Lodwick's hot streak

Olympian finishes fifth in mass start event in Japan

Todd Lodwick added another solid result to his long list of top-10 finishes Sunday during a mass start event in Sapporo, Japan.

Lodwick placed fifth in the race, which featured a unique format in which skiers complete a 10-kilometer cross country race followed by two rounds of jumping. The field of athletes is cut to the top-30 after the first round of jumping is completed.

Lodwick fell into the No. 17 position after the cross country race but posted the third best jumping performance to move up in the final results.

American teammates Johnny Spillane posted a 23rd place finish and Carl Van Loan finished 30th.

Finland's Hannu Manninen won the race in a time of 23 minutes, 45.1 seconds to secure his position among the top in the world.

Samppa Lajunen, who finished just 15 seconds behind his teammate from Finland, took second.

The victory helped Manninen (870) move past Germany's Ronny Ackermann (795) for the overall World Cup lead. Lajunen is in third at 667 points, Germany's Sebastian Haseney is fourth with 591 and Austria's Felix Gottwald is fifth with 549.

Lodwick is sixth with 487 total points but has made it clear his goal is to move up before the end of the season.

The result was Lodwick's ninth top-10 finish since Dec. 12 when he placed eighth in a sprint event in Val di Fiemme, Italy. Since then, Lodwick has moved steadily up the World Cup standings.

The athletes were scheduled to compete in a Nordic Combined Sprint event today in Japan before the tour moves back to Germany for a pair of events in Oberstdorf.

--To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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