Vermontville native Bill Demong jumped and skied his way to a 15th place finish Thursday at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
In the 10-kilometer nordic combined event, Demong, a four-time Olympian, stood 25th after the jumping round, and climbed his way in the standings during the cross country ski race to secure a 15th-place result. Demong finished in 28 minutes, 49 seconds, which put him less than a minute shy of a third-place podium finish.
Germany's Eric Frenzel won the competition in 27:22.8, Austria's Bernhard Gruber was runner-up in 27:59.5 and Jason Lamy Chappuis of France placed third in 28:00. Teammate Taylor Fletcher also made a similar move after the jumping. Fletcher, of Steamboat Springs, Colo., was 24th after the jump and advanced to finish in 17th place.
Also for the United States, Steamboat Springs skiers Bryan Fletcher and Johnny Spillane finished 23rd and 30th, respectively.
"Today was definitely a much better jumping day for me, but conditions really flipped midway," Demong said. "In the second half they lowered the gate and there was a lot of headwind. But I definitely had one of my best executions. Given a normal day would have had a chance to ski up.
"Going into the race we were quite a ways back," Demong added. "I talked with Bryan and Taylor about working together. Taylor and I picked off 10-15 people and I felt really good through the finish. It gives me hope that if I can continue to improve on jumping I can fight for the podium again."
Nordic combined action at the 2013 World Championships concludes Saturday with the team event.