American Jerome jumps to podium in Klingenthal eventThree Americans finished in the top 10 Sunday as the women’s ski jumping Continental Cup schedule resumed in a downpour at the former East German nordic center.
Jessica Jerome of Park City, Utah, earned her first podium of the season with a third-place finish. Fellow Park City jumpers Lindsey Van took fourth and Abby Hughes, who had the longest jump in the final round, was eighth.
Defending overall champion Anette Sagen of Norway snapped the four-meet winning streak of Germany’s Juliane Seyfahrt with a strong second jump on the 85-meter hill. Sagen finished with 230.0 points to 227.5 for Seyfahrt, who swept all four meets in North America last month, taking two at the VISA Women’s Ski Jumping Festival in Park City and then the next two in Calgary, Alberta.
Jerome, the top U.S. jumper in three of those North American meets, was third with 225.0 points on jumps of 79 and 79.5 meters; her final jump drew the highest style points of the meet. Van, the No. 2 skier in each of the last two seasons behind Sagen and second in the opening round behind Seyfahrt, had her best day of the young season, jumping 80.5 and 75.5 for 218.5 points. Hughes produced her third top 10 with jumps of 72 and 83.5 meters  for eighth place.
“Rain pounded us all day long; it never let up,” U.S. coach Casey Colby said. “At one point during the trial round a couple of skiers almost hydroplaned out of the track because of too much water in the track.”
After five of 24 Continental Cup events, Jerome is fourth overall with Van fifth and Alissa Johnson, who was 12th Sunday, seventh. Hughes is ranked 11th. Continental Cup is the highest level for women, who have been approved for inclusion in the 2009 World Championships and are hoping to be added to the 2010 Olympic schedule. The next women’s Continental Cup meet is Wednesday in Poehla, Germany.