USA Masters Ski Jumping National Championships
January 15-16, 2005
Norge Ski Club, Fox River Grove, IL

The new tower Old Boys from East, West and Central (and one ski jumping lady) gathered in Northern Illinois on January 15 & 16 for the 2005 Masters Age Group Championships hosted by the Norge Ski Club at their ski bowl in Fox River Grove. Masters competed in rotation with junior and senior jumpers, Saturday on the 10, 22 and 47 meter hills then Sunday on the new 72 meter jump.
(The 47 and 72 meter towers are shown at right.)

This was not an ordinary tournament weekend. It was Norge's celebration of 100 years of ski jumping, and they pulled out all the stops. They attracted honored guests from all over the country and even brought three all the way from Norway, which coincidentally was celebrating a centennial of their own -- 100 years of independence from Sweden.

Carl Howelson, one of the all-time great figures in ski jumping, helped found the Norge Ski Club in 1905 and to locate the present jump site. Later he moved to Steamboat Springs and started the jumping movement there where the jumps now bear his name. Guests from Steamboat included Alpine medalist Billy Kidd and a Carl Merritt Cook Howelson impersonator. Traveling from Norway were Howelson's son Leif and two guests from the ski museum in Kongsberg, home of many of the worlds best jumpers in the middle of the twentieth century, including the Ruud brothers. Notable among long-time Norge members was Merritt Cook, for years an official of the Central Ski Assn. and the National Ski Assn., precurser of the USSA. Cook looked scarcely half of his 90-plus age at the Friday evening banquet as he led a group of old jumpers in the Ski Jumping Song (right). He told the audience that he had jumped with Birger Ruud at Norge in 1932! On Sunday, Cook had the honor of flagging the first skier down the big tower.

Chatting with Leif Howelson
Tim, Dale and Don Chat with Howelson
 
Guests from Kongsberg
Kongsberg guests, with Don and Earle

Not only has the Norge club been active for 100 years, they claim never to have missed their annual competition. A year ago, by performing a miracle, they kept the streak alive. They had purchased the Ely Minnesota jump tower, loaded it on 17 flatbead trucks, and brought it to Norge hill, where in spite of several setbacks, they managed to erect it before their competition date. They hammered the last nail on Wednesday, snowed the tower on Thursday, set a track on Friday and held a successful competition on Sunday.

Over the summer, they fine tuned the profile and added a plastic summer-jumping surface. The plastic caused some headaches in January when the cables installed to keep the snow from sliding down the landing snapped, not once but twice, leaving an avalanche of snow, fencing and steel cables at the bottom. But twice, they removed the mess, reinstalled the cables, and made more snow. A big thaw, with 50 degrees and an inch of rain on Wednesday, was followed by the second avalanche on Thursday. But the weather turned bitter cold so the snow cannon turned out copious quantities of the white stuff and by Saturday morning, all five jumps were ready to go.

About 150 ski jumper, ages 4 to 70, lined up to compete on 5, 10, 22, 47 and 72 meter jumps in bright sunshine and single digit temperatures. The oldest was Dale Severson from St. Paul who fell on his first jump on the 22 meter hill and declined to take his second ride. Later, in the clubhouse, he toasted the event with a beer saying "I did it, at 70!" Congratulations Dale.

The first-ever female Masters competitor was Lisa Smith of Norge who skied on the 10 meter hill. (In 2004, Karla Keck skied in the pre-masters class.) We had competitors from Rocky Mountain Division, Intermountain Division, Eastern Division, and one who is listed as from Alaska but lives in Central Illinois.

On the 47 meter hill, in Masters Class-III (50-59), a long-time rivalry continued and this year it was Tom Ricchio edging Tim Denisson as Tim wore number 50 in his 50th year of skiing. In Masters Class-IV (60-69), Terry Holmgren, who just turned 60, upset the old order between Bob Keck and Don West. Winner in Masters Class-II (40-49) was newcomer Arne Erisoty of Ogden Utah who has had jumping skis for only a couple of years, but was a long-time gelende-jumper. In Masters Class-I (30-39), Swiss-American Patrick Kruegel edged Polish-American Wojciech Rafacz by less that five points.

Masters-IV Medalists
M-IV: Bob Keck, Terry Holmgren, Don West

 
Masters-III Medalists
M-III: Tim Denisson and Tom Ricchio

Masters-II Medalists
M-II: Joe Berens and Arne Erisoty

 
Masters-I Medalists
M-I: Wojciech Rafacz and Patrick Kruegel

On the big hill, it was the battle of the coaches, with Norge coach Scott Smith taking Masters-II over Erisoty. In Masters-I, Colaraine coach Martin Bayer flew past K on both rides to place well ahead of Blackhawk Ski Club coach and ex-Norge skier, Kip Kopelke.  
Scott Smith
Scott Smith
 
Martin Bayer
Martin Bayer
 
Kip Kopelke
Kip Kopelke

Here are the masters results. You can see complete competition results in two pdf files: small hill and big hill results on the Norge website.

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USA Masters Ski Jumping National Championships
Norge Ski Club, Fox River Grove, Illinois
Small Hills, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2005

Conditions

Temperature: 10
Weather: Sunny

Style Judges

A: Gary Jacobson
B: Korey Arneson
C: Dale Fredette

Competition Jury

Tech. Delegate: Dale Fredette
Asst. T.D.: Korey Arneson
Chief of Hill: Ken Posmer

10 Meter Event

Masters-I, Ladies (ages 30-39)



   Athlete Name . . . . Club 

   Jump   ...Judge...   Style  Dist Total  Final

   Dist.  A    B    C    Pts   Pts   Pts   Score

 -----------------------------------------------

1  Lisa Smith         Norge 

    8.0  13.0 13.0 13.5  39.5  49.6  89.1 

    8.0  10.0 10.0 10.5  30.5  49.6  80.1  169.2 

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22 Meter Event

Master-V (ages 70-79)



   Athlete Name . . . . Club 

   Jump   ...Judge...   Style  Dist Total  Final

   Dist.  A    B    C    Pts   Pts   Pts   Score

 -----------------------------------------------

1  Dale Severson    St. Paul 

   14.0  14.5 13.0 14.5  42.0  20.0 62.0

      (no second jump)    ...   0.0  ...    62.0







Master-II (ages 40-49)



1  Chris Schroeder   Norge 

   16.0  13.0 13.5 15.0  41.5  30.0  71.5 

   15.0  13.0 13.0 14.5  40.5  25.0  65.5  137.0 





2  Jim Mylander    St. Paul 

    9.0  11.5 11.5 12.0  35.0   0.0  35.0 

    9.0  12.5 12.0 12.0  36.5   0.0  36.5   71.5 



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47 Meter Event

Master-IV (ages 60-69)



   Athlete Name . . . . Club 

   Jump   ...Judge...   Style  Dist Total  Final

   Dist.  A    B    C    Pts   Pts   Pts   Score

 -----------------------------------------------

1  Terry Holmgren  Ishpeming 

   31.5  14.5 15.0 15.0  44.5  10.4  54.9 

   31.5  15.0 14.5 15.0  44.5  10.4  54.9  109.8 



2  Bob Keck       Oconomowoc 

   23.5  12.5 14.0 14.5  41.0   0.0  41.0 

   30.0  14.5 15.0 14.5  44.0   5.6  49.6   90.6 



3  Don West      Lake Placid 

   24.0  12.0 13.5 14.0  39.5   0.0  39.5 

   25.5  14.5 13.5 13.5  41.5   0.0  41.5   81.0 







Master-III (ages 50-59)





1  Tom Richio        Iola 

   37.5  16.5 16.0 16.0  48.5  29.6  78.1 

   37.5  17.0 16.0 15.5  48.5  29.6  78.1  156.2 



2  Tim Denisson  Wyoming Wingnuts 

   37.0  14.5 15.5 15.0  45.0  28.0  73.0 

   36.0  15.5 15.0 15.0  45.5  24.8  70.3  143.3 





Master-II (ages 40-49)





1  Arne Erisoty  NSF-Park City

   39.0  14.0 15.0 15.0  44.0  34.4  78.4 

   40.0  13.5 15.0 15.0  43.5  37.6  81.1  159.5 





2  Joe Berens     Minneapolis 

   29.5  13.0 12.5 14.0  39.5   4.0  43.5 

   30.5  13.5 13.0 13.0  39.5   7.2  46.7   90.2 







Master-I (ages 30-39)





1  Patrick Kruegel Minneapolis 

   34.0  14.0 14.0 14.5  42.5  18.4  60.9 

   39.0  13.5 14.5 15.0  43.0  34.4  77.4  138.3 





2  Wojciech Rafacz   Norge 

   35.5  13.0 14.0 14.5  41.5  23.2  64.7 

   36.5  14.0 14.5 14.0  42.5  26.4  68.9  133.6 





3  Carl Stewart     Alaska 

   20.0  13.0 12.0 12.5  37.5   0.0  37.5 

   23.5  12.0 11.5 12.0  35.5   0.0  35.5   73.0 





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72 Meter Event
Sunday, January 16, 2005

Conditions

Temperature: 10
Weather: Sunny

Style Judges
A: Gary Jacobson
B: Korey Arneson
C: Dale Fredette
D: Blair Tomten
E: Ed Waters
Competition Jury

Tech. Delegate: Dale Fredette
Asst. T.D.: Korey Arneson
Chief of Hill: Ken Posmer

Master-II (ages 40-49)



   Athlete Name      Club 

   Jump    ....... Judges ......  Style  Dist Total  Final

   Dist.   A    B    C    D    E   Pts.  Pts.  Pts.  Score

 ---------------------------------------------------------

1  Scott Smith        Norge 

   60.5  15.5 15.0 14.5 14.0 16.0  45.0  39.1  84.1 

   63.5  16.0 16.0 16.0 14.0 15.5  47.5  45.7  93.2  177.3 



2  Arne Erisoty    NSF-Park City

   43.0  12.5 12.0 13.0 12.5 13.0  38.0  0.6   38.6 

   43.5  13.0 12.0 13.0 11.5 12.5  37.5  1.7   39.2   77.8 



3  Joe Berens       Minneapolis 

   43.0  11.0 12.5 12.0 12.0 10.0  35.0   0.6  35.6 

   43.0  13.0 12.0 12.5 12.0 12.0  36.5   0.6  37.1   72.7 



Master-I (ages 30-39)

1  Martin Bayer  Itasca/Coleraine 

   73.5  15.5 15.5 15.5 16.0 18.0  47.0  67.7 114.7 

   73.0  16.0 15.5 16.0 15.5 15.5  47.0  66.6 113.6  228.3 



2  Kip Kopelke      Blackhawk 

   68.0  15.0 15.0 15.0 14.0 15.0  45.0  55.6 100.6 

   69.5  15.0 15.0 14.0 16.0 15.5  45.5  58.9 104.4  205.0 



3  Albert Gasienica   Norge 

   57.0  14.0 14.5 14.5 13.0 13.5  42.0  31.4  73.4 

   65.0  15.5 16.0 16.0 15.5 14.5  47.0  49.0  96.0  169.4 



Masters gang at Norge, 2005
MASTERS SKI JUMPERS (AND SOME PAST MASTERS) AT NORGE (L-R)
Front (kneeling): Scott Smith, Arne Erisoty, Tim Denisson, Jim Mylander.
Standing: Steve Erkkila, Paul Johnson, Bill Haugen, Kip Kopelke, Joe Berens, Wojciech Rafacz, Tom Ricchio, Terry Holmgren, Patrick Kruegel, Dale Severson, Carl Stewart, Bob Keck, Don West, Earle Murphy, Mark Nappa, Dave Edlund, John Keck, Lisa Smith
(Missing: Bryan Sanders, Bart Lockhart, Scott Immens, John Glasder, Dave Engstrom, Chris Schroeder, Martin Bayer, Albert Gasienica.)

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