LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Oct. 11) - The U.S. Nordic Combined Team's Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) earned his career first nordic combined national title Saturday during the 2009 U.S. Championships in Lake Placid.
"I've been second and third a lot of times, so it was nice to finally win one," said Spillane, who trailed Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) in the round of jumping, but came back to win the cross country race and the competition overall.
According to the 2003 World Champion, the competition was a success, but moreover, it was a good indicator of what they need to do to prepare for the season ahead.
"It's a good gauge for us to see where we're at before we go into the season. We still have a month and a half before our first World Cup, so we'll continue training and continue making changes before the season starts," Spillane said.
"I was really satisfied with the race, but not as much with the jumping. I have some room for improvement, but was still able to be competitive with the jumps, so I'm happy with the results today."
Hometown hero Demong finished second in the nordic combined competition and was followed in third by Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO).
"I was hoping to win, for sure, with the hometown crowd, but it was good to see Johnny take his first national title as well, so, in all it was a good day," Demong said. "I'm pretty satisfied. It's been a tough couple of weeks with traveling, so I thought today was a good showing for me for where I'm at."
Personal results aside, Demong was pleased to be in front of a hometown crowd, with a good group of athletes and an exciting competition,
"It was good. We had a really good crowd and a good turnout for athletes also," Demong said. "The first round we had a lot of really long jumps, but the conditions were back and forth. But all in all it was a very tight competition."
According to Spillane, the team stays in Lake Placid to train before heading out on the World Cup circuit.
"I think it will be really good training and hopefully we'll start getting some snow somewhere and get ready to go,' Spillane said.
The team next competes November 29th in Finland.
2009 U.S. Championships
Lake Placid, N.Y. - Oct. 11, 2008
Men's Nordic Combined (Jump/10K)
1. Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, CO, (2,1)
2. Billy Demong, Vermontville, NY, (1,3)
3. Todd Lodwick, Steamboat Springs, CO, (3,2)
4. Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO, (4,8)
5. Jason Myslicki, Canada, (7,7)
6. Brett Camerota, Park City, UT, (10,6)
7. Eric Camerota, Park City, UT, (6,10)
8. Willy Graves, Putney, VT, (8,9)
9. Taylor Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO, (16,4)
10. Brett Denney, Steamboat Springs, CO, (14,5)