USA Masters Ski Jumping National Championships
January 25-27, 2008
Norge Ski Club, Fox River Grove, Illinois

 


We skied these three jumps The Norge Ski Club hosted the 2008 National Masters Ski Jumping Championships January 25-27 at their marvelous facility in Fox River Grove, Illinois just northwest of Chicago. The Masters competitions were folded into the annual Norge junior and senior jumping weekend, with its small-hill competitions on Saturday and 70 meter SuperTour jump on Sunday. Preparing hills for ski jumping in that southern climate requires a lot of hard work and a touch of good luck. The Norge volunteer crew did the work and the ski gods did the rest, bringing several days of single digit temperatures to northern Illinois in the week leading up to the big weekend. The crew made snow all week and groomed five hills, which were topped off with a few inches of natural snow, creating a perfect skiing surface on the landings and outruns. The final weather gift was a warmup to the 20's on Saturday and low 30's on Sunday which brought out record crowds of specators.

Twenty one Masters joined the youngsters at the Norge ski jumping bowl, with seven Old Boys making the thousand mile trip from Eastern ski jumping land and three more flying in from Utah and Wyoming. Of course, the host club was well represented, with five skiers of its own.

 
Racine Ski Club members in the 1950's
Tom Ricchio and Archie Lowman
The festivities began with training on Friday, followed by a get-together in the Norge clubhouse with pizza and side dishes, open to skiers, coaches, family and friends. This evening gathering was the opportunity to induct new members into the Master Ski Jumpers Hall of Fame.

Master of ceremonies Tim Denisson of Cheyenne, Wyoming, a Hall of Fame member and charter member of the Wyoming Wingnuts ski jumping club, began by calling up Tom Ricchio to make his presentation of Archie Lowman as the first inductee. Archie and Tom were club-mates decades ago in the Racine Ski Club and Tom told about Archie's early jumping, his military service in World War II, his return to jumping after the war and his 40 years as a jumping judge.

Two guys named Scott
Scott Smith and Scott Immens
 
Next Norge Ski Club member Scott Immens presented inductee Scott Smith, the youngest ever honored by the Hall. He described Smith's early days as a struggling junior jumper and his later successes on the U.S. Ski Team, first as a competitor and then as a coach. Smith continued skiing at a high level and won countless competitions in Masters Class, including five national championships on 90 and 120 meter hills, seven age group championships, and two gold and two silver medals at the World Masters Championships (IMC). Smith has been Central Jumping Panel chairman and Central Division coach, all the time making snow and conditioning the Norge hills and acting as club coach, including some seasons as full time coach.

 
Tim surprises Don
Tim Denisson and Don West
When these presentations were finished and all the pictures were taken, Denisson called up Don West, ostensibly to give details on the up-coming World Masters Event in Finland, but in fact to present a third, surprise inductee. West, who just turned 70, is still competing, even on some of the bigger hills, and has also collected medals at Eastern and National championships, age group championships and at IMC. He was a certified Technical Delegate, hill designer, long time member and secretary of the Eastern Jumping Committee, and created and maintains the Eastern jumping web page SkiJumpEast.com. No one was more surprised by this honor than the inductee.

Hall of Fame, Class of 2008
Honored inductees Archie Lowman, Don West and Scott Smith

 


 
Saturday morning gave the skiers more training time, with competition beginning in the afternoon with the little kids on the five meter jump. The progression moved to the ten meter hill and four Masters joined in the fun on the 22 meter slide (complete results below). Seventeen Masters competed on the 47 meter hill as afternoon slipped into dusk, putting a chill in the air. Two traditional head-to-head competitions were suspended for just this year as two skiers entered new age groups while their long-time rivals stayed back. Tom Ricchio and Tim Denisson had split the gold medals last year in Iola but Ricchio has turned 60 and won Class IV, outscoring rival Denisson, one year younger, who won Class III. Similarly, Don West turned 70 and found himself unchallenged in Class V while Bob Keck, just 69, had to deal with Ricchio. Keck and West have competed against each other in seven decades, since the late 1940's! Wladyslaw Kwak defended his Class I title and Jack Gasienica did the same in Class II.  [See a listing of the champions for all the years of the age group championships.]  As soon as the competition was over, the Old Boys assembled at the bottom of the 47 meter landing for a group photo.

 
Eighteen Master jumpers pose after Saturday's small hill jumping.
Late Saturday Afternoon
STANDING, LEFT TO RIGHT: BOB KECK 98, JON FARNHAM 88, BILL RYAN 82, DAN BROWN 89, MARK BREEN 84,
MATT MCKENNEY, JOE BERENS 85, SCOTT IMMENS, JOHN CONLEY 91, DON WEST 99, WOJCIECH RAFACZ 75.
KNEELING: JIM MYLANDER 42, PATRICK KRUEGEL, DARCY OLIGNEY 81, TOM RICCHIO 95, JACK GASIENICA 83,
TIM DENISSON 94. (MISSING: ALBERT GASIENICA, WLADYSLAW KWAK, ROMAN HAWRYLA.)

Competition on the four small hills had taken far longer than organizers had anticipated, leaving no time for the award ceremonies before the scheduled 70 meter night competition, so awards were postponed to late Sunday morning after big hill training. This was a disappointment to many of the small-hill competitors who left without their trophies, and it made many of the podium photos (below) incomplete.

On Sunday afternoon, the SuperTour meet and Masters 70 meter championships were conducted under spectacular conditions before a large and enthusiastic crowd of spectators. Scott Smith had claimed that his endless days and nights of hill work had left him too tired to ski, but when the time came, he couldn't resist. He pulled on his jumping suit, carried his skis to the top and added still another gold medal to his collection.

Headed for another gold medal
Scott Smith flies to a gold medal on the Norge 70 meter ski jump.

 
 
Jack flies to 71 meters
Jack Gasienica flies 71 meters   (Rob Winner photo)
But not without some help. Long time Norge jumper Jack Gasienica now living and training in Park City outdistanced Smith but fell, opening the door to both Smith and Patrick Kruegel of Minneapolis in the 40-49 year age group competition. Jack's younger brother Albert Gasienica fared better, easily outdistancing Wladyslaw Kwak in Class I. The oldest jumper in the event was Jon "Cannonball" Farnham of the Lebanon Outing Club in New Hampshire, who has just turned 50 and was unopposed in Class III. The 70 meter competition ended with a distance-only jump-off, giving the scorekeeper time to prepare the finish lists, so awards were handed out immediately following the competition. It was a grand weekend of sport and fellowship and a good time was had by all.

A huge vote of thanks goes to all the Norge Club volunteers who made the event such a sucess!


The results below are presented in the order in which the competitions were conducted.

22 Meter Event

 
Master-II (ages 40-49)




  Athlete Name         Dist   -Judge Scores-  Style   Dist   Jump  Total

  Home or Club         (M)    J-1  J-2   J-3   Pts.   Pts.   Pts.   Pts.

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1 Darcy Oligney        20.0   15.0 14.5 14.5   44.0   50.0   94.0

  Iola                 20.0   13.5 13.5 14.0   41.0   50.0   91.0  185.0



2 Roman Hawryla        17.0   14.0 13.0 15.0   42.0   35.0   77.0

  Norge Ski Club       18.5   14.5 14.0 13.5   42.0   42.5   84.5  161.5



3 Jim Mylander         12.5   12.0 11.5 11.5   35.0   12.5   47.5

  St. Paul             14.0   13.5 13.5 13.5   40.5   20.0   60.5  108.0

Class 2 on 20 meter hill
Jim Mylander, St. Paul
(missing: Oligney & Hawryla)

 
Master-III (ages 50-59)




  Athlete Name         Dist   -Judge Scores-  Style   Dist   Jump  Total

  Home or Club         (M)    J-1  J-2   J-3   Pts.   Pts.   Pts.   Pts.

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1 John Conley          15.0   12.0 12.0 12.0   36.0   25.0   61.0

  Rhode Island         15.5   12.0 11.5 12.0   35.5   27.5   63.0  124.0

 
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USA Masters Ski Jumping National Championships
47 Meter Event

 
Master-I (ages 30-39)




  Athlete Name         Dist   -Judge Scores-  Style   Dist   Jump  Total

  Home or Club         (M)    J-1  J-2   J-3   Pts.   Pts.   Pts.   Pts.

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1 Wladyslaw Kwak       39.0   15.0 15.0 15.0   45.0   34.4   79.4

  Norge Ski Club       39.0   16.0 15.0 16.0   47.0   34.4   81.4  160.8



2 Mark Breen           39.0   15.0 14.5 15.0   44.5   34.4   78.9

  Lake Placid          38.5   15.0 15.5 15.5   46.0   32.8   78.8  157.7



3 Wojciech Rafacz      37.5   14.5 14.0 14.5   43.0   29.6   72.6

  Norge Ski Club       40.0   14.0 14.5 15.0   43.5   37.6   81.1  153.7



4 Mathew McKenney      37.0   14.5 14.0 14.5   43.0   28.0   71.0

  Lebanon NH           37.0   14.5 13.5 15.5   43.5   28.0   71.5  142.5



5 Bill Ryan            36.5   13.5 14.0 14.5   42.0   26.4   68.4

  Lebanon NH           36.5   15.0 14.5 13.5   43.0   26.4   69.4  137.8

Class 1 on 47 meter hill
Bill Ryan, Mark Breen, Wladyslaw Kwak, Wojciech & Patrick Rafacz, Matt McKenney

 
Master-II (ages 40-49)




  Athlete Name         Dist   -Judge Scores-  Style   Dist   Jump  Total

  Home or Club         (M)    J-1  J-2   J-3   Pts.   Pts.   Pts.   Pts.

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1 Jack Gasienica       41.0   15.5 15.5 16.0   47.0   40.8   87.8

  Park City            40.5   15.0 15.0 15.0   45.0   39.2   84.2  172.0



2 Patrick Kruegel      40.0   15.0 15.5 15.5   46.0   37.6   83.6

  Minneapolis          39.5   15.0 16.0 16.0   47.0   36.0   83.0  166.6



3 Dan Brown            33.5   13.5 13.5 14.0   41.0   16.8   57.8

  Lebanon NH           31.5   13.5 13.5 14.5   41.5   10.4   51.9  109.7



4 Joe Berens           32.5   13.0 13.0 12.5   38.5   13.6   52.1

  Minneapolis          31.5   13.0 13.5 15.0   41.5   10.4   51.9  104.0



5 Darcy Oligney        31.0   13.0 13.0 13.5   39.5    8.8   48.3

  Iola                 26.0   13.0 13.0 13.5   39.5    0.0   39.5   87.8

Class 2 on 47 meter hill
Patrick Kruegel,   Jack Gasienica,   Dan Brown,   Joe Berens

 
Master-III (ages 50-59)




  Athlete Name         Dist   -Judge Scores-  Style   Dist   Jump  Total

  Home or Club         (M)    J-1  J-2   J-3   Pts.   Pts.   Pts.   Pts.

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1 Tim Denisson         36.5   16.0 16.0 17.0   49.0   26.4   75.4

  Wyoming Wingnuts     37.0   15.0 13.5 14.0   42.5   28.0   70.5  145.9



2 Jon Farnham          36.5   15.0 15.0 15.0   45.0   26.4   71.4

  Lebanon NH           33.5   15.5 15.0 15.0   45.5   16.8   62.3  133.7



3 Scott Immens         28.0   13.5 13.5 13.5   40.5    0.0   40.5

  Norge Ski Club       30.0   13.5 14.0 14.0   41.5    5.6   47.1   87.6



4 John Conley          20.0   11.5 10.5 10.5   32.5    0.0   32.5

  Rhode Island         21.0   12.0 12.0 12.5   36.5    0.0   36.5   69.0

Class 3 on 47 meter hill
Jon Farnham and Scott Immens
(missing: Tim Denisson & John Conley)

 
Master-IV (ages 60-69)




  Athlete Name         Dist   -Judge Scores-  Style   Dist   Jump  Total

  Home or Club         (M)    J-1  J-2   J-3   Pts.   Pts.   Pts.   Pts.

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

1 Tom Ricchio          37.0   15.0 16.0 15.5   46.5   28.0   74.5

  Iola                 37.0   15.5 16.0 16.0   47.5   28.0   75.5  150.0



2 Bob Keck             30.0   14.5 14.5 15.0   44.0    5.6   49.6

  Oconomowoc           28.5    5.5  5.5  5.0   16.0    0.8   16.8   66.4

Class 4 on 47 meter hill
Bob Keck and Tom Ricchio

 
Master-V (ages 70-79)




  Athlete Name         Dist   -Judge Scores-  Style   Dist   Jump  Total

  Home or Club         (M)    J-1  J-2   J-3   Pts.   Pts.   Pts.   Pts.

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

1 Don West             26.0   14.5 14.5 14.0   43.0    0.0   43.0

  Lake Placid          24.0   13.0 13.0 12.5   38.5    0.0   38.5   81.5

Class 5 on 47 meter hill
Don West, age 70

 

 
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USA Masters Ski Jumping National Championships
70 Meter Event

 
Master-I (ages 30-39)




  Athlete Name     Dist   --- Judge's Scores ---  Style  Dist Jump Total

  Home or Club     (M)   J-1  J-2   J-3  J-4  J-5  Pts.  Pts. Pts.  Pts.

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1 Albert Gasienica 73.0  16.0 16.0 16.0 16.0 15.5  48.0  66.6 114.6

  Park City        72.0  16.5 16.0 16.0 16.0 16.0  48.0  64.4 112.4 227.0



2 Wladyslaw Kwak   66.5  15.0 14.5 15.0 15.0 14.5  44.5  52.3  96.8

  Norge Ski Club   66.5  15.5 14.5 15.0 16.5 15.5  46.0  52.3  98.3 195.1



3 Mark Breen       66.0  13.5 15.0 15.0 13.0 14.0  42.5  51.2  93.7

  Lake Placid      64.0  13.5 13.5 13.0 13.5 13.5  40.5  46.8  87.3 181.0



4 Wojciech Rafacz  62.5  13.5 14.0 14.0 13.0 14.5  41.5  43.5  85.0

  Norge Ski Club   60.5  13.5 14.0 13.5 13.0 12.0  40.0  39.1  79.1 164.1



5 Mathew McKenney  59.0  14.0 14.0 14.0 13.5 14.0  42.0  35.8  77.8

  Lebanon NH       56.5  13.5 13.5 13.0 13.5 13.5  40.5  30.3  70.8 148.6

Class 1 on 70 meter hill
Matt McKenney, Wlad. Kwak, Albert Gasienica, Mark Breen, Wojciech Rafacz

 
Master-II (ages 40-49)




  Athlete Name     Dist   --- Judge's Scores ---  Style  Dist Jump Total

  Home or Club     (M)   J-1  J-2   J-3  J-4  J-5  Pts.  Pts. Pts.  Pts.

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

1 Scott Smith      65.0  14.5 15.5 16.5 15.0 16.5  47.0  49.0  96.0

  Norge Ski Club   66.0  15.0 15.0 16.0 15.0 15.0  45.0  51.2  96.2 192.2



2 Patrick Kruegel  66.0  14.0 14.0 14.5 13.5 14.5  42.5  51.2  93.7

  Minneapolis      64.5  14.5 14.0 14.0 14.0 14.5  42.5  47.9  90.4 184.1



3 Jack Gasienica   72.5  10.5 10.5 12.0 10.0 10.0  31.0  65.5  96.5

  Park City        68.0   8.0  7.0  6.5  6.5  7.5  21.0  55.6  76.6 173.1



4 Joe Berens       40.0  12.0 11.5 12.0 11.5 11.0  35.0   0.0  35.0

  Minneapolis      41.0  13.0 12.5 12.0 12.5 12.0  37.0   0.0  37.0  72.0

Class 2 on 70 meter hill
Patrick Kruegel,     Scott Smith,     Jack Gasienica,     Joe Berens

 
Master-III (ages 50-59)




  Athlete Name     Dist   --- Judge's Scores ---  Style  Dist Jump Total

  Home or Club     (M)   J-1  J-2   J-3  J-4  J-5  Pts.  Pts. Pts.  Pts.

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

1 Jon Farnham      50.0  13.5 14.0 14.5 13.0 12.5  40.5  16.0  56.5

  Lebanon NH       44.0  13.0 13.5 14.0 12.5 13.0  39.5   2.8  42.3  98.8

Class 3 on 70 meter hill
Jon Farnham, Lebanon NH

 

See the next event in Wisconsin Rapids or the preceding event in Iola, Wisconsin.

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