Lots of Great Jumping and Skiing in Salisbury This Weekend
As I pulled into the small town of Salisbury, Connecticut and followed the big, red a-frame signs directing me to the Satre Hill and announcing the 91st Annual Salisbury Ski Jumping competition, I searched the depths of my brain to think back to how long it had been since I had competed in Salisbury. The answer…. either 19 or 20 years, which is way too long! I think next year I need to throw the boards back on and try for my second leg on the Cup! (maybe)
It was great to be back, and it was all so familiar and brought back lots of great memories. Most of those memories, however, were of very little snow and warm conditions. This year was quite the opposite, with 8-10 inches of new snow falling on Wednesday and Thursday, which had to be raked off the hills, and an additional half-foot of snow that would fall between Friday and Sunday. Of course, the heaviest came down during Sunday’s Eastern Championships, which made for an interesting day. Luckily, Salisbury has a great group of committed board members and volunteers who all chipped in to first put snow on the hills earlier in the week, just to then turn around and rake, blow, and shovel it off so the hills. The result was a successful weekend of competitions, which included a long jump of 71 meters (1 meter shy of the hill record) from Matt White, and over 40 competitors on all the hills. This is more than Salisbury has had for Eastern Championship in a long time. They even held two Nordic Combined races, one for the junior hills and one for the K70.
Jeff Hastings sent out an update on small hills for US Cup Junior Series yesterday, and results are posted at usanordic.org/clubs/virtual-nationals/.
On the K70 Matt White from NYSEF skied very well winning the U16 both days. Beckett Ledger also has a strong showing, winning the U18 both days, and to no one’s surprise, Cooper Dodds took home the Satre Cup coming off some great jumps at the 5 Hills competitions in the Midwest.
On the Nordic Combined side of things, Tate Frantz won the U12 boys, Evan Nichols the U16 boys, and Beckett Ledger the U20 boys, and it was great to see Nordic Combined in Salisbury, which was a rarity when I was growing up.
I don’t need to go through all the improvements Salisbury has made over the past few years, but Kenny Barker was happy to announce that with revenues from this year’s competition they can pay off the loan they took out to rebuild the K70, and put money back into the program! The weekend saw crowds in excess of 1200 people on Saturday, and a human dogsled race, complete with a Viking ship, which was quite the spectacle but a great way to make the event fun and bring out more people. A big thanks goes out to all the directors, but especially Kenny, Matt Kiefer, and Nick Collin for all their work on the hills. Also a big thank you to Larry Stone and all the officials, and to Holly Reid and others who were taking care of registration. Thank you to Scooter and Tanya for putting me up, and finally to Ariel Picton for her great work coaching the junior program which now has 11 athletes.
The future of Salisbury and the East looks bright!
Jed Hinkley, Sport Development Director