PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Bryan Fletcher qualified for his second consecutive Olympic team in Nordic Combined after rallying for a victory at the U.S. Trials on Saturday.
Fletcher finished the 10-kilometer cross-country course in 25 minutes, 6.81 seconds to overcome a poor showing in the earlier ski jump. He placed fifth out of nine athletes after jumping a distance of 86.5 meters and scoring 102.3 points.
Ben Loomis earned the lead starting spot heading into the 10K race after scoring 123.2 points on his jump. Loomis jumped a distance of 92.5 meters at a speed of 55.1 mph (88.8 kph).
Fletcher started the 10K race 1 minute, 24 seconds behind Loomis. He made up ground quickly and overtook Loomis toward the end of the fourth lap. From there, Fletcher pulled away just enough to clinch an Olympic spot on his final lap.
Adam Loomis, Ben’s brother, finished second both in the 10K and ski jump. His final time differential was 12.8 seconds behind Fletcher after finishing the 10K in 25 minutes, 47.63 seconds. Ben Loomis dropped to third in the 10K, and Ben Berend took third in the jump.
Taylor Fletcher, Bryan’s younger brother and a member of both the 2010 and 2014 Olympic teams, finished fourth.
Bryan Fletcher was the only qualifier on Saturday. Two more qualifiers for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games will be selected when the trials continue with men’s and women’s ski jumping on Sunday.
More Winter Olympics: https://wintergames.ap.org