Dayton retires from U.S. Nordic team
PARK CITY, Utah – Fourteen athletes, including 13 members of the 2002 Olympic team, were named Friday to the U.S. Nordic Ski Team for next season.
Frisco’s Matt Dayton was not among them. After fulfilling his dream of competing in the Salt Lake City Olympics in February, Dayton has retired from competition. He is getting married today and will return to Regis College in the fall to complete an undergraduate degree.
According to his mother, Terese, Matt may consider a comeback after graduating from Regis.
“We’re encouraging him to finish this year of school then really make a final decision,” Terese Dayton said. “It’s been a long road to get to Salt Lake City. Right now, he does not want to focus on his athletics in his first year of marriage.”
Most of his Olympic teammates on the Nordic Combined team will return next season. Team leader Todd Lodwick, 26, of Steamboat Springs, who won a World Cup event last season and placed fifth in the sprint at the Olympics, will be back. He will be joined by Bill Demong, 22, Vermontville, N.Y.; Nathan Gerhart, 19, Steamboat Springs; Johnny Spillane, 21, Steamboat Springs; and Carl Van Loan, 21, Webster, N.H.
The only non-Olympian was 19-year-old Nathan Gerhart of Steamboat Springs, the bronze medalist in combined at the 2002 Nordic world junior championships.
Leading the jumping team is 21-year-old Alan Alborn of Anchorage, Alaska, who set a personal record of 221 meters last season, the best U.S. jumping performance since 1992.
The other jumpers are Clint Jones, 17, and Tommy Schwall, 18, both from Steamboat Springs.
The cross-country skiers are Kris Freeman, 21, Andover, N.H.; Andrew Johnson, 24, Greensboro, Vt.; Torin Koos, 21, Leavenworth, Wash.; Carl Swenson, 32, Boulder; Justin Wadsworth, 33, Bend, Ore.; and Wendy Wagner, 28, Park City.
The United States has never won an Olympic medal in Nordic combined, but had its best team and individual showings in Salt Lake City. The United States finished fourth in the team standings.
“”These athletes played a major role in those successes and with that experience, we’re looking to keep the momentum rolling as we start a new Olympic cycle,” Nordic director Luke Bodensteiner said.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report
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