Nordic: Update from Otepaa, Estonia Jan. 27

Cross Country: Hoffman leads U.S. in 9th, Russia sweeps

The U.S. Ski Team’s Noah Hoffman took ninth in the men’s 15k freestyle today (Jan. 27). This gives the U.S. a strong start at the FIS U23 World Ski Championships in Otepaa, Estonia. The event was swept by Russia with Evgeniy Belov in first, Pavel Vikulikin second and Raul Shakirzianov third. 

“Any day we can get an athlete in the top 10 is a great day,” said U23 Cross Country Coach Matt Whitcomb. “I’m happy with Noah’s race, that being said it wasn’t his best race…but he caught a pretty nice ride and skied back into it.”

Building upon his U.S. SuperTour victory in Lake Placid, NY earlier this month, Hoffman raced to a 36:42.4 on the pristine Otepaa course, just over a minute behind winner Evgeniy Belov of Russia. The U.S. also saw Central Cross Country Skiing’s Tad Elliot (Durango, CO) race to 19th and University of Alaska-Fairbanks’s Alexander Treinen (Anchorage) to 35th.

In the women’s 10k freestyle, American Sadie Bjornsen (Methow, WA) of Alaska Pacific University took 23rd with a time of 29:31.1, followed closely by University of Vermont’s Caitlin Patterson (Anchorage) in 26th and Alaska Pacific University’s Rebecca Rorabaugh (Hanover, NH) in 29th.

”Today’s race was very fair,” said Whitcomb. “We had great conditions and really good skis prepared by the wax staff.

The organizers pulled off a great race.”

Next up for the U.S. Nordic Team are the classic pursuit races on Monday, Jan. 31.

Ski Jumping: Hendrickson leads U.S., Mattel wins in World Junior Ski Jumping

Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) was the top U.S. finisher in 18th as the FIS World Junior Ski Jumping Championships in Otepaa, Estonia opened up action Thursday with the women’s HS 100. Coline Mattel of France grabbed gold.

Mattel clinched the win with a score of 257.5 and jumps of 96.5 and 98.5m. Slovenia’s Spela Rogeli earned silver and Japan’s Yuki Ito, who recorded the longest jump of the day (99m), took bronze.

Hendrickson’s score of 178.0 with jumps of 87 and 87.1 meters was followed up by fellow Americans Nita Englund (Iron Mountain, MI) in 28th, Avery Ardovino (Park City, UT) in 37th and Nina Lussi (Lake Placid, NY) in 38th.

The FIS World Junior Ski Jumping Championship men’s HS 100 is scheduled for Friday.

Nordic Combined: Field Leads U.S., Rydzek wins Junior World Championships Normal Hill/10k

Johannes Rydzek (GER) won the first of three Nordic Combined events today (Jan. 27) at the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships in Otepää, Estonia. Rydzek led the Normal Hill/10 km event in front of Marjan Jelenko (SLO) and Kaarel Nurmsalu (EST).

Clifford Field led the Americans in 19th with Nick Hendrickson in 22nd, Michael Ward in 36th and Erik Lynch in 42nd.

The ski jumping portion held on Tehvandi hill (HS100.0m) was won by Nurmsalu with 96.5 meters for a total of 128.0 points with Rydzek (93.5 m/121.0 points) second and Jelenko (93.5 m/120.5 points) in third.

Nurmsalu started the cross country with a 28 second advantage on Rydzek and 30 seconds on Jelenko. Japan’s Reruhi Shimizu followed by 44 seconds, and in fifth, Manuel Faisst (GER) followed by more than one minute (1:06).

As expected, Rydzek and Jelenko quickly closed the gap to the leader leaving a Nurmsalu with only a 7 second advantage at 2.5 km. In the second lap, the trio led together. When Rydzek turned on the speed in the last lap,  Nurmsalu, then Jenko were unable able to follow and the German crossed the finish line first to victory.

“When I competed last year (in Hinterzarten, Germany) I was really nervous, because everybody was looking at my performance and so I couldn’t handle the pressure. This year I was better prepared, especially mentally,” said Rydzek. “I showed my best performance today. I tried to make my race to get Kaarel and then see how strongly I can go. It worked very well for me.”

At the finish line, Rydzek was the new World Champion, 47.8 seconds in front of Jelenko and 1:02.5 minutes ahead of Nurmsalu. Fourth place went to Wendel, who delivered the fastest time in the cross-country (25:18.3).



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