USA Masters Ski Jumping National Championships
February 27-28, 2010
Itasca Ski and Outing Club, Coleraine MN

 


Sign at the Entry
 
The Itasca Ski and Outing Club hosted the 2010 National Masters Ski Jumping Championships on February 27 & 28 at their beautiful facility at Mt. Itasca, just over the hill from the village of Coleraine, about 80 miles west of Duluth at the west end of the Iron Range.
The Championships offered a K-70 meter event on Saturday and 20 & 40 meter jumping on Sunday.
Children Flying!

Mt. Itasca is a full spectrum ski area. Many Coleraine residents amused themselves on skis or snowboards, inner tubes or plastic toboggans, on the groomed slopes on both sides of the jumps. Cross country skiers skated past below the jumps and a few practiced at the biathlon facility.

The Itasca Ski Jumps
Itasca ski jumps: K-70 at right, 40 (with tower) & 20 at left, 10 & 5 in the center.

On Sunday, junior jumpers from Ishpeming MI and from Minneapolis, St. Paul and Cloquet MN joined a large field of local Coleraine jumpers in the annual Itasca competition on K-10, 20 and 40 meter jumps. The Masters competitors skied in rotation with the youngsters. The weekend was blessed with perfect weather. A bright spring sun blazed down on the beautifully prepared jumps and a gentle five mph north breeze, just below freezing, kept the snow dry and fast as it pushed up the landing hill, giving the jumpers a little something extra to fly on.

 
Tom Ricchio, ready for another jump
Tom Ricchio on the start bar

Several Masters skiers showed up on Friday and took advantage of the conditions, taking many practice jumps. The fun continued on Saturday, before and after the brief 70 meter competition as Old Boys played in the snow with the kids. With a Poma-Lift to whisk the eager jumpers back to the top, some of the numbers were impressive. It was reported that sixty two year old Tom Ricchio (right) of Iola had 23 jumps on Saturday.

Mark Miles drove over from Ishpeming and in his exuberance, he aggravated an old back injury and had to pull out of the competition. Tournament organizer Rick Anderson wrote "He has a herniated disc from a previous injury and it flared up after having too much fun on Saturday. But then again, as Larry Maki used to say 'They said we were having too much fun but we didn't listen.' Maybe that should be the new Masters saying."

With Miles out of the start list, the remaining nine man field was the same size as at last year's event in Wisconsin Rapids. Three Masters jumped Saturday on the K-70 hill. Then on Sunday, four skied on the K-20 and seven on the 40. Masters competitors came from Ishpeming, Minneapolis, St. Paul and, of course, Coleraine, and two made long trips from New York and Wyoming, respectively.

The 70 meter Masters Championship
Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dave Zarling on the Big Hill
Dave Zarling, Minneapolis
 
Joe Berens on the Big Hill
Joe Berens, Minneapolis

Masters-2 Class, Ages 40-49




  Bib   Jumper name       Home/Club

  no.   Dist Dist.   Judges Pts.     Jump  Final

        (m)   Pts   J-1  J-2  J-3    total score

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



1  30  David Zarling     Minneapolis Ski Club

        52.0 20.4   15.0 14.5 15.5   65.4

        45.0  5.0   14.0 15.0 14.5   48.5  113.9



2  31  Joe Berens        Minneapolis Ski Club

        41.0 -3.8   13.0 12.0 14.0   35.2

        41.5 -2.7   13.0 13.0 13.0   36.3   71.5





Masters-1 Class, Ages 30-39




  Bib   Jumper name       Home/Club

  no.   Dist Dist.   Judges Pts.     Jump  Final

        (m)   Pts   J-1  J-2  J-3    total score

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



1  20  John Herschbach    Itasca Ski Club

        61.5 41.3   15.0 14.0 16.5   86.8

        62.0 42.4   15.5 16.5 16.0   90.4  177.2


John Herschbach on the Big Hill
John Herschbach, Coleraine

Practice resumed in earnest soon after the big hill competition ended, but a few of the Old Boys had had enough. However, everybody stayed around the hill and in spite of the comfortable chalet and other available shelter, they all stayed outside. It was simply too beautiful to be indoors!

Chatting in the Sunshine
Tom Moore and Tom Ricchio of Iola, Mark Miles of Ishpeming and
Don West of Lake Placid converse as they soak up the sunshine.

All good things must come to an end, and eventually skiers began to drift away in ones and twos, heading for the motel for a shower and a rest. The event motel was seven miles south in Grand Rapids where tournament organizer Rick Anderson had arranged a room where the Masters could get together for dinner and drinks, and to introduce this year's
 
Don West's Jacket
inductees into the Master Ski Jumpers Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame selection committee tries each year to choose members of the host club who have been Masters jumpers and who have made outstanding contributions to the sport.

This year's inductees were the Maki brothers, Jim and Doug, and neither of the new honorees was aware of what was coming. Master of ceremonies Tim Denisson of Cheyenne, Wyoming, a Hall of Fame member and charter member of the Wyoming Wingnuts ski jumping club, kicked off the festivities with a few words and then called on 2009 inductee Tom Ricchio to introduce the first new member, Doug Maki. Doug lives right at the ski jumps and has made huge contributions to his club and to Central Division ski jumping through the years.

Master Ski Jumpers Hall of Fame
Class of 2010


Brothers Doug (left) and Jim Maki of Coleraine

When the applause for Doug died down, Denisson resumed and introduced the second honoree, Doug's brother, Jim Maki. Tim had been Jim's coach back in the day and had plenty to say. Jim had skied in the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid and continued skiing his best for two more years. He skied four ski flying hills and even went flying at age 31, a Masters-age ski flyer!

 
Class 2 medalists on K-70ready for another jump
Joe Berens and Dave Zarling

Awards for the 70 meter Championship jumping followed the Hall of Fame ceremony, but the awards were brief, with only two of the big hill competitors in the room. Minneapolis jumpers Dave Zarling (far left) and Joe Berens (near left), first and second respectively in the 40-49 age group, accepted their awards, which were clever printed certificates (yes, suitable for framing!).
John Herschbach, champion in the 30-39 age group had to leave after the competition and missed the banquet and Sunday's events. Herschbach was not the only skier to miss Sunday's competitions. Dave Zarling and his kids practiced Sunday morning but had to leave about noon for other commitments.

Patrick Kruegel 

Fortunately another Minneapolis skier filled the gap. Patrick Kruegel (left) had another duty on Saturday, but arrived in Grand Rapids just a little late for the banquet but in time the induction ceremonies.

The ceremonies ended with the Master jumpers lining up in front of the Masters banner for still another picture, after which most of them stayed around to chat quietly and order another drink. After all, next to ski jumping, a Master ski jumpers favorite activities are drinking beers and telling lies.

Master Jumpers, past and present
Seated: Tom Ricchio, Don West, Dave Zarling, Tom Moore. Standing: Rick Anderson,
Jim Maki, Tim Denisson, Doug Maki, Paul Johnson, Mark Miles, Joe Berens, Patrick Kruegel.

 


 
Sunday morning the hills were again open for training and a few of the Old Boys had the legs left to take a few rides before the competition. The announcer for the weekend was Sue Kavanagh who had two of her kids
Alana Maki
 
in the competition and who spiced up the afternoon with her play-by-play lines that went along with the names and distances. The favorite was "He really panked that one down there and put in a beautiful Red Wing landing."

About noon, Sue asked everyone to stand while Alana Maki (left) sang the National Anthem. Doug Maki's daughter Alana is a ski jumper and an elementary school music teacher. In her gentle voice, she delivered a very nice solo rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

Jumping started for the kids on the ten meter hill and then moved to the 20 where old and young assembled at the top start. The four Masters who opted to ski the 20 led off each round, starting with 72 year old Don West who drove 1100 miles from Plattsburgh NY to participate in the Championships. Sixty two year old Tom Ricchio of Iola WI followed and set a new hill record of 24 meters. Next down the track was Tom Moore, aged 59, also representing Iola, followed by Joe Berens, who matched Ricchio's new hill record.

The 20 meter Masters Championship
Sunday, February 28, 2010

Don West
Don West, 72 of Lake Placid
 
Tom Ricchio
Tom Ricchio sets a hill record

Masters-5 Class, Ages 70-79




  Bib   Jumper name       Home/Club

  no.   Dist Dist.   Judges Pts.     Jump  Final

        (m)   Pts   J-1  J-2  J-3    total score

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



1   1  Don West     "Blackhawk - Madison"

        19.0 55.2  14.5 14.5 14.5    98.7

        19.0 55.2  14.5 15.0 14.5    99.2  197.9





Masters-4 Class, Ages 60-69




  Bib   Jumper name       Home/Club

  no.   Dist Dist.   Judges Pts.     Jump  Final

        (m)   Pts   J-1  J-2  J-3    total score

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



1   2  Tom Ricchio   Iola Winter Sports Club

        24.0 79.2  16.0 16.5 16.0   127.7

        24.0 79.2  16.5 16.0 16.5   128.2  255.9





Masters-3 Class, Ages 50-59




  Bib   Jumper name       Home/Club

  no.   Dist Dist.   Judges Pts.     Jump  Final

        (m)   Pts   J-1  J-2  J-3    total score

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



1   3  Tom Moore    Iola Winter Sports Club

        14.5 33.6  14.0 13.5 13.0    74.1

        15.0 36.0  13.5 14.5 13.5    77.5  151.6





Masters-2 Class, Ages 40-49




  Bib   Jumper name       Home/Club

  no.   Dist Dist.   Judges Pts.     Jump  Final

        (m)   Pts   J-1  J-2  J-3    total score

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



1   4  Joe Berens   Minneapolis Ski Club

        23.0 74.4  15.0 15.0 15.0   119.4

        24.0 79.2  15.0 14.5 14.0   122.7  242.1


Tom Moore
Tom Moore, Iola Ski Club
 
Joe Berens
Joe Berens ties the hill record

 

When twenty skiers had completed their three rounds of jumping on the K-20, everybody moved a few yards to the east where twenty two jumpers lined up to enjoy the sunshine and sparkling snow on the recently renovated 40 meter jump. Seven Masters led off each round, followed by the youngest of the junior girls.
 

The 40 meter Masters Championship
Sunday, February 28, 2010

Don West
Don West, 72 of Lake Placid
 
Tom Moore
Tom Moore, Iola Ski Club

Tom Ricchio
Tom Ricchio, Iola -- a beautiful practice ride!
 

Masters-5 Class, Ages 70-79




  Bib   Jumper name       Home/Club

  no.   Dist Dist.   Judges Pts.     Jump  Final

        (m)   Pts   J-1  J-2  J-3    total score

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



1   5  Don West 

        25.0 12.0  14.5 15.0 14.5    56.0

        24.0  8.8  15.5 15.0 15.5    54.8  110.8





Masters-4 Class, Ages 60-69




  Bib   Jumper name       Home/Club

  no.   Dist Dist.   Judges Pts.     Jump  Final

        (m)   Pts   J-1  J-2  J-3    total score

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



1   7  Tom Ricchio    Iola Winter Sports Club

        31.5 32.8  15.0 15.0 14.5    77.3

        32.5 36.0  16.0 16.0 16.0    84.0  161.3



2   6  Tim Denisson    Wyoming Wingnuts

        30.5 29.6  16.0 15.5 15.5    76.6

        32.0 34.4   9.5 10.0  9.0    62.9  139.5





Masters-3 Class, Ages 50-59




  Bib   Jumper name       Home/Club

  no.   Dist Dist.   Judges Pts.     Jump  Final

        (m)   Pts   J-1  J-2  J-3    total score

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



1   9  Doug Maki    Itasca Ski Club

        31.5 32.8  16.0 15.0 15.0    78.8

        31.0 31.2  16.0 16.0 16.0    79.2  158.0



2   8  Tom Moore    Iola Winter Sports Club

        17.5-12.0  13.0 13.0 13.0    27.0

        18.0-10.4  13.0 14.0 12.5    29.1   56.1





Masters-2 Class, Ages 40-49




  Bib   Jumper name       Home/Club

  no.   Dist Dist.   Judges Pts.     Jump  Final

        (m)   Pts   J-1  J-2  J-3    total score

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



1   10 Patrick Kruegel    Minneapolis Ski Club

        35.0 44.0  15.0 14.5 14.5    88.0

        35.0 44.0  15.0 14.5 15.0    88.5  176.5



2   11 Joe Berens   Minneapolis Ski Club

        31.0 31.2  13.0 12.5 13.0    69.7

        31.0 31.2  14.5 15.0 14.5    75.2  144.9


Tim Denisson
Tim Denisson, Wyoming Wing-Nuts

 
Doug Maki, morning practice ride
Doug Maki, Coleraine

Patrick Kruegel
Patrick Kruegel, Minneapolis Ski Club
 
Joe Berens
Joe Berens, Minneapolis Ski Club

Organizing Masters ski jumpers is like herding cats but somehow all seven Sunday competitors kept on their number bibs and posed together for a group photo.

Master Ski Jumpers
Doug Maki, Tom Moore, Don West, Joe Berens, Patrick Kruegel, Tom Ricchio, Tim Denisson

 
The scorekeeper quickly finished the results and soon competition chairman Rick Anderson called everyone to gather around for the awards. The Masters came first and received the same pretty blue certificates. The Old Boys stayed at the front to pose for one more group photo with the Masters banner, then began to drift away as the smiling junior jumpers received their trophies. It was time for goodbyes to friends new and old, some very old, and a few of the competitors had a drive of six or seven hours before they could rest.

Master Ski Jumpers
Front (L-R): competition chairman Rick Anderson, competitors Don West, Doug Maki,
Patrick Kruegel, Tom Ricchio. Back: Joe Berens (black cap), Tom Moore, Tim Denisson

 
Congratulations to Rick Anderson and the many volunteers who made the weekend such a success, and a big thank you to the people of Itasca Ski and Outing Club for hosting the National Masters Ski Jumping Championships. It was terrific!

 

See the next event in Madison, WI or the preceding event in Wisconsin Rapids, WI..

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