal best. Andrews finished the 10km race in 29:20.1, placing 26th overall, notching a new Summer Grand Prix personal best.
Women’s Nordic Combined followed, with the athletes competing in a HS105/5km Summer Grand Prix event. Annika Malacinski put together an 84.0 meter jump for a total of 77.1 points, putting her in the 14th position for the 5km race. Alexa Brabec followed in 19th place, as she jumped to 79.5 meters for 66.2 total points. During the 5km race, Malacinski was able to ski up, finishing 13th overall with a 18:01.1 course time. Brabec was close behind, finishing the 5km race in 17:22.4, as she ended the competition with a 16th place finish.
The final event of the weekend came on Sunday, August 27th, as athletes competed in the Mixed Team Sprint HS105/2x6km Summer Grand Prix event. The duo of Andrews and Brabec finished 14th overall on the hill, with Brabec jumping to 71.5 meters and Andrews going 95.0 meters, totaling 149.8 points. The duo of Malacinski and Schumann were right behind in 15th place, with Malacinski going 83.0 meters and Schumann going 79.0, giving them a total of 140.4 points. Schumann (11:15.5 total time) and Malacinski (13:50.1 total time) were then able to cover some ground in the 2x6km, placing 10th overall. Andrews (11:59.1 total time) and Brabec (13:58.3) were able to ski up as well, ending their weekend with an 11th place finish in the Mixed Team event.
“I was really happy with my racing, but was a bit underwhelmed by the jumping competition,” said USA Nordic Athlete, Stephen Schumann. “The level was higher before Oberwiesenthal, and I’m looking to get back there for the next summer Grand Prix competitions.”
“Extremely pumped about being back on the hill and course with all of the other Nordic Combined girls. The environment is so exhilarating and adrenaline pumping, I think it gets us girls excited for the opportunity in the upcoming season,” said USA Nordic Athlete, Annika Malacinski. “One of the reasons I love summer Grand Prix is the stress free feeling of know it’s all practice for the winter season. There’s no one to impress and no weighted results throughout the 10 days, which in my opinion is the best way to prepare for the winter. All and all, I’m just super excited to be back and I can’t wait to see my future success.”
Men’s and Women’s Nordic Combined will be back in action August 29th-30th, as athletes will travel to Oberstdorf, Germany, for the next stop in the FIS Summer Grand Prix circuit. Athletes will compete in one Summer Grand Prix event on Wednesday, August 30th, with event information being available on the FIS website.