The 2019 USANS Awards were presented at the end of the Springer Tournee in Park City, Utah. These awards celebrate clubs, coaches, athletes, and volunteer’s accomplishments with respect to USA Nordic’s three core values – confidence, courage, and character. Six awards were presented in total.
This year’s USA Nordic Club of Year Award went to the Eau Claire Flying Eagles out of Wisconsin. The Eau Claire Flying Eagles have continued to advance ski jumping and nordic combined in the Central Division and at the National Level. The Flying Eagles Ski Club holds world-class ski jumping and nordic combined tournaments at both Silver Mine and the Junior Hills at Mt. Washington. This year, Nick Mattoon returned to the club to coach young athletes. In addition, coaches and parents volunteer to recruit and retain athletes in the club. The Flying Eagles have high rates of both athlete and non-athlete memberships and have put multiple athletes onto National and Junior National Teams in recent years. Finally, and maybe most importantly, the new 55 meter that will soon be open in Eau Claire is a game-changer for both the club and the division. This new ski jump is a testament to the commitment the club and the town put towards the success of ski jumping and nordic combined in America.
This year the Ptarmigan Award, which celebrates the volunteer of the year, went to Kelly Franklin of the Utah Olympic Park. Since 1999 Franklin has worked virtually every event from pre-Olympics, Olympics, nordic combined FIS events, and junior national qualifiers. She can handle any position at the highest level of competition, though she has generally always held and cherished the role of starter. Franklin even attended a FIS TD seminar on her own nickel last year in order to be better prepared for her important role at the Junior World Championships. “If every region had one Kelly Franklin, we would be in great shape from the event standpoint,” says former executive director of USA Ski Jumping Alan Johnson.
The 2019 Club Coach of the Year was awarded to Garret Fisk who coaches at the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Garrett Fisk has been an integral part of the SSWSC for nearly ten years. He has been the U14 coach for many years and played a vital role in the development of athletes who are now on Junior National and National Teams. This year, alongside Karl Denney, Fisk coached athletes to seven Junior National Championships and an additional eight podiums at Junior National Championships. Fisk’s efforts go beyond just coaching at the SSWSC, as he has coached young nordic combined athletes from all over the country during yearly Europe training camps. For three consecutive years, he has helped young American skiers gain international experience while introducing them to the FIS Youth Cup level competitions all over Europe.
The USA Nordic Club Leader of the Year went to Cheryl Tourville. As Vice President of the Lebanon Outing Club, Cheryl supports the President and Board of Directors to ensure that Storrs Hill Ski Area is running smoothly. One of her key responsibilities is to help oversee the funding of the non-profit organization. Cheryl researches and applies for grants, a rigorous and time-consuming process. She secured the funding, which made it possible for the Lebanon Outing Club to upgrade their 25m jump (K25) and 50m jump (K50) with stainless steel tracks in 2017.
As the “Jump Team mom,” Cheryl helps keep the ski jumping team organized. She travels to ski jumping competitions, makes sure that all the kids have transportation, and often serves as the team’s photographer. Cheryl works closely with her husband, Coach Ed, and with Stephanie Vallee, the nordic coordinator/board member.
Cheryl is also an active member of the USA Nordic Membership committee and is amazing at communicating USANS initiatives to her club. She also contributed greatly to this year’s Story Project.
Andrew Urlaub and Anna Hoffman won the Junior Sportsman and Junior Sportswoman of the Year Awards. These awards celebrate athletes who display incredible character and leadership on and off the ski slopes.
Hoffman has shown great improvement this past year, this is thanks to the time and effort she has put towards truly advancing herself in the world of ski jumping. Over and over again Hoffman has sought extracurricular coaching and training in order to enhance her abilities as a professional athlete. This past year she has also taken on the role as a mentor to younger athletes and joined multiple committees as an athlete representative, all while balancing a full completion schedule and being a full-time student at the University of Utah.
Andrew Urlaub had an unlikely burst onto the ski jumping scene in the last year. His improving results over the summer of 2018 translated into his first start at the World Ski Championships at the young age of 17 years old. Andrew has put the time and effort into becoming a top athlete in ski jumping. Urlaub mostly trained on his own while focusing on finishing high school in Eau Claire, Wisconsin last season. He has grown into a natural leader and a man that we can depend on and use as a great example of determination to overcome any obstacle.
Congrats to all our award recipients for their accomplishments within the ski jumping and nordic combined community. These leaders help support our goals as an organization while showcasing the virtues which are most important to us- courage, confidence, and character.