(Courtesy U.S. Women's Ski Jumping)
Jessica Jerome overcame erratic winds and a number of course holds and restarts to tally a pair of fourth-place finishes to lead the U.S. Women’s Ski Jumping Team in Continental Cup competition over the weekend in Oslo, Norway – site of the upcoming Nordic World Championships in February.
Jumping took place amidst continuing construction surrounding the famous K120 Holmenkollen and K95 Midtstubakken jumps in the Norwegian capital as it readies to welcome the Nordic skiing world this winter.
“The design of the new (Holmenkollen) complex is really cool and modern,” said U.S. team member Abby Hughes. “We heard the plan is to build four more ski jumps in that area and make a sports park, with k10 k20 k40 and k60 (jumps) along with a ropes course, swimming area, cross country trails and so on. Hopefully the important things -- such as roads, stadiums, and the ski jumps -- will be ready for the World Championships.”
Despite all the construction in the new-look Holmenkollen, an old foe – wind – will continue to wreak havoc with competitions held there. Officials stopped and started Saturday’s event four times because of changing winds, and most jumpers battled a strong tailwind that severely limited flight distance.
The one jumper who benefited from a headwind Saturday was Austria’s Daniela Iraschko, who swept last weekend’s two-competition stop in Lillehammer. Iraschko’s first effort Saturday measured a whopping 114.5 meters, more than 8 meters longer than the hill size for the competition (106). “She dropped like a rock and landed pretty hard and whiplashed onto her back,” Hughes said. “Because she (dragged her hands), it didn’t count as a hill record.”
Iraschko flew a more modest 93.5 meters on her second jump, tallying a 241.5 score to edge France’s Coline Mattel in second. Jerome, who began dialing in her technique last week in Lillehammer with two top-five finishes, jumped 92.5 and 88.0 meters for a 203.5 score, good for fourth. Lindsey Van was right behind in fifth, Alissa Johnson was seventh, and Hughes ended up 13th.
“All of us had pretty good first-round jumps considering the air was so bad,” Hughes said. “For the second round, we had lower speed and even more inconsistent air. Jessica had another good jump, Lindsey fought her way through the conditions, Alissa put two good jumps together, and I felt like my technique was consistent, however the tailwind over the knoll was very strong and didn't help me at all.”
Iraschko, Mattel and Germany’s Juliane Seyfarth finished 1-2-3 on Sunday, with Iraschko the only jumper to twice jump more than 100 meters. Jerome flew 100.5 her first time down and easily maintained fourth place in the final standings. Van (10th), Hughes (14th) and Johnson (20th) rounded out the U.S. placers.
France’s Mattel maintained her lead in the Continental Cup standings with 503 points, with Iraschko in second with 400. Austria’s Jacqueline Seifriedsberger is third. Sarah Hendrickson of the U.S., who didn’t compete in Oslo, is sixth, followed by Jerome in 10th and Johnson in 13th place.
The women’s Continental Cup circuit moves to Falun, Sweden, next weekend (Sept. 25-26) for two competitions.
Oslo HS 106
Saturday, Sept. 18
1. Daniela Iraschko, Austria (114.5, 93.5) 241.5
2. Coline Mattel, France (101.0, 93.0) 234.0
3. Jacqueline Seifriedsberger, Austria (95.5, 92.0) 222.0
4. Jessica Jerome, Park City, UT (92.5, 88.0) 203.5
5. Lindsey Van, Park City, UT (89.0, 88.5) 199.0
7. Alissa Johnson, Park City, UT (89.5, 86.5) 192.5
13. Abby Hughes, Park City, UT (91.5, 80.5) 182.0
Sunday, Sept. 19
1. Daniela Iraschko, Austria (104.0, 106.0) 248.2
2. Coline Mattel, France (100.0, 99.5) 230.9
3. Juliane Seyfarth, Germany (103.5, 95.0) 220.6
4. Jessica Jerome, Park City, UT (100.5, 92.5) 214.6
5. Jacqueline Seifriedsberger, Austria (94.5, 93.0) 210.1
10. Lindsey Van, Park City, UT (88.0, 95.0) 195.9
14. Abby Hughes, Park City, UT (91.5, 92.5) 192.3
20. Alissa Johnson, Park City, UT (94.0, 82.5) 177.3