Fifteen-year-old Carter Brubaker of Anchorage, who earlier this year became the first Alaskan to be named to the nordic combined national team, took another step in his young career last weekend.
He earned a spot on the American team headed to January’s Youth Olympic Games in Switzerland.
Brubaker claimed third place at last weekend’s U.S. Cup in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a result that earned him one of two nordic combined spots available for boys on the U.S. team headed to Lausanne.
Competing in the men’s Under 20 division, Brubaker had the fourth-best ski jumping result and the fifth-fastest cross country time to place third overall Saturday in Colorado. Niklas Malacinski of Steamboat Springs won the competition and will join Brubaker in Lausanne pending approval of their nominations by the U.S Olympic Committee. The Youth Olympic Games is an age-group competition for athletes 15 to 18 years old, and Saturday’s second-place finisher is too old to qualify.
Brubaker is the second Alaskan to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games, a quadrennial event first held in 2012. Maja Lapkass, a 16-year-old from Anchorage, qualified for the biathlon team earlier this year.
Another young Alaska skier made a promising international debut last weekend. Anja Schweiger of the Alyeska Ski Club skied in a pair of FIS ski cross races in Red Deer, Alberta, where she showed good improvement from her first race to her second race.
Schwieger, a 17-year-old who goes to Grace Christian High School, finished 17th in a Friday race and jumped to 12th place in a Saturday race.