Frenette, Van Crowned U.S. Normal Hill Champs
The 2011 backcountry.com U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships got underway Friday morning (July 30) with athletes jumping on the Olympic K90. Peter Frenette (Saranac Lake, NY) and Lindsey Van (Park City, UT) were crowned 2011 Normal Hill U.S. Champions.
The men's competition was tight with Olympic silver medalist Brett Camerota (Park City, UT) and two-time Olympian Anders Johnson (Park City, UT) landing solid jumps, forcing Frenette, who jumped last, to fly high. Camerota followed Frenette in second, while Johnson claimed the final spot on the podium.
"I'm confident with my jumps this summer," said Frenette. "My best jumps this were in this competition."
Also on the start list were Olympic medalist Nordic Combine skiers Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY). Lodwick and Demong joined a roster of 84 male athletes, ranging in all ages. Demong and Lodwick, who took Vancouver by storm, hope to secure and impact the U.S. nordic combined program for the future.
"A lot of these guys have been training really hard," said Demong. "One of the benefits of doing U.S. Championships in the summer is it's the first big competition for everybody. It's a time to showcase what they've been doing. Since Todd and I have taken some time off, it's a good opportunity to beat us."
The women's final round kicked off the championship title battle, with Van dethroning 2010 U.S. champion Jessica Jerome. Van took the top step of the podium with Sarah Hendrickson in second and Abby Hughes third. The podium was swept by three Park City women competing in front of a hometown crowd.
"It's definitely good to be jumping again. I haven't competed in almost a year so it's a little nerve racking, but more relief," said Van. "I'm just happy that I was able to jump in general and perform pretty well, I can't complain."
Events continue Friday night with a nordic combined two-man relay roller-ski exhibition. The race is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at the Utah Olympic Park. The 2011 backcountry.com U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championship titles are on the line again on Sunday with the K120 jump and nordic combined competition.
1. Peter Frenette, Saranac Lake, NY
2. Brett Camerota, Park City, UT
3. Anders Johnson, Park City, UT
1. Lindsey Van, Park City, UT
2. Sarah Hendrickson, Park City, UT
3. Abby Hughes, Park City, UT
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