PARK CITY, UTAH — Women ski jumpers will vie this weekend for the top spot in the nation at the U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships in Utah. Jumper Jessica Jerome, last year’s large hill champion, is aiming for her ninth U.S. title.
“It’s always nice to have U.S. Championships on our home hill,” Jerome said. “I am really looking forward to this weekend and getting back into the competition mode.”
The 2013 title events – held during the summer for the fifth consecutive year – will take place Saturday and Sunday on the 2002 Olympic venues including the Utah Olympic Park ski jumps in Park City as well as the Soldier Hollow cross country trails near Midway.
“The mid-summer competitions are great because there is a bridge between spring (March) and fall competitions leading into the winter competition months,” said Women’s Coach Alan Alborn. “It is good to keep the athletes in touch with the pressures and time frames that competition inherently presents.”
Also this week, the Park City Nordic Ski Club will host its 14th annual Springer Tournee — an event that attracts development athletes from around the nation.
“I’ve already seen more young girls out here from all over the country than I ever have before. It’s awesome that more jumpers are coming up and are able to make the trip out here to compete,” Jerome said.
Alborn attributes the increased number of competitive jumpers and the overall higher level of athlete skill in large part to the inclusion of a women’s individual ski jumping event in 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
“The intensity and motivation has gone up quite a bit,” he said.
Sarah Hendrickson, 2012 World Cup champion, and Lindsey Van, 2009 World Champion, will both sit out the event recovering from planned off-season knee surgeries.
Friday, Aug. 3
8 a.m. – Springer Tournee (HS100, HS68, HS10 – non-championship event)
5 p.m. – Springer Tournee (HS 5-42 – non-championship event)
Saturday, Aug. 4
8 a.m. – U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships (HS134-large hill)
5 p.m. – U.S. Nordic Combined Championships, Soldier Hollow (10k cross country)
Sunday, Aug. 5
8 a.m. – U.S. Ski Jumping Championships (HS100-normal hill)