U.S. titles are expected to be hotly contested with a strong and deep field for this weekend’s U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships in Utah.
The 2013 title events – held in summer for the fifth straight year – will take place 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.
Among the favorites will be eight time U.S. champions Billy Demong (Vermontville, N.Y.), who will be seeking his ninth U.S. title and hoping to defend the nordic combined crown he won last year in Fox River Grove, IL.
Competing on her home hill will be large hill women’s titlist from 2012 Jessica Jerome (Park City, Utah). She will be looking for her ninth U.S. championship after winning on the large hill in Park City a year ago.
“The Utah Olympic Park in Park City is a great venue and the weather usually cooperates,” said Jerome “I’ve already seen more young girls out here from all over the country than I ever have before. It’s awesome that more girls are coming up and are able to make the trip out here to compete — it’s really cool to see. I am really looking forward to this weekend and getting back into the competition mode.”
Meanwhile, Peter Frenette (Saranac Lake, N.Y.), who has two top-10 finishes in FIS Continental Cups this summer, will look to defend his large hill title.
“I’m looking forward to this weekend’s U.S. championships — it should be a good competition,” Frenette said. “Everyone is jumping at a really high level now, so it will be interesting to see how things will turn out. I’m working on a few things technique wise while I’m training in hopes of getting another national title.”
Hometown jumper Anders Johnson (Park City, Utah), who has three top-20s in FIS Continental Cups this summer, will seek to defend his normal hill crown.
“The Springer Tournee is by far the biggest weekend for ski jumping in North America. For me, I just want to enjoy the weekend, stay focused and jump far. You can just feed off the positive energy of the event,” Anders said.
2012 World Cup champion Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, Utah) and 2009 World Champion Lindsey Van (Park City, Utah) will both sit out the event recovering from planned off-season surgeries.
Jumping championships are set for 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 4-5, at the Utah Olympic Park. The Nordic combined roller ski finale is 1 p.m. Saturday at Soldier Hollow.
• Men’s Large Hill – Peter Frenette, Saranac Lake, N.Y. (3 titles)
• Women’s Large Hill – Jessica Jerome, Park City, Utah (8 titles)
• Men’s Normal Hill – Anders Johnson, Park City, Utah (3 titles)
• Women’s Normal Hill – Sarah Hendrickson, Park City, Utah (1 title)
• Nordic Combined – Billy Demong, Vermontville, N.Y. (8 titles)
Friday, August 3
• 8 a.m. – Springer Tournee (HS100, HS68, HS10 – non-championship event)
• 5 p.m. – Springer Tournee (HS 5-42 – non-championship event)
Saturday, August 4
• 8 a.m. – U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships (men and women, HS134-large hill)
• 1 p.m. – U.S. Nordic Combined Championships, Soldier Hollow (10k cross country)
Sunday, August 5
• 8 a.m. – U.S. Ski Jumping Championships (men and women, HS100-normal hill)
Photos: U.S. Ski Team/Nancye Rahn