Oconomowoc Ski Club
The event was the JII qualifier in 1986 for the JOs in Steamboat. It was in Ironwood, Michigan, home of the Wolverine Ski Club. The Copper Peak ski flying hill is only a couple of miles away and you can see it from the top of the jump. The club is no longer active and the jumps are now overgrown, but for many years it was a major stop on the Central Tour. The jump these photos were taken on was a 50 meter, but that’s when jumps were categorized by P-point, not K point. By today’s standards it would probably by a 65 meter or maybe a 70. Characteristically, it was a really high flying jump. Given the elevation at sea level and the cold temps in the U.P. the air pressure was really thick, so it rode much bigger than its size, and could be pretty intimidating for young juniors, but was viewed as a good test for the 70 meters (~k90). Regarding the tournament, several of the competitors went on to significant things in the sport from being on Junior Worlds teams, the US ski team, and the Olympics. Brett Bietila, from Ishpeming made 2 Junior Worlds teams, Jason Posmer, Norge Ski Club (Fox River Grove, IL) made two Junior Worlds teams, was a junior national champion, and was on the US Ski Team. Eric Hiatt, Iron Mountain, MI, was on multiple Junior Worlds teams, was a Junior National champion, and was on the US Ski team. Bryan Sanders, St Paul Ski Club, was a Junior National champion, World Junior, US Ski Team member, and ‘92 Olympian. Kurt Stein, Blackhawk Ski Club, Madison, WI, was on several Junior Worlds teams, the US Ski Team, and was in the ‘92 and ‘94 Olympics. Not pictured, but in attendance, was Tony Benzie, Iron Mountain, MI, who was on the ‘87 Junior Worlds team. Max Doman, Wolverine Ski Club was also there, not pictured. I was there, but I was skiing the 30m that weekend. John Kusz, is in one of the photos. He was also from Ironwood and competed in the Central Division for many years. He was a really strong, well respected masters class jumper.
SOME PHOTOS OF THE BOYS FLYING WOLVERINE IN 1986 FOLOW BELOW-
CURATOR’S NOTE- The Wolverine ski jumps go back to the early 1900’s where, according to Wikipedia, world records were set by Anders Haugen and Ragnar Omtvetd.