Park City, Utah (January 23, 2023) – Last weekend, USA Nordic Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined athletes competed at different World and Continental Cups across Europe. USA Nordic athletes also competed in the 2023 World University Games in Lake Placid, New York. The week was highlighted by Niklas Malacinski, who won a total of four medals at the 2023 World University Games for Men’s Nordic Combined.
World University Games – Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping
The first Ski Jumping events at the World University Games took place on January 16th, with the Men’s and Women’s Individual HS100 competitions. Logan Gundry was the sole Men’s Ski Jumping athlete to compete, putting together jumps of 63.5 and 64.5 meters (111.3 points) as he finished the day in 22nd place. Cara Larson and Anna Zigman then competed for Women’s Ski Jumping in the Individual HS100 event. Larson finished 6th overall, after jumping to 78.5 and 81.5 meters, for a total of 178.2 points. Zigman finished 11th overall, with jumps of 56.5 and 60.5 meters, for a total of 76.2 points.
The next event took place on January 18th, as Larson and Gundry competed in the Mixed Team HS100 event. In the first round, Larson jumped to 71.0 meters, with Gundry adding a 64.0 meter jump of his own. In the final round, Larson jumped to 74.5 meters and Gundry jumped to 66.5 meters, as they finished 6th overall on the day (236.4 total points).
The final Ski Jumping event of the World University Games came on January 20th, as Larson and Zigman competed in the Women’s Team HS100 event. Larson put together jumps of 77.0 and 81.0 meters, with Zigman going 53.5 and 58.0 meters, finishing the day 5th overall (217.2 total points).
For Men’s Nordic Combined, Niklas Malacinski and Evan Nichols kept their momentum rolling. After Malacinski earned two silver medals at the first two Nordic Combined events, Nichols and Malacinski then competed in the Team Sprint HS100/4×1.5 event. On the hill, Malacinski carded a 86.5 meter jump, with Nichols going 88.5 meters, as they totaled 216.8 points. This put the duo in second place, +0:25 behind first place. In the 4×1.5 race, Nichols and Malacinski were able to ski up, as they finished 1st overall with a total time of 24:26.1.
The final event for Nordic Combined came on January 19th, as Malacinski, Cara Larson and Erin Bianco, competed in the Mixed Team HS100/2×2.5km event. On the hill, Larson jumped to 80.5 meters, followed by a 89.5 meter jump from Malacinski, giving the team a total of 188.2 points and putting them in 5th place to start the 2×2.5km race. Malacinski and Bianco were then able to ski up during the race, as they finished 3rd overall, earning a bronze medal.
“The 2023 World University Games was a great experience,” said USA Nordic athlete, Niklas Malacinski. “The ceremonies and the environment were amazing. Thank you to Lake Placid for hosting such an awesome event.”
Men’s Nordic Combined – Klingenthal World Cups
After a two week break from competition, Men’s Nordic Combined kicked-off the action in Klingenthal, Germany, on January 21st. The first World Cup of the weekend was a HS140/10km event, as Stephen Schumann, Ben Loomis and Jared Shumate took the hill. Loomis jumped his way to 41st place, with a 118.0 meter jump for 87.1 points. Schumann was close behind in 45th with a 115.0 meter jump, giving him 80.4 points. Shumate rounded things off, as he jumped to 107.5 meters for 68.4 points. During the 10km race, Schumann was able to ski up, as he finished 37th overall (27:54.4 total time). Loomis skied up as well, finishing 38th overall, after a course time of 28:59.9. Shumate ended the day 43rd overall, as he was able to cover some ground, finishing the course in 28:51.7.
The final World Cup event of the weekend was a Mass Start HS140/10km competition. During the Mass Start, Schumann had the best finish of the day for USA Nordic, as he placed 12th overall with a total time of 28:59.3. Shumate placed 43rd during the Mass Start (30:47.0 total time), and Loomis finished the race 49th overall (31:14.4 total time). On the hill, Schumann jumped to 108.5 meters, finishing the day 37th overall with 73.0 points. Loomis followed in 41st (118.0 meters, 67.3 points), with Shumate in 49th (115.5 meters, 55.5 points).
Men’s Ski Jumping – Sapporo World Cups
Action in Sapporo started off with an HS137 Qualification on January 20th. Decker Dean was able to qualify, as he placed 32nd overall, jumping to 119.0 meters for 95.7 points. Casey Larson was not permitted to start during the HS137 Qualification. Later that night, during the first Individual HS137 World Cup of the weekend, Dean was able to put together a 110.0 meter jump in the first round. This gave him a total of 89.2 points, as he finished the day 45th overall, as he was unable to advance to the final round.
Both Dean and Larson were both able to qualify during the second HS137 Qualification on January 21st. Dean placed 34th overall, going 127.5 meters for 103.1 points. Larson followed in 36th, as he jumped to 122.0 meters for 101.8 points. During the first round of competition in the second Individual HS137 World Cup, Larson jumped his way to 38th place, carding a 122.5 meter jump for 104.3 points. Dean placed 43rd overall, going 115.5 meters for 94.8 points, as both Larson and Dean were unable to qualify for the final round.
Larson was then able to qualify for the final Individual HS137 World Cup on January 22nd, as he placed 48th overall (114.0 meters, 84.3 points). Dean barely missed the cut for qualification, placing 53rd overall, with a jump of 107.0 meters for 71.1 points. For the final World Cup event of the weekend, Larson was able to place 46th overall (115.5 meters, 79.7 points), as he did not qualify for the final round.
Men’s Ski Jumping – Eisenerz Continental Cup
Andrew Urlaub was the sole USA Nordic athlete to attend the Men’s Ski Jumping Continental Cup events in Eisenerz, Austria. During the weekend’s first HS109 Continental Cup on January 21st, Urlaub was able to card a 24th place finish. Putting together jumps of 94.0 and 98.5 meters, Urlaub was able to earn 214.7 points. Urlaub continued to impress during the weekend’s final HS109 Continental Cup event , as he jumped to 98.5 and 99.0 meters. Urlaub was able to notch a 27th place finish, after totaling 222.5 points on the day.