USA Ski Jumping is already firing on all cylinders, as the team just competed in a Continental Cup in Kranj, Slovenia and the results were quite strong. In a field stacked with World Cup talent, Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes, a Canadian who trains as a part of our team, finished 4th. Kevin Bickner scored a career best 6th, made even more impressive considering he is only 19 and improving rapidly. With fellow American skiers, Mike Glasder scoring points in 27th and young Casey Larson finishing strongly in 36th amongst the deep field of more than 60 athletes. “The season could not have started much better,” noted USA Ski Jumping Sport Director, Clint Jones. “The field in Kranj was full of very high level jumpers and all of our guys were right in the mix. Having Kevin and Mackenzie on the podium was a perfect was to start the season.”
On the USA Nordic Combined side the season is also off to an impressive start. The entire World Cup and Continental Cup teams, along with several up and coming juniors competed in a multi-day event in Steamboat Springs, Colorado over July 4th, with Bryan Fletcher taking top honors and his younger brother, Taylor, not far behind in second. Showing the upcoming depth of the squad was Ben Loomis, of Eau Claire, who won the jumping portion and finished 3rd just behind the Fletcher duo. Head Coach Dave Jarrett commented, “The season is off to a great start. We just added Nik Huber as our World Cup jump coach, which has the whole organization very excited. Nik comes to us from the Norwegian team, where he established himself as one of the preeminent jump coaches in the world, so it was great to get the entire team together with the new staff. We had some juniors with us as well, which was also very productive, so overall it was an excellent training camp and comp and the guys are all looking really good.”
Another very exciting development for USA Nordic is the addition of Jed Hinkley as our new Sport Development Director. Jed was a 2002 Olympian in Nordic Combined and joins us now to spearhead our coaching education and athlete development. Jed’s knowledge of both ski jumping and cross-country skiing, as well as his more recent business experience, positions him perfectly to help take our entire team to the next level and better support and develop the next generation of skiers and jumpers.
As an organization we have also invested in bolstering our coaching staff, adding Uros “Balki” Vrhovec, who not only brings a wealth of expertise to the coaching stand, but he has also established himself as one of the premier jump suit designers on the World Cup, having made suits for some of the top World Cup skiers. This added level of expertise should prove to be invaluable in the hyper-competitive world of jumping technology and we are delighted to have added one of the best technicians in the world.
All of this initial success bodes well for a great year and on behalf of all of the executive leadership of USA Nordic,I am very excited about the coming competition season. Thank you all for your continued support and please continue to look for further updates through the year on our progress.