Challenger School

Utah Olympic Venues Host U.S. Championships This Weekend

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Free public admission to watch the competition.

The Olympic venues at the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow will play host to the U.S. Ski Jumping Championships and U.S. Nordic Combined Championships this Saturday (August 1). The event will attract the top Olympic ski jumpers and nordic combined athletes in America. Jumping will take place Saturday morning at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, with the nordic combined roller ski finale Saturday evening at Soldier Hollow in Midway.

The U.S. Championships are a part of the 17th annual Springer Tournee at the Utah Olympic Park, offering a wide range of introductory and competitions for beginning and elite ski jumpers, including a competition Friday on the HS100-meter hill in addition to Saturday’s HS134-meter U.S. Championship.

Christian Friberg (St. Paul, MN; St. Paul Ski Club) will look to defend the large hill title he won last season on the Utah Olympic Park’s 134-meter jump. Expected to also challenge will be World Championship team member Will Rhoads (Park City UT; Park City Nordic) and Kevin Bickner (Park City, UT; Norge Ski Club).

Tara Geraghty-Moats (W. Fairlee, VT; Lebanon Outing Club) is returning after a breakout season last year that kicked off with bronze medals in both large hill and normal hill last fall.

Jumpers will compete on the 134-meter hill at the Utah Olympic Park. The normal hill U.S. Championship will be held in Lake Placid, NY in October.

Action in the U.S. Nordic Combined Championship is expected to be tight between defending champion Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) and brother Taylor (also Steamboat Springs). Adam Loomis (Eau Claire, WI; Flying Eagles Ski Club) rounded out last year’s podium.

Admission is free at both the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow. Jumping competition beginsSaturday morning with an 8:00 a.m. trial round, followed by competition rounds at 9:00 and 10:30 a.m.Nordic combined will move onto the roller ski tracks at Soldier Hollow for a 6:00 p.m. evening competition.

U.S. SKI JUMPING AND NORDIC COMBINED CHAMPIONSHIPS

Thursday, July 30
Noon – 5:00 p.m. – Jump training, Utah Olympic Park

Friday, July 31
Springer Tournee, HS100-meter, Utah Olympic Park
8:00 a.m. – Trial round
9:00 a.m. – Competition ski jumping
10:30 a.m. – Final round ski jumping

Saturday, Aug. 1
U.S. Ski Jumping Championship, HS134-meter, Utah Olympic Park
8:00 a.m. – Trial round
9:00 a.m. – Competition ski jumping and nordic combined
10:30 a.m. – Final round ski jumping
11:30 a.m. – Ski jumping awards

U.S. Nordic Combined Championship, Soldier Hollow
6:00 p.m. – Roller ski
6:30 p.m. – Nordic combined awards

WHO TO WATCH

NORDIC COMBINED

Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) – Olympian Bryan Fletcher is the defending champion, taking the win over brother Taylor last October. Fletcher had the top U.S. finish in the 2015 World Championships, finishing fifth in the large hill event.

Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) – Olympian Taylor Fletcher was the silver medalist last season at the U.S. Championships, and scored his first World Cup podium last season in Japan.

Adam Loomis (Eau Claire, WI) – Adam Loomis was bronze medalist in last year’s U.S. Championships.

SKI JUMPING

Men

Kevin Bickner (Park City, UT) – Norge Ski Club (Illinois) jumper Kevin Bickner has started the summer off with some of his best ever results in Europe and is looking for his first U.S. title. Earlier in July Bickner was 12th in a Continental Cup in Kranj, Slovenia, then finished sixth in a FIS Cup in Villach, Austria. He was a member of the 2015 Junior Worlds Team that competed in Almaty, Kazakhstan and made his World Cup debut in Lahti, Finland.

Christian Friberg (Roseville, MN) –  St. Paul Ski Club athlete Christian Friberg, the defending champion on the large hill, has also been showing strong jumps in training this summer. Friberg came into last year’s event in Lake Placid on the heels of a strong summer season on the FIS Cup. He continued that on snow with a number of top finishes, including two top-tens in FIS Cup events in the USA last winter.

Will Rhoads (Park City, UT) – Park City Nordic Ski Club jumper Will Rhoads, who made his World Championships debut last season, has been jumping well, and has been home at the Utah Olympic Park training for this event for the last couple months. Last season was a breakout for Rhoads, who scored a second in a Continental Cup at Sapporo, Japan to earn a spot on the Worlds team.

Women

Emilee Anderson (Eau Claire, WI) – Flying Eagles Ski Club jumper Emilee Anderson is coming off a strong season where she finished 20th at Nordic Junior Worlds in Almaty and scored strong Continental Cup results.

Nina Lussi (Lake Placid, NY) – Jumping out of the New York Ski Educational Foundation in Lake Placid, Nina Lussi was a regular on the World Cup tour last year. She is a past bronze medalist in the normal hill competition at U.S. Championships and was a six-time member of the Nordic Junior Worlds Team.

Tara Geraghty-Moats (West Fairlee, VT) – Lebanon Outing Club jumper Tara Geraghty-Moats had a breakout season last year, qualifying to compete at the World Championships in Sweden. A successful junior jumper, Geraghty-Moats shifted to biathlon some years but came back to jumping with a strong 2015 season that featured a top-10 World Cup finish and an 18th at World Championships. Geraghty-Moats took bronze in both the large hill and normal hill U.S. Championships last season.

Abby Hughes (Park City, UT) – A three-time World Championship Team member, Abby Hughes is a veteran coming out of the Park City Nordic program. She is a past medalist at U.S. Championships and student at Westminster College.

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