Bryan Fletcher steals spotlight in Austria
Brothers take turns leading the way in summer Grand Prix
Bryan Fletcher had a strong showing on the cross-country course on Wednesday in Tschagguns, Austria, moving from 40th position all the way up to 15th.
A tight competition on the jump hill made for a closely-packed field, with Fletcher going out only a minute from a place on the podium. Maintaining a good, consistent pace, Fletcher was able to move up the results each of the four 2.5-kilometer laps. When he crossed the finish line, not only had Fletcher moved up 25 places, but he had turned in the sixth-fastest time of the day.
“I’m happy with my race,” said Fletcher, “I put in a good race…paced it well so I was able to finish strong.”
First place was claimed by German skier Fabian Riessle, moving up from eighth position after the jumping. This was the second podium for Riessle in the summer Grand Prix season, but his first win.
Second place went to Mario Seidl of Austria. Seidl had a great showing on the jump hill, soaring 104.5 meters and giving him a lead of 31 seconds over second place. Unfortunately, Riessle proved the strongest in a four-way sprint between Seidl, third-place finisher Ilkka Herola of Finland and German teammate Eric Frenzel, who missed the podium by a tenth of a second.
While the showing for Fletcher was a highlight for his summer, and shows that he is moving in a positive direction going into the winter, Fletcher wasn’t the only highlight. Ben Berend also had a great day in his own right, jumping to 30th in the tight competition with the addition of a strong race that put Berend in 34th at the end of the day. Taylor Fletcher turned in another great time, skiing the second-fastest race of the day, two seconds faster than older brother Bryan.
Bryan Fletcher, 15th place
Ben Berend, 34th place
Taylor Fletcher, 41st place
Jasper Good, 58th place
Next stop on the tour will take the skiers to Oberstdorf, Germany, for a pair of individual competitions on Friday, Aug. 25, and Saturday, Aug.26.
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The Park City High School track team concluded its season on May 17 and 18 at the Class 4A state championship meet at Brigham Young University.