USA Nordic is coming off possibly its most successful weekend of the season, thank to some strong results from its ski jumpers and nordic combined skiers. Tara Geraghty-Moats (West Fairlee, VT) enjoyed two Continental Cup podiums over the weekend, Kevin Bickner (Wauconda, Ill.) jumped to 5th place in a Continental Cup, and Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) scored his first World Cup points of the season.
Geraghty-Moats led USA Nordic with her double podium weekend in Eisenerz, AUS. In fact, she almost had three podiums as the team finished 4th in the first ever Nordic Combined Mixed Team Event- putting up the fastest team time on the day. “It was a really cool experience to make history together and ski in the first ever mixed team event, I’m so glad FIS Nordic Combined decided to add this event,” said Geraghty-Moats.
The mixed team on Saturday included Annika Malacinski (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, Wis.), and Jared Shumate (Park City, Utah). The athletes all enjoyed taking part in a new event. “It’s very cool to see how far the women have come in a few years, being competitive and just off the podium in the first ever mixed team event was an awesome experience,” says Loomis.
Loomis’ teammate Shumate, who finished 13th in the individual event, had this to say about the team event, ““Kudos to Annika, Tara, and Ben for all skiing amazing and putting us close to the podium. With the last leg of the relay, I tried my absolute hardest to get us there but ran out of steam.” Shumate continued by saying, “That was a great experience and I’m looking forward to more mixed gender team events in the future.”
Taylor Fletcher was the sole American athlete competing on the Nordic Combined World Cup. He made the most of his weekend by skiing into the World Cup points for the first time this season. Fletcher skied from 37th to 28th place, moving up the ranks quickly with the eighth fastest time on the day. “It feels great to be back in the mix, this is only the start,” says Fletcher.
On the ski jumping side, Kevin Bickner found his confidence again on the Continental Cup after a few tough weekends on the World Cup. Bickner jumped to fifth place on Saturday, boasting the second longest jump of the first round. “Being able to show up and consistently have some of the furthest jumps in every round has me very excited to get back to the World Cup and show some far jumps,” says Bickner. The fifth place Saturday was Bickner’s best finish since 2018.
The Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined World Cups both move to Lahti, Finland this weekend. Stay tuned for updates and watch our athletes compete on The Olympic Channel and with the NBC Sports Gold Snow Pass online.