The first time I went to the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah was the summer after I turned five. My dad took me and my sister up to see the park and enjoy the rides. But something unexpected happened I met some of the athletes that were ski jumping that day. They lifted me over the barrier at the top and invited me to watch. In sat there for over an hour mesmerized by the jumpers flying through the air, from that moment on I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Only a couple of years after I started jumping my dad introduced me to cross country skiing. This new addition to the sport I already loved, although I may not have realized it then, added a new challenge to my sport and so my years as a Nordic combined athlete began.
Since then I have had some exciting successes and one broken bone (not bad for ten years of ski jumping). To get you up to date I'll start with last winter. Last winter at the start of the year I was jumping very well and skiing fast and managed to qualify for Junior World Ski Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan but due to age restrictions was not able to attend the competition (you have to be 15 to go I was 14). Because I was to young for World Juniors I had to set my sights on something else, Junior National Championships. The entire season was going well with a few wins in small competitions along the way, then came Junior Nationals the event I'd been training for all winter. I had some great jumps that set me ahead in the races where I was able to stay in front having the second fastest time. I came out of this competiton with 4 medals from the four events I competed in. Gold in the individual special jumping and in the Nordic combined, I also got gold with my teammate Jared Shumate in the Nordic Combined team event, and finished third in the special jumping team event (special jumping is just ski jumping without the cross country skiing after).
A few days after that I headed to Trondheim, Norway for the FIS Youth Cup where I finished 3rd the first day and 7th the second day. At the beginning of the summer I was named to the US National Development Team. Because I was named to this team I was privileged enough to go to Europe for 3 weeks in August of 2015 to train and partake in some small competitions. Which brings us to this winter. This winter has been going very well for me so far. In our first race of the year in Steamboat Springs, Colorado I finished in 5th overall. 2nd out of the juniors which meant I was able to compete in the Contenential Cup in Park City on my home jump. So the competitions came as I did well I finished in the top thirty all three days finishing in 25, 26, and 27th scoring a total of 15 points prequalifiying me for world juniors in Rasnov, Romania. Last week we had the final qualifier for world juniors, I didn't have the best jump but knew I had to make the best of it in the race. So starting 1 minute and 58 seconds behind my teammate Ben Loomis and only 30 seconds behind my teammate Tucker Hoefler, and steamboat athlete Koby Vargas I had some work to do. By the end of the race I had caught Tucker and Koby getting second knowing that hopefully I had made it to World Juniors at the acceptable age of 15.