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2004-2005 U.S. Ski Team nordic combined and jumping squads announced


2004-2005 U.S. Ski Team nordic combined and jumping squads announced{mosimage}USSA- Two Steamboat Springs, Colorado Olympians — Todd Lodwick, who won his sixth World Cup event last winter, and sprint world champion Johnny Spillane — headline an eight-member U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team for the 2005 season, U.S. Nordic Director Luke Bodensteiner announced.

At the same time, Bodensteiner said two-time Olympic ski jumper Alan Alborn of Anchorage, Alaska, was coming out of retirement and would be one-half the U.S. Ski Jumping Team next winter along with Olympic teammate Clint Jones of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Lodwick, a three-time Olympian and the most successful nordic combined skier in U.S. history, finished in the top 10 of the World Cup for the seventh straight season. He won his sixth event and had three other top-three finishes. During one stretch, he posted 13 consecutive top-10 results. Spillane, a 1998 and ’02 Olympian, was slowed by sickness through the first half of the 2004 season but in the final month he had two top fives and two other top 10s.

The 2005 team, which includes five Olympians (* – designates 2002 Olympian):

A Team
Eric Camerota (19; Park City, UT)
Bill Demong* (24; Vermontville, NY)
Todd Lodwick* (27; Steamboat Springs, CO)
Johnny Spillane* (23; Steamboat Springs, CO)
Carl Van Loan* (23; Webster, NH)

B Team
Brett Camerota (19; Park City,UT)
Alex Glueck (21; Steamboat Springs, CO)
Jed Hinkley* (22; Andover, NH)

“Todd had another strong season, no question, and when Johnny was healthy, he showed he’s a contender every time,” Bodensteiner said. “Beyond that, Bill made some good progress last season (in rebounding from a fractured skull that sidelined him during the 2003 season). Carl had outstanding results on World Cup-B and earned a spot on the World Cup tour, and Eric was fifth and ninth at World Juniors, so he’s got an automatic start spot on the World Cup, which will give him a lot of experience in a hurry.

“These guys work together so well as a team but they’re also pushing each other to do better. With Todd and Johnny out front, it’s a tremendous group that’s only going to get better,” the director said.

In jumping, where Corby Fisher has moved over from jump coach for the combined team to be jumping team head coach, Bodensteiner said Alborn’s return will help both him and Jones, who was the one-man U.S. jumping squad last winter. Alborn, who also competed in the 1998 Olympics and holds the U.S. distance mark (221.5 meters), retired after the 2003 season. He’s a five-time U.S. champion. Jones is a two-time national champion.

“Alan took a year off because he was burned out and it made him realize how much he missed jumping,” Bodensteiner said. “His knee’s fine and his mental approach his whole attitude is terrific, so we’re excited he’s coming back. I think we’re going to see some outstanding results out of him and Clint this season. They bring different skills as athletes and each is going to help the other progress.”

In addition, there will be a four-man development team for jumping: Anders Johnson (15; Park City, UT), Chris Francis (17; Park City, UT), Blake Hughes (17; Park City, UT) and Kyle Kessler (18; Eden Prairie, MN).



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