Ben Loomis of the Flying Eagles Ski Club leads six Americans named to represent the USA at the 2017 USANA Nordic Junior World Ski Championships Jan. 30-Feb. 5. (USSA)
PARK CITY, UT (Jan. 13, 2017) - Six nordic combined skiers have been named to the team that will represent the USA at the International Ski Federation's 2017 USANA Nordic Junior World Ski Championships Jan. 30-Feb. 5 at the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow Nordic Center. It's the first time the global junior event has been held in the USA since 1986 in Lake Placid.
The team was named by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, in collaboration with USA Nordic, following the completion of trials last month and final international events. Selection was based on results of international Continental Cup competitions along with three trials events with jumps at Steamboat Springs, CO and Park City, UT.
The team blends some seasoned veterans with a host of newcomers to international competition.
The team will be led by Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, WI) of the Flying Eagles Ski Club. Loomis was the silver medalist at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway last February and is competing regularly on the World Cup tour. He will be joined by Stephen Schumann (Park City, UT) of Park City Nordic Ski Club. Schumann qualified through Continental Cup points scored in Klingenthal, Germany in December. He and Loomis each won one of the final two trials events in Park City in late December. Also on the team is two-time Junior Worlds veteran Koby Vargas (Steamboat Springs, CO) of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
Among the newcomers to Junior Worlds will be Grant Andrews (Steamboat Springs, CO) of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Andrews had his first international experience last season finishing fourth and 11th in a youth Nordic combined event in Norway. It will be the first international event for both Tucker Hoefler (Park City, UT) of the Park City Nordic Ski Club as well as Elijah Vargas (Steamboat Springs, CO) of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
"It is a great opportunity for these athletes to be able to compete at home against such a strong international field," said Coach Martin Bayer. "We have some great experience on this team, especially with Ben Loomis who showed at the Youth Olympic Games last season that he can compete with the best in the world."
The first competition day is Tuesday, January 31 with individual 10k event. The 4x5k team event is Thursday, Feb. 2 with the final 5k individual event on Saturday, Feb. 4. All jumping is on the HS100m Olympic jump at the Utah Olympic Park with cross country on the Olympic Trails at Soldier Hollow.
2017 USA JUNIOR NORDIC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM (Name, hometown, USSA club, birthdate, age at start of championships) Grant Andrews, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) 12/3/1997 (19) Tucker Hoefler, Park City, UT (Park City Nordic Ski Club) 9/12/1998 (18) Ben Loomis, Eau Claire, WI (Flying Eagles Ski Club) 6/9/1998 (18) * *** Stephen Schumann, Park City, UT (Park City Nordic Ski Club) 3/14/2000 (16) Elijah Vargas, Steamboat Springs CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) 8/5/2000 (16) Koby Vargas, Steamboat Springs, CO (Park City Nordic Ski Club) 5/31/1998 (18) * **
* Member of 2016 Junior Worlds team ** Member of 2015 Junior Worlds team *** Member of 2016 Youth Olympic Games team
2017 USANA FIS NORDIC JUNIOR WORLD SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS Monday, January 30 7:00 p.m. Opening Ceremony (Zermatt Resort, Midway)