PARK CITY, Utah (February 6, 2019) – A team of 13 ski jumping and nordic combined athletes has been named to the 2019 World Championship Team that will compete later this month in Seefeld, Austria. The team will compete in a total of ten medal events beneath the Tyrolean Alps from February 22nd to March 2nd. The 2019 Nordic World Championships will feature a women’s ski jumping team event for the first time ever.
The team includes four men and four women on the jumping team, along with five men qualifying for the nordic combined team. Selection was made based on world rankings throughout the season.
Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) will arrive in Seefeld as one of the best skiers in the nordic combined field. “With a good day on the ski jumping hill, a lot is possible,” said Nordic Combined Coach Jan Matura.
Jasper Good (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, Wis.) both will enter World Championships with Olympic experience under their belt. “It’s a team with a couple younger guys who have never been at the Championships, so it’s an exciting time for them,” says Head Coach Martin Bayer.
The younger guys are Jared Shumate (Park City, Utah), who just notched a 9th place finish at the Junior World Championships, and Grant Andrews (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), who has enjoyed some success on the Continental Cup. “Each guy has something to bring to the table and this team has a lot of good momentum right now,” said Bayer. That momentum includes multiple top 30 World Cup finishes in the last two weeks for Fletcher, Good, and Loomis, as well as a 10th place finish for youngster Jared Shumate at the Junior World Championships.
Kevin Bickner (Wauconda Ill.) is the leader of the men’s ski jumping team with a team-best 18th place finish on the World Cup this season. Coach Bine Norcic speaks to Bickner’s abilities when he says, “We have high goals for Kevin this year.”
Beyond Bickner, the men’s ski jumping team is bolstered by Casey Larson (Barrington Ill.) who competed in the 2018 Olympics. Larson has experienced championship events but is still young. Andrew Urlaub (Eau Claire, Wis.) and Patrick Gasienica (Mchenry, Ill.) will be new to such a large event.
Gasienica, whose father was a ski jumper in Poland, showed his improvement this season with stellar results on the FIS Cup, earning him a spot at the World Championships. Urlaub jumped into the top 30 at the Junior World Championships in Lahti, Finland earlier this season. “He is getting closer to the best jumpers in the world his age,” says coach Jan Druzina, who has taken these junior jumpers under his wing. Druzina goes on to say, “The main goal for the young guys is to perform well in their first big event of their lives and to learn from the best in the world,”
The women’s ski jumping team will consist of three veterans including Nita Englund (Florence, Wis.), Nina Lussi (Lake Placid, N.Y.), who has returned in strong form from last season’s knee injury, and Tara Geraghty-Moats (Fairlee, Vt.) – a two-sport wonder.
Englund has garnered some strong results of late. “Nita has proved she can be in the top 15,” said Head coach Igor Cuznar. “Her jumping is getting better at just the right time.”
The new addition to this team will be Logan Sankey (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) who has gained valuable experience on the World Cup this season, experience she can definitely use at World Championships. “Seefeld is a great venue where we are all excited to come together and compete with the best in the world,” says coach Nick Hendrickson.
2019 FIS World Championship Team
Men’s Nordic Combined Team
Taylor Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
Jasper Good, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
Ben Loomis, Eau Claire, Wis. (Flying Eagles Ski Club)
Jared Shumate, Park City, Utah (Park City Ski & Snowboard)
Grant Andrews, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
Men’s Ski Jumping Team
Kevin Bickner, Wauconda, Ill. (Norge Ski Club)
Patrick Gasienica, Mchenry, Ill. (Norge Ski Club)
Casey Larson, Barrington, Ill. (Norge Ski Club)
Andrew Urlaub, Eau Claire, Wis. (Flying Eagles Ski Club)
Women’s Ski Jumping Team
Nita Englund, Florence, Wis. (Kiwanis Ski Club)
Tara Geraghty-Moats, West Fairlee, Vt. (New York Ski Educational Foundation)
Nina Lussi, Lake Placid, N.Y. (New York Ski Educational Foundation)
Logan Sankey, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
Friday, February 22
Nordic combined HS130/10k
Saturday, February 23
Men’s HS130 ski jumping
Sunday, February 24
Nordic combined team sprint
Men’s team HS130 ski jumping
Tuesday, February 26
Women’s team HS109 ski jumping
Wednesday, February 27
Women’s HS109 ski jumping
Thursday, February 28
Nordic combined HS109/10k
Men’s HS109 ski jumping qualifying
Friday, March 1
Men’s HS109 ski jumping
Saturday, March 2
Nordic combined HS109/4x5km team event
Mixed gender HS109 team ski jumping