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    Thursday, January 1, 1998

    Todd Lodwick wins Nordic combined, Casey Colby takes ski jump at Olympic trials

     LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) -- Never underestimate the power of the almighty dollar. Todd Lodwick certainly doesn't.
     Even though he had already secured a spot on the U.S. Olympic ski team, Lodwick overcame a bad second jump in the Nordic combined on Wednesday, made up a 21-second deficit in the cross-country portion of the competition and edged Tim Tetreault by a foot to capture the event and the first-place prize money.
     "I'm bummed about the $10,000," said the 27-year-old Tetreault, of Steamboat Springs, Colo. "It's nice to win money in a sport that you (normally) don't. It's the one chance we get to make some money."
     It seemed like Tetreault's lucky day when the gusting winds whipped Lodwick just a little bit off course on the second and final ski jump. Tetreault finished in first place with 243 points, 11 more than Lodwick, and, under the Gunderson method of converting jump points in time, gained an important 21-second starting advantage for the 7.5-kilometer cross-country race.
     "I wasn't really happy with my second jump, but that's ski jumping. Mother Nature plays a big part," Lodwick said.
     Lodwick, 21, also of Steamboat Springs, stormed back and gained the lead before the two reached the halfway mark of the ski race.
     "I knew Todd had the potential to catch me," Tetreault said. "I didn't expect him to catch me that fast. I knew he's skiing faster than I am. I thought that he would catch me with a good race. But once I knew he was coming up -- I could hear him -- I knew at that point he was going to catch me and it was going to be a sprint to the finish."
     Lodwick made up most of the deficit on the first lap but was unable to break away. That set up a scintillating finish. Racing ski-to-ski, Tetreault tried to pass in the closing strides, to no avail.
     Lodwick won by a mere half-second, with Steamboat's Dave Jarett, who had the second-best time, 67 seconds back in third.
     "To get around Todd I would have had to go 10 meters further, faster, or even more, because it's a curved entryway into the sprint and finish," Tetreault said. "If you have the lead there around the corner, you've got to be much faster to get around.
     "Todd played it smart. He stayed in the lead. I could have taken the lead earlier and tried to stay in front. I made a move around the stadium, but then I would have to go out wider and it was kind of wind-blown snow, so I figured I had to stay where it was faster."
     Tetreault's wallet may be thinner than he might like, but he expects to be on a plane to Nagano, Japan, in February for the Winter Games.
     "I'm not worried about making the Olympic team," Tetreault said. "That's going to happen. The way I skied today I'll make the Olympic team, no questions asked. I'm feeling good about it. Both Todd and I are skiing well right now. For the team, we have a great chance at a medal."
     Jarrett and Bill Demong of Vermontville, N.Y., also are expected to make the U.S. Olympic team.
     Before the Steamboat Springs contingent staged its dogged duel, hometown favorite Casey Colby edged Randy Weber of Steamboat Springs to win the ski jump and gain the lone spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
     Colby, who comes from a family of jumpers spanning three generations, had jumps of 90 and 92 meters for 238.5 points. Weber, stronger on style, finished with 235 points on jumps of 88.5 and 90 meters.
     "It's exhilarating and it's a relief," said the 23-year-old Colby, who handed the winner's bouquet of flowers to his proud grandmother. "To compete at home is a great help. I get to come home for Christmas, sleep in my own bed.
     "There are other ways to qualify, but not doing well here certainly would have put pressure on me a lot more. I was just trying to picture my own jump and not worry about anybody else."
     Olympic Trials Results
     LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) -- Results Wednesday of Nordic combined competition, with jump points, 7.5-kilometer cross-country time, and final score computed to margin behind the winner, and normal hill jumping, with jump distances and points, on Wednesday in the U.S. Ski Team Olympic trials:
     Nordin Combined
     1. Todd Lodwick, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 116.0 jump points, 20 minutes, 52.9 seconds, 0.00.
     2. Tim Tetreault, Norwich, Vt., 121.50, 21:14.4, 0.5 seconds behind.
     3. Dave Jarrett, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 1 minute, 7 seconds.
     4. Bill Demong, Vermontville, N.Y., 1:42.3.
     5. Carl Van Loan, Webster, N.H., 3:28.9.
     6. Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 4:03.9.
     7. Matt Dayton, Breckenridge, Colo., 4:29.2.
     8. Jed Hinckley, Andover, N.H., 4:37.2.
     9. Dillon Keane, Salt Lake City, Utah, 8:21.5.
     10. Brian Miller, Park City, Utah, 9:31.5.
     11. Chris Broz, Eden Prairie, Minn., 10:31.1
     Matt Keuler, Bloomington, Minn., did not finish.
     Normal Hill
     1. Casey Colby, Lake Placid, N.Y., 90 and 92 meters, 238.5 points.
     2. Randy Weber, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 88.5 and 90, 235.0.
     3. Brendon Doran, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 88 and 89.5, 227.5.
     4. Mike Keuler, Bloomington, Minn., 81 and 85, 204.5.
     5. Tim Martin, Maple Grove, Minn., 77 and 86, 192.5.
     6. Alan Alborn, Anchorage, Alaska, 74 and 84.5, 188.0.
     7. Ben Erlandson, Madison, Wis., 75 and 84.5, 187.5.
     8. Kip Kopelke, Lake Placid, N.Y., 72.5 and 74.5, 164.5.
     9. Andrew Newcomb, Park City, Utah, 68 and 74.5, 151.0.
     10. Casey Pratt, Heber City, Utah, 69 and 69, 142.0.
     11. Kyle Buros, Westby, Wis., 71.5 and 66, 140.0.
     12. Rob Jones, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 64.5 and 71, 138.5.
     13. Hartman Rector, Salt Lake City, Utah, 68 and 67.5, 134.5.
     14. Kyle Wylie, Madison, Wis., 70 and 64.5, 134.0.
     15. Kip Lutu, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 72 and 61, 131.5.
     16. Robert Sammons, Madison, Wis., 60 and 72, 129.5.
     17. Steve Habovstack, Park City, Utah, 62 and 70.5, 127.0.