High School Jumping Showcases What is Great About Our Sport
Many of you may know that New Hampshire still has high school ski jumping, and it gets a lot of attention because it is the only state in the country where this still exists. However, with State Championships having just been held and won by Kennett High School this past weekend, I would like to highlight why high school jumping encapsulates so much of what is good about sports and ski jumping in particular. So here we go.
- It is all about fun! The atmosphere at the top of a jump at a high school meet is awesome! It is relaxed, everyone is cheering on the other teams, and they recognize that what they are doing is pretty unique and an experience they will hold with them for the rest of their lives. Most data says kids stop doing sports because it is not fun, so I love that these jumpers have so much fun.
- Many of the athletes do not start jumping until they get to high school, which shows that you do not have to start ski jumping at age 6. You can start at age 16 and still be safe, have fun, and fly nearly thirty meters through the air. I think you can start jumping at age 36 and still be safe, but that is a discussion for another day.
- High school meets are team events, which means the top four skiers from each team are scored to determine the overall winning team. This creates a great sense of team unity and friendly rivalry between teams and also a feeling of doing something for more than just yourself, in what is often a very individual sport.
- There are male and female athletes and a winner for each, however, for the team portion there are not enough women to have a separate team class. Because of this schools can take their best six athletes to States, regardless of their gender, and this year, Kennett’s top six (the overall winning team) included a women, which is awesome!
- Many, if not most of the jumpers also compete in other skiing disciplines, with alpine being the primary one. Most experts agree that kids should be multi-sport athletes well into their teen years, and at USA Nordic we believe that skiing in multiple disciplines makes you a better athlete. A lot of these kids also compete in Skimeister events which include alpline, jumping, and cross country, and more and more clubs are bringing this back, which I think is awesome!
- These athletes gain a feeling of ownership of their hill which is unmatched by any team that plays on a manicured grass field or varnished wood floor. Often the hills these teams compete and practice on are maintained primarily by the team itself, with some volunteer help (thank goodness for volunteers). It is a testament to their dedication to the sport when you can get high school kids to work outside shoveling and packing snow for hours at a time, just so they can fly. The skiers from Kennett worked on the hill all Thursday, skied in alpine States all day Friday, and then jumped Friday night in States. Wow!
- Lastly, this is all possible because of the coaches who give so much back, without much recognition, so that this cool tradition can carry on. Now giving back to the sport without much recognition is something that is universal to ski jumping clubs all across America, not just high schools, so thank you to all the people involved in clubs. But this article is about high schools, so thank you to High School Coaches Tom Dodds (Cooper’s dad), Morgan Stepp, Chip Henry, Kathleen Doyle, Rick Bragg, and Dave Smith.
To conclude, the vast majority of high school jumpers will never jump before or after their high school years, but in my mind this does not diminish high school jumping at all. Those few years means they have joined a community that is so unique. And some will move beyond high school jumping. This year Sean Maloney, AJ King, and Dennis Morgan qualified for the Eastern Junior National team and will be headed to Norge next week. The East is trying to create more of an overlap between high school and club jumping, which is great because it means more opportunity to fly and have fun, which is what it is all about!
I know multiple things mentioned here are not necessarily unique to high school, but I think that high school jumping does a great job at showcasing why ski jumping is something we all love, and I wanted to point that out. I will get off my soap box now 🙂
Congratulations to Chip Henry (the Kennett Coach) Sean Maloney (boys winner) and Sabin Mitchell (girls winner who is a 9th grader and this is her first year jumping). I would also like to congratulate Carter Wilcox, who won the Gene Ross cup which goes to the “rookie of the year.” Gene was the former ski jumping coach at Plymouth who passed away, and he was always known for taking athletes who had never ski jumped before and turning them into ski jumpers over two to three years.
Full results from the state meet can be found at usanordic.org/results
By: Jed Hinkley
We are excited to announce that there will be live coverage of Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland on NBCsports.com. We would like to thank USSA for partnering with NBC Sports to make this possible, and “for the first time, more than 24 hours of same day televised coverage will be broadcast on NBCSN or Universal HD. In total, NBC Sports Group will present more than 60 hours of Nordic World Ski Championships coverage.” (Michael Jaquet)
Please see the schedule below, and be sure to tune in to watch US Ski Jumpers and Nordic Combined skiers shine on the world stage!
|2017 FIS NORDIC WORLD SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS
Live Streaming and Broadcast Schedule (times EST)
Thursday, Feb. 23
Friday, Feb. 24
Saturday, Feb. 25
Sunday, Feb. 26
Tuesday, Feb. 28
Wednesday, Mar. 1
Thursday, Mar. 2
Friday, Mar. 3
Saturday, Mar. 4
Sunday, Mar. 5
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
USA Nordic Announces Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Squads for World Championships in Lahti, Finland
For Immediate release
Park City, UT (February 8, 2017) – After a very successful start to the 2016/17 racing season, the entire coaching staff was faced with some difficult decisions, as several athletes have taken their game to the next level in both Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined. “We have a few veterans with World Championship medals already on their walls in Bryan and Taylor Fletcher, so these selections were quite easy,” noted Dave Jarrett, Head Coach for USA Nordic Combined, “where the discussion became complicated with was the rest of our picks. We have a lot of very talented up and coming athletes, and it was very close in some cases. Ultimately, I am confident that our selection criteria were fair, and I believe we are sending a great team to Lahti.”
The Nordic Combined squad will be as follows:
Clint Jones, Head Coach for USA Ski Jumping offered a similar perspective. “I am very excited about this team. We had a great summer, and even though we’re only part way into the winter, we’ve already had almost every single one of our athletes jump to personal bests, so we are very optimistic for Lahti.”
The Ski Jumping squad will be as follows:
The FIS Nordic World Championships will be held in Lahti, Finland from February 24 – March 5.
USA Nordic is the leadership organization for USA Nordic Combined and USA Ski Jumping and is based in Park City, Utah.
For Immediate release
USA Nordic signs strategic partnership with Toko
Park City, January 15, 2017: “USA Nordic is very pleased to announce that we will be working with Toko as our exclusive glove supplier for the Nordic Combined Team’s cross country racing for the 2017 season,” said Bill Demong, Executive Director of USA Nordic. “Toko has a long, distinguished history as one of the premiere Nordic brands and we are very excited to be working with their committed team.”
Toko US Brand Manager Ian Harvey commented, “Bryan Fletcher lives in Heber, Utah close to me and I have been impressed with him and his other teammates’ professionalism and commitment. It is my pleasure to support them.”
“Switching to Toko was a fantastic opportunity,” stated Taylor Fletcher, one of the top athletes on the USA Nordic Combined team. “The gloves have a great warmth to weight ratio. Due to their European sizing, the size increments are smaller such that we can achieve a perfect fit. I appreciate the personal touch that Ian has given the gloves as well as to our team”.
To stay connected with all of the USA Nordic Combined athletes, please visit www.usanordic.org and subscribe to our newsletter!
USA Nordic is the parent organization for USA Nordic Combined and USA Ski Jumping and is based in Park City, Utah
SOLDIER HOLLLOW, UTAH (February 4, 2017) – 18 year-old Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, WI) earned his first ever World Junior Championship top-10 with a 9th place finish in the Nordic Combined 5km event. Loomis put himself in a good position with a jump to 10th place on the K90. His result was the third top-10 finish from USA Nordic’s athletes, with Casey Larson and Stephen Schumann both bringing in top-10 finishes earlier in the week.
Vincent Geiger (Germany) brought home the win, fulfilling the high expectations placed on the young athlete, who already has a World Cup podium under his belt. Arttu Maekiaho (Finland) the winner from the 10km event, took Silver, and France’s Laurent Muhlethaler grabbed Bronze.
“I was still struggling a little bit to put my best jump in the competition, but overall I was very happy.” Loomis said in an email. “As the week went on I definitely felt stronger each race. My goals for the 5k competition were to jump into the top ten, and to not lose any ground during the race. I was able to do this, but was still hoping for a higher finish….but to be 9th in the world is very special. I am already looking forward to next years competitions and approaching them with even more experience.”
The US athletes enjoyed their home hill advantage during this week, especially when the conditions got tough. Loomis said, “During the jumping competition we had a snow flurry roll in so the last 20 athletes had to wait for it to pass. I was able to stay relaxed, focused and have my best competition jump of the week. The home hill advantage made a huge difference in my jumping. Prior to this week, I had little jumps on the hill this winter. Luckily, I know the hill well and was able to get in rhythm with the jump very quickly.”
USA’s Stephen Schumann (Park City, UT) finished in 15th, adding another strong result to his 10th-place finish from the 10km. Also for USA was Grant Andrews (Steamboat Springs, CO), who placed 33rd and Tucker Hoefler (Park City, UT) who finished in 46th.
USA’s Nordic Combined Team also finished in 7th in the 4-man relay event on Friday. The team, consisting of Elijah Vargas (Steamboat Springs, CO), Grant Andrews, Stephen Schumann and Ben Loomis, jumped to 6th and finished 2:10 back from Austria, the winning team.
The World Junior Championships wrapped up this weekend. Many of the athletes will be heading to Europe for more competitions, with Continental Cups in Austria and Slovenia in the coming weeks.
February 4th 5km results.
February 3rd Team results.
SCHUMANN 10TH IN NORDIC COMBINED 10KM
SOLDIER HOLLOW, Utah (Jan. 31, 2017) – Finland’s Arttu Mäkiaho skied up from ninth after the jump to take gold in the opening 10k nordic combined event at the USANA FIS Junior Nordic World Championships. Maekiahowas followed by Austria’s Mika Vermeulen who took silver. Germany’s Martin Hahn took bronze.
“This was the event I really wanted to do well in,” Schumann is quoted in a Fasterskier article. “This course suited me with the amount of climbing in it. … Going into the jumping I knew I was going to need a good jump to have a chance. Then if I had the jump I needed I knew I was going to need to race fast to stay in the running.”
And race fast he did. Schumann posted the fifth fastest cross country time. He hung with Austria’s Vermeulen, the fastest skier of the day, to make up some of the places.
“I skied with [Vermeulen] for about a lap or two and then he took off,” Schumann said. “After he was gone I was able to settle into my own pace and keep picking people off in front of me. Going into the fourth lap I knew I was leading a train with some fast skiers so I tried to pick up the pace and space it out. This worked and and I was able to drop some other athletes but I was still in a group with three or four skiers so I sprinted as hard as I could over the last hill and managed to give myself some room over the finishing stretch. Overall I felt good and was able to pull in 18 people in front of me which I was extremely happy with.”
“I was very happy to have a good race and have my family and friends there to see it,” Schumann wrote to Fasterskier. “But there is still one more individual event and a team event, so I’m still hoping to improve on the tenth place from today. As well as have a good race as a team and improve on our 6th place result from last year.”
PARK CITY, UT (Feb. 1, 2017) – Viktor Polasek of the Czech Republic and Manuela Malsiner of Italy took top honors in the men and women’s HS100-meter ski jumping at the USANA FIS Nordic Junior World Championships Wednesday at the Utah Olympic Park.
Rounding out the podium for the men were Alex Insam of Italy in second and Germany’s Constantin Schmid in third. For the women, Slovenia’s Ema Klinec was second and Nika Kriznar was third.
It was a banner day for American Casey Larson (Barrington, IL) of the Norge Ski Club outside Chicago. Larson soared to sixth after the first round with a 92.5 meter ride. In the final round, he went 92.0 meters and dropped down to eighth overall – one spot away from the American Junior Worlds men’s record held by U.S. Coach Clint Jones from 2002.
In the women’s event, Gabby Armstrong (Lake Placid, NY) of the New York Ski Education Foundation was 37th.
Competition continues Friday with the team event, followed by the mixed gender team event on Sunday.
- Viktor Polasek of the Czech Republic flew 97 meters to win the men’s HS100-meter Wednesday at the Utah Olympic Park.
- Manuela Malsiner of Italy soared 95.5 meters to win the women’s HS100-meter Wednesday at the Utah Olympic Park.
- Casey Larson was the top U.S. finisher for the men in eighth – one spot away from the American record at Junior Worlds.
I definitely felt pretty good, honestly. The trainings were around there so I just kind of hoped I could have my best jump and then I can’t worry about what place I’m in after that just because I know I’ll be happy. I put down two solid jumps that I was really pumped about so I really can’t complain about anything today.
This hill is definitely funky and different from a lot of hills in Europe or the Midwest where I am from. But we know it super well, us Americans, because we are out here all Summer most of us, so I felt confident on the hill and I think we had a leg up in that respect.
There’s a couple competitions left so I just want to keep that groove going and not try too hard and let it flow.
Listen to the full interview from Casey here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NATIONAL NORDIC FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES LIVE COVERAGE OF NORDIC JUNIOR & U23 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS EXCLUSIVELY ON NNF.SKI/TV
January 24— Starting January 30, the world’s best nordic junior and U23 athletes will descend on the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics, offering a preview of the Olympic podiums in 2022 and beyond. All twenty-four events of the 2017 FIS Nordic Junior and U23 World Ski Championships will be available live, worldwide—exclusively from the National Nordic Foundation (NNF). Access links to all events can be found at www.nnf.ski/tv.
In producing live coverage of the World Junior/U23 Championships, the NNF is not only pleased to provide the global skiing community with access to high-level international competition, interviews, and skier education but also to raise funds for nordic athletes across the United States. Live access to each event will be available for $4.95 or all events for $49.95. By offering this pay-per-view model worldwide, the NNF aims to generate funding that will support future athletic programming.
“This is a unique and exciting opportunity,” said Hennie Kashiwa, Executive Director of the NNF. “Not only are we able provide a service to the community and support the event’s organizing committee, but this is a chance to find new revenue that can go right back to our athletes. Tell your friends about it; this is going to be great.”
Once the Championships have concluded, all competitions will be archived and available, along with edited interviews and educational segments, at www.nnf.ski/tv.
NEWS Media Contact: Mackenzie Carroll FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Backbone Media email@example.com 970-963-4873 ext.142
Honey Stinger Joins USA Nordic as Official Nutrition Sponsor
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 20, 2017) — Honey Stinger, the leading manufacturer of honey-based nutritional products, today announced that it will partner with USA Nordic as the organization’s official nutrition sponsor. Honey Stinger will proudly supply honey-based nutrition, including its Organic Waffles, Gluten Free Organic Waffles, Organic Energy Chews, Organic and Classic Energy Gels, Energy Bars, Snack Bars and Protein Bars, for the U.S. Ski Jumping and U.S. Nordic Combined Teams.
Honey Stinger has fueled the top Nordic athletes for years in an unofficial capacity, during training and competition in the company’s hometown of Steamboat Springs, before the team relocated to Park City, Utah, in 2002.
“Honey Stinger has a strong relationship with USA Nordic, which dates back a number of years to when the top-ranked U.S. Nordic athletes lived and trained in Steamboat Springs,” said Bill Gamber, Honey Stinger co-founder and president. “We were proud to support Nordic and Nordic combined athletes back then, and we’re super psyched to now officially partner with the team.”
“Throughout my career, I’ve relied on Honey Stinger’s great products to fuel my training and competition because they provide organic, sustained energy when I need it most, like when I earned an Olympic gold medal in Nordic Combined in Vancouver,” said Billy Demong, USA Nordic executive director. “Our new partnership is powerful because our history with Honey Stinger dates back to the development of their first prototype bars, when we contributed ideas and feedback, and the Honey Stinger brand has seen exponential growth since that time.”
While Honey Stinger is a longtime sponsor of many professional cycling teams, including the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, the Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team, the Yeti Fox Enduro Team and the Bontrager Off Road Team, USA Nordic is the first winter sports team the brand will sponsor to-date. Through its grassroots Hive Program, Honey Stinger sponsors thousands of individual endurance and action sports athletes nationwide.
With its new partnership, Honey Stinger will have a sampling presence and signage at all domestic USA Nordic competitions. For more information on USA Nordic, please visit: www.usanordic.org. For more information on Honey Stinger and its products, please visit: www.honeystinger.com.
About Honey Stinger
Located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Honey Stinger makes convenient, nutritious and great-tasting honey-based foods including energy and snack bars, protein bars, organic energy gels, organic waffles, gluten free organic waffles, organic chews, and organic waffles and energy chews for kids. Fueling some of the country’s top cyclists, runners, triathletes and teams, Honey Stinger products may be found at specialty sporting goods retailers, natural food grocers and www.honeystinger.com.
About USA Nordic
USA Nordic is the parent organization for Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping in the United States, providing support and guidance to the nations clubs and coaches while overseeing the National elite teams.