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Nordic combined, jumping nationals slated for October

In a radical departure from the traditional end-of-the-season calendar slot, USSA Vice President of Events Calum Clark confirmed to Ski Racing that the U.S. championships for jumping and nordic combined will be held in October, before the start of the World Cup season.
Clark said a major reason for the shift is to guarantee athletes would be around and available to compete in a national championships event. He added that a March or early April event also can tend to get lost in the shuffle of other national championships. So instead of snow, roller skis and plastic-lined jumping hills will decide who’s a national champion.
In a radical departure from the traditional end-of-the-season calendar slot, USSA Vice President of Events Calum Clark confirmed to Ski Racing that the U.S. championships for jumping and nordic combined will be held in October, before the start of the World Cup season.
     Clark said a major reason for the shift is to guarantee athletes would be around and available to compete in a national championships event. Last season, a handful of the U.S. team’s best athletes were either still in Europe competing on the World Cup or in transit back to the U.S. and missed the event last March. Clark added that a March or early April event also can tend to get lost in the shuffle of other national championships. So instead of snow, roller skis and plastic-lined jumping hills will decide who’s a national champion.
     “For sure we’d like to be on snow, but given the circumstances we’re going to make the best of the situation, and I think we’re going to have a good event that will fire up the community,” Clark said. “We’re going to shine the appropriate light on these athletes. We believe the benefits are considerable and the athletes are behind it.”
     Clark said the timing of the event would be mid to late October, around the time of the World Cup alpine opener in Sölden, Austria, on Oct. 25-26. The venue has yet to be confirmed to Ski Racing.
     Elsewhere on the events front, Clark said he’s still trying to confirm a venue for the 2009 U.S. Freestyle Championships. He said two resorts are in play to host the event, one in the West and one in the Rockies.
     “I’m still out there flagging in the wind on that one,” Clark said. “I sleep a lot better at night when I’ve got all the events in the bag.”

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