Geraghty-Moats keeps winning streak alive
OTEPAA, Estonia — Tara Geraghty-Moats, a New York Ski Educational Foundation skier from West Fairlee, Vermont, skied to a pair of wins this weekend as the International Ski Federation’s Nordic Combined Continental Cup tour headed to Estonia. Geraghty-Moats, 25, has now won five of six events in the sport that is making its move toward future Olympic inclusion.
With her success, Geraghty-Moats has the bigger picture of expanding sport success on her mind, even more so than her individual success. One of her key takeaways from Estonia was that there were 25 women on the start list. “Progress, one step at a time,” she said.
“It’s really amazing to be here with the men’s World Cup,” said Geraghty-Moats. It was the first time the men’s World Cup and women’s Continental Cup had overlapped, a strategic move by the International Ski Federation to draw more awareness to women’s nordic combined. “All of the women are excited to race and have the cameras and press here like a high level competition.”
The women competed on the 97-meter jumping hill in Otepaa with a 5-kilometer cross country race. Saturday, Geraghty-Moats won over Japan’s Ayane Miyazaki with Norwegian rising junior star Gyda Westvold Hansen, the winner in Park City last month, finishing third. Sunday she won ahead of Austrian Lisa Hirner with Miyazaki dropping to third. The event attracted a field of more than two dozen athletes from 12 nations.
“I was really satisfied with my jumping both days and continue to have strong cross-country skiing speeds,” she said. “The girls all jumped really well — a lot of them jumped over K (critical point) so there was a lot of pressure to jump well. I knew going into the cross-country skiing that I would have to make up time so I tried to go 95 percent on the first lap to leave some left on the second lap. I’m happy with how my strategy paid off and I also just felt really good skiing today.”
“Tara was really consistent in her jumping which definitely makes life easier in her cross country where she dominated the track both days,” said USA Nordic Combined coach Martin Bayer “A thanks goes out to the service team for really great skis for her.”
With five wins in six competitions, Geraghty-Moats is the clear standings leader in the FIS Continental Cup. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has taken note of these stats, along with the rest of the world, as it included Geraghty-Moats among prestigious nominees for for the December USOC Team USA Awards based on her three opening Continental Cup wins.
USA Nordic athlete, Tess Arnone, (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) is currently in an impressive 10th place in the women’s FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup standings.
The FIS Continental Cup tour for the women will resume next month in Rena, Norway. This week the U.S. team for the Junior World Championships in Lahti, Finland will be announced. It will mark the first time women’s nordic combined has been a medal event at Junior Worlds.