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First U.S. Title for Bryan Fletcher

LAKE PLACID, NY (Oct. 12) - Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) added another jewel to an already star-studded nordic combined career, winning his first national title at the U.S. Nordic Combined Championships in Lake Placid. Fletcher parlayed a strong jump to take the win in roller skiing over  brother Taylor, who won the roller ski. Adam Loomis (Eau Claire, WI) took bronze.
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) won his first career national title, jumping to a one minute, 34 second lead then hanging on to hold off brother Taylor in roller skiing by 56 seconds.
  • Career Perspective: Despite a career marked by a World Championship medal and King's Cup victory, it was Fletcher's first U.S. title after a host of bronze medals.
  • Analysis: Bryan Fletcher soared 90.5 meters on his morning jump to give him a nearly insurmountable lead. Brother Taylor was fastest on the roller ski track.
  • World Cup: The World Cup season opens Nov. 29-30 in Ruka, Finland.
MEDALISTS
2014-15 U.S. Nordic Combined Championship
Gold: Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO)
Silver: Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO)
Bronze: Adam Loomis (Eau Claire, WI)
 
QUOTES
Bryan Fletcher, U.S. Champion
This is awesome! I’ve been chasing the national title for a while. I think that I’ve been third like four or five times. Every time, including last year, I was really disappointed with my jumping. I would have an amazing (roller ski)race, but still wind up in third place because I was quite a bit back. 
 
I could feel him (fast approaching brother Taylor) and I could see him on a couple of sections. There were a few places where we would pass each other going opposite directions, and every time he was inching a little bit closer, so that was a little bit nerve-racking. But in the end, even with him chipping away hard, I was getting more excited reaching the finish line and I came in hot.
 
Taylor Fletcher, Silver Medalist
I was making up time; I think that I made up 45 seconds, that’s a lot for this course. That being said, it wasn’t good enough to catch Bryan. I needed to jump better and really focus on that, because I know I’m skiing really well, but it’s jump a matter of continuing that and improving my jumping.
 
I had good hopes going into today, I’ve been skiing fast. I hadn’t had too many consistent weeks, but I had some good jumps before today. This hill is different. It’s special and it’s hard and I’ve always had some trouble with it. I tried really hard, I thought I had a good jump, but it didn’t really carry like I was hoping, it felt like I was dragging a bit, so that was a bit of a bummer when I saw Bryan jump 92 and I knew that it was pretty close to over.
 
RESULTS
 
 

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 00:33:46 +0000

Titles for Fairall and Hendrickson

LAKE PLACID, NY (Oct. 12) - Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) flew back into the spotlight, capping a strong fall return to competition with her third career national title. Hendrickson won the K95 U.S. Ski Jumping Championship at the Flaming Leaves Festival on the Lake Placid Olympic jump. Nick Fairall (Andover, NH) took his second title, winning for the men. Hendrickson came out on top after a tight battle with teammate Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT), picking up the win on her second ride of 97.5 meters. Fairall, meanwhile, broke a first round tie with Anders Johnson (Park City, UT) with a stunning 100.5 meter jump.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nick Fairall (Andover, NH) and Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) took gold in the K95 meter U.S. Ski Jumping Championship on the Olympic jump in Lake Placid.
  • Tight Races: Closest titles races in recent history. Fairall broke a first round deadlock with teammate Anders Johnson (Park City, UT) with a 100.5-meter second ride. Hendrickson was trailing Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) by a single point after the first round, and won by just one with a strong second jump.
  • Fairall Season: Fairall, who won the Olympic Trials for ski jumping last December has had a strong summer jumping season with two top-five FIS Cups, including a podium, and a top ten Continental Cup.
  • Hendrickson Comeback: After a stunning comeback from an August 2013 injury to make the Olympic Team, Hendrickson took a break to recover fully and has had a strong fall with a pair of second place Continental Cup finishes. It was her first U.S. Championship appearance since she and Fairall won the large hill in Park City in August 2013, just prior to her injury.
  • The U.S. Championships capped a weekend of ski jumping at the annual Flaming Leaves Festival in Lake Placid.

MEDALISTS
2014-15 K95 U.S. Ski Jumping Championship
Men's

Gold: Nick Fairall (Andover, NH)
Silver: Anders Johnson (Park City, UT)
Bronze: Will Rhoads (Park City, UT)

Women's
Gold: Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT)
Silver: Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT)
Bronze: Tara Geraghty-Moats (West Fairlee, VT)

QUOTES
Nick Fairall, U.S. Champion

It was a very beautiful day for sure, with the weather. It was a tough week training with a lot of wind and adverse conditions but today was excellent. The conditions were fair, for the most part, for everyone. The jury did a good job in controlling the conditions the best they could.

My jumps were decent. I was able to put two of them together, so I’m pleased with the outcome. I’m just glad to go home with the title.

Sarah Hendrickson, U.S. Champion
We really had a high level of competition, with both Jessica (Jerome) and Tara (Geraghty-Moats) in the field, they both represent women’s ski jumping really well, so overall, I’m really happy with the results.

Jessica Jerome, Silver Medalist
The conditions for this competition were fair and the five of us were very close in our jumps. Anyone could have won this competition, although I am happy for Sarah. We are really pushing one another to become prepared for upcoming competitions.

RESULTS
Official Results
 


Sun, 12 Oct 2014 22:14:34 +0000

Lake Placid to Host U.S. Championships

LAKE PLACID, NY (Sept. 29) – America’s top ski jumpers and nordic combined athletes will compete in the U.S. Ski Jumping Championships (normal hill) and U.S. Nordic Combined Championships during the Flaming Leaves Festival in Lake Placid on Sunday, October 12. The event will pit the best ski jumpers and nordic combined skiers against each other for titles at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex.
 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Top American ski jumpers and nordic combined athletes will compete in the U.S. Ski Jumping Championships and U.S. Nordic Combined Championships during the Flaming Leaves Festival in Lake Placid on Sunday, October 12. 
  • What’s at stake? U.S. titles will be on the line in Lake Placid for the normal hill ski jump as well as nordic combined. The large hill jump was held in Park City, UT in July.
  • Vets versus Newcomers: Veteran Jessica Jerome is looking for her 12th title, while local hero Billy Demong will be seeking number 10. But it’s been a strong summer for newcomers including U.S. large hill champion Christian Friberg (St. Paul, MN) and rising women’s star Nita Englund (Steamboat Springs, CO) who won her first U.S. championship medal and scored a FIS Cup podium.

 

WHO TO WATCH

Ski Jumping

Men
Nick Alexander (Lebanon, NH) – Second in large hill U.S. Championship earlier this summer; won normal hill title last year in Lake Placid. This summer he won a FIS Cup in Kranj, Slovenia and was top 30 in a summer Grand Prix.

Nick Fairall (Andover, NH) – Strong summer with three top-10 FIS Cups including a podium in Szczyrk, Poland and a top-10 Continental Cup in Planica, Slovenia. Second last October in U.S. Championships in Lake Placid.

Christian Friberg (St. Paul, MN) – Won large hill U.S. title earlier this summer; strong season on FIS Cup three top-10 FIS Cups.

Women
Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) – Going for 12th U.S. title after winning large hill earlier this summer.

Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) – Strong return to action after injury finishing second in Continental Cup in Trondheim in late September.

Nita Englund (Steamboat Springs, CO) – Strong summer with FIS Cup podium and first U.S. Championship medal, finishing second on the large hill this past July.

Nina Lussi (Lake Placid, NY) – Lake Placid's own, has had a strong summer with two top-five FIS Cups and two top-20 Continental Cups.

Nordic Combined
Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) – Local hero and Olympic champion who won 2013 title in Lake Placid.

Bryan and Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) – Brothers who finished second and third in 2013 Championships in Lake Placid.

U.S. CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE, Lake Placid

11:00 a.m. – U.S. Ski Jumping Championships (normal hill)

11:00 a.m. – U.S. Nordic Combined Championships Jump (normal hill)

3:00 p.m. – U.S. Nordic Combined Championships Rollerski (10km)


Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:07:05 +0000

Sarah Hendrickson Returns to Podium

TRONDHEIM, Norway (Sept. 28) - World champion Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) returned to competition this weekend, soaring to a pair of second place finishes in a FIS Continental Cup event in Trondheim behind World Cup champion Sara Takanashi. They were her first international podiums in over a year since finishing second in a FIS Grand Prix event in France just prior to her August, 2013 injury. American Nita Englund (Steamboat Springs, CO) continued her strong summer, finishing sixth and ninth.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • World Champion Sarah Hendrickson returned to competition with a pair of second place finishes on the HS105 jump at a FIS Continental Cup in Trondheim.
  • World Cup champion Sara Takanashi picked up the wins.
  • Top Americans: In addition to Hendrickson, American Nita Englund (Steamboat Springs, CO) soared to sixth and ninth. Tara Geraghty-Moats (Fairlee, VT) had a strong weekend with a pair of 11 places.
  • Comeback Story: Hendrickson's podium came after over a year of recovery from a training accident in August, 2013 in Germany. She came back to make the Olympic Team and jump in the Sochi debut, before taking time off for more rehabilitation. Trondheim was her first competitive event after training this summer at the Utah Olympic Park and USSA Center of Excellence.
  • Benchmarks: In Hendrickson's last international competition outside the Olympics, she was second in Courchevel, France in August, 2013 just prior to her injury. She closed out the 2013 World Cup season with wins in Trondheim and Oslo.
  • Next Up: The women will return to the USA for the U.S. Ski Jumping Championships normal hill event Oct. 12 in Lake Placid.

QUOTES
Sarah Hendrickson

I am really content with the weekend and with my second-place podium finish. Although I was surprised at how nervous I was going into Saturday — and it showed with my technique—I was able to pull it together for some decent jumps. 

My next challenge is to catch up to Sara. But I am aware of some things I that must change to get there. 
 
All in all, I cannot explain how excited I am to be back after this long year of rehab! I'm so thankful to be healthy again and am excited for the World Cup competitions. Thanks to my coaches and sponsors for ‘having my back’ throughout this journey.

RESULTS
Official Results - Saturday, Oct. 27 
Official Results - Sunday, Oct. 28  
 


Sat, 27 Sep 2014 22:09:40 +0000

Strong Weekend for Rhoads

EINSIEDELN, Switzerland (Sept. 7) - Will Rhoads (Park City, UT) flew to a career best fourth and fifth in FIS Cup jumps this weekend on the 117 meter hill in Einsiedeln. Rhoads moved from ninth to fifth Sunday, winning the second round with the longest jump. Swiss Lukas Mueller won on Saturday with Poland's Andrzej Stekala victorious Sunday.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Top Finish: Will Rhoads (Park City, UT) scored his best international results finishing fourth and fifth in FIS Cup jumps in Einsiedeln.
  • What it means: Career best international results for Rhoads, but also continuing strong performance by U.S. champion Christian Friberg with a pair of top-10s.

RESULTS
Saturday, Sept. 6  
Sunday, Sept. 7

 


Mon, 08 Sep 2014 13:19:32 +0000

Englund Scores FIS Cup Podium

FRENSTAT, Czech Republic (Aug. 30) – Nita Englund (Iron Mountain, MI) soared to a career best international FIS Cup finish, capping a two-event weekend with a third place finish in Frenstat on Aug. 30. Englund was fourth a day earlier. Nina Lussi (Lake Placid, NY) was fifth both days as the two Visa Women's Ski Jumping Team athletes had a strong weekend. The field included 23 athletes from five countries.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Top Finish: Nita Englund (Iron Mountain, MI) was third and fourth in a pair of FIS Cup ski jumping events in Frenstat, Czech Republic.
  • What it means: Englund's podium was her first ever in an international FIS Cup.
  • Sidebar: First event for new traveling coach Vasja Bajc, a native of Slovenia. 
  • Next up: Continental Cup in Trondheim, Norway at the end of September.

QUOTES
Nita England

I am very happy with this weekend. The hill was challenging in a good way and was a great start to our training camp. The FIS Cup helped me build my confidence and prepare me for more challenging competitions. Nina is one of the best teammates to have, because she is motivational and positive. Vasja is a great fit as the new U.S. travel coach, due to his unique insights on the ski jump. I am excited to be coached by him the rest of this summer and upcoming winter.

Nina Lussi
Although I really enjoyed the experience here in Frenstat, I was not 100% satisfied with my jumping. However, it was great spending time with our male American counterparts. Having our competitions together definitely added to the overall morale. I am very excited about our new coach and the connection to Slovenia―I know this will beneficial for future success. Even on this trip we had ski service assistance and help from the Slovenian men's coach in tailoring our suits. I look forward to working hard alongside Nita and Vasja. This is just the start of many great things to come. We make an excellent team!

RESULTS
Friday, Aug. 29 
Saturday, Aug. 30 
 


Sun, 31 Aug 2014 04:42:56 +0000

Debut Jump Title for Friberg

PARK CITY, Utah (Aug. 3) - Fresh off a pair of top FIS Cup finishes in Europe, St. Paul Ski Club jumper Christian Friberg (St. Paul, MN) picked up his first U.S. title Sunday in the large hill event at the U.S. Ski Jumping Championships at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City. Olympian Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) won her 11th U.S. crown.

It's definitely cool - kind of an adrenaline rush. This is a big step forward. Things have been progressing well this summer. It's a good steppingstone for the future. - U.S. Champion Christian Friberg

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Christian Friberg's win came on the heels of a pair of strong finishes in FIS Cup events in Villach, Austria earlier in July including a top 10.
  • Friberg soared 130.0 meters on his first ride to take a commanding lead over Olympian Nick Alexander.
  • The 19 year old is a three-time World Junior Team member.
  • Jessica Jerome went 121.5 and 122.5 meters to take her 11th U.S. title.
  • World Champions Sarah Hendrickson and Lindsey Van were both sidelined with injuries.
  • The normal hill U.S. Championship will be held in October during the Flaming Leaves tournament in Lake Placid, NY.

Medalists
Men

1 - Christian Friberg (St. Paul, MN)
2 - Nick Alexander (Lebanon, NH)
3 - Kevin Bickner (Wauconda, IL)
NOTE: Canadian Matt Rowley jumped to second, but only Americans are eligible for U.S. Championships results.

Women
1 - Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) 
2 - Nita Englund (Steamboat Springs, CO)
3 - Tara Gereghaty-Moats (Fairlee, VT)

QUOTES
Christian Friberg, men's champion

It's definitely cool - kind of an adrenaline rush. This is a big step forward. Things have been progressing well this summer. It's a good steppingstone for the future.  In a couple weeks we're heading back to Slovenia to train in Kranj and some Continental Cups. 

Jessica Jerome, women's champion
It was a great competition today. I wish more of my teammates were here and not injured - I like competing against them and we push each other.

It was nice to see some of the younger development girls step up and have good runs. Nationals is always timed right for me as I start to get a good rhythm this time of the summer. Now it will be interesting to see how I stack up internationally.

Results (NOTE: Canadian Matt Rowley jumped to second, but only Americans are eligible for U.S. Championships results.)
Men's U.S. Championship
Women's U.S. Championship
 

 

Sun, 03 Aug 2014 23:30:18 +0000

U.S. Ski Jumpers Compete for Champs Title

PARK CITY, UT (Aug. 1) – U.S. Ski Team ski jumping and nordic combined athletes will be vying for the title of U.S. Champion this weekend at the U.S. Ski Jumping Championships at the Utah Olympic Park (UOP) in Park City Sunday, Aug. 3. The event is part of the UOP’s 16th annual Springer Tournee. Defending champion Nick Fairall is back to compete along with 2012 Champion Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT), who is looking to earn her 11th U.S. Champion title. Defending Champion Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) and Lindsey Van (Park City, UT) will not be competing this year. Jumping Championships are set to start with the trial round at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The 2014 U.S. Large Hill Ski Jumping Championships will take place during the summer for the seventh straight year on Aug. 3 at the 2002 Olympic venue in Park City, UT on the HS134 meter hill.
  • Nick Fairall will look to defend his U.S. Champion title after winning the large hill event last year.
  • Olympians Bryan Fletcher, Taylor Fletcher, Nick Alexander and Anders Johnson will also compete.
  • 2012 Champion Jessica Jerome is looking to earn her 11th U.S. Champion title.
  • U.S. Ski Team’s Sarah Hendrickson and Lindsey Van are recovering from surgeries and opted not to participate in this year’s championships.
  • Jumping Championships are set to start with the trial round at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3.
  • The nordic combined and normal hill ski jumping U.S. Championships will take place at the Flaming Leaves Festival in Lake Placid, NY Oct. 11-12.

 

Defending Champions

Men’s Large Hill
Nick Fairall, Andover, NH (1 title)

Women’s Large Hill
Sarah Hendrickson, Park City, UT (2 titles)

Schedule
Sunday, August 3th
8:00 a.m. U.S. Ski Jumping Championships (men and women HS 134-large hill)

 


Fri, 01 Aug 2014 20:52:14 +0000

Athlete Spotlight: Erik Bjornsen

As the second half of the Bjornsen nordic clan, Erik Bjornsen continues to carve out his own niche on the U.S. Cross Country Team, making his Olympic debut in 2014 and competing in six events.

In his first Olympic Games, the Washington native helped the men’s classic sprint relay team reach the finals in Sochi. That successful Olympic debut comes on the heels of a breakthrough 2013, where Bjornsen made his World Cup debut, had top-10 and top-15 finishes at U23 World Championships, and earned his first U.S. title in the 15k freestyle. He also skied in his first World Championships, finishing 14th in the team sprint, and then capped the year with two SuperTour Finals victories.

Bjornsen terrorized the SuperTour scene in 2012, with enough impressive finishes to take third overall in the four-part miniseries. He also made his mark on the collegiate scene, earning All-America honors as a freshman at Alaska Pacific University.

ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT

Name: Erik Bjornsen

Sport: Cross Country Skiing

How/when did you decide you wanted to compete: Before I can remember

Biggest accomplishment in your career so far: 6th in the team sprint at the Olympics

Favorite moment from Sochi: My five seconds of glory when when I was leading the Olympics!

Goals for next season: Score world cup points in both disciplines and both techniques

Favorite snow destination: Praz De Lys, France

Favorite non-snow destination: Mazama, Washington

Favorite candy: Sour Skittles

If you weren't a professional athlete what would you be: A professional business man

If you could have dinner with one person dead or alive, who would it be: My grandma

One thing you can’t live without: Chef Rosie Brennan

Favorite USSA athlete outside your sport: Julia Mancuso

Advice to others who want to follow in your footsteps: Nothing special, just train hard and enjoy it!

 


Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:30:41 +0000

2015 Cross Country Team Nominated

PARK CITY, UT (June 2) – World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) headlines a  powerhouse team of women nominated to the 2015 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team. All five A Team women reached the World Cup podium during the 2014 season. On the men’s side, veteran sprinter Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) and rising talent Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO), who won a Tour de Ski stage last season, anchor the American men for the 2015 World Championship season.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Three-time World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) highlights a powerhouse team of six women nominated to the 2015 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team.
  • Randall, along with Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN), are the defending team sprint World Champions.
  • Veteran Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) anchors a men’s team of six athletes including Olympians Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO) and Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO).
  • The 2015 Cross Country World Cup season is slated to open Nov. 29-30, 2014 in Kuusamo, Finland.
  • The 2015 Cross Country World Ski Championships will take place Feb. 18 – March 1, 2015 in Falun, Sweden.

2015 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team Nominated Athletes
Name, Hometown, Club, Date of Birth
* Denotes Olympian

A TEAM
Men
Simeon Hamilton (Aspen, CO; SMS T2, 5/14/87)*
Andrew Newell (Shaftsbury, VT; SMS T2, 11/30/83)*

Women
Jessica Diggins (Afton, MN; SMS T2, 8/26/91)*
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center, 12/31/82)*
Elizabeth Stephen (East Montpelier, VT; Burke Mountain Academy, 1/12/87)*
Sadie Bjornsen (Mazama, WA; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center, 11/21/89)*
Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT; SMS T2, 3/22/90)*

B TEAM
Men
Erik Bjornsen (Mazama, WA; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center, 7/14/92)*
Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO; Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, 8/1/89)*

Women
Ida Sargent (Craftsbury Common, VT; Craftsbury Green Racing Project, 1/25/88)*

D TEAM
Men
Patrick Caldwell (Hanover, NH; Dartmouth Ski Team, 2/18/94)
Ben Saxton (Lakeville, MN, SMS T2, 6/30/93) 


Mon, 02 Jun 2014 17:56:05 +0000