USA Masters Ski Jumping National Championships
February 18, 2012
46 meter, 30 meter, 20 meter & 10 meter
St. Paul Ski Club

Graphics on Team Jacket On Saturday, February 18, the St. Paul Ski Club again hosted the U.S. Masters Age Group Championships at their wonderful four-jump facility at Carver's Lake. Ten skiers from three divisions of USSA competed for medals on the 46, 30, 20 & 10 meter jumps. The hope was to include a Sunday medal event on the Minneapolis 70 meter hill but the perisitant lack of wintery weather made that impossible.

Mother Nature brought occasional cold weather in Jan & Feb 2012 but no snow to speak of and as of mid-February, snow was barely visible anywhere east of the Mississippi. However the St. Paul Ski Club hill crew worked tirelessly to get all four hills in perfect condition a few days before Skiing on Leaves the competition. A little natural snow dressed up the scene, but warm days Thursday and Friday were not kind to the snow. A lucky 22 freeze on Friday night firmed everything up, and on Saturday, competition day, the sun came out but the temperatures hovered in the low thirties. Perfect! The machine made tracks on all four hills were deep, straight and rock hard. The warm days during the week turned the new snow into sugar covering the smooth hard base on the landings. The sun warmed and softened the outrun, providing a manageable surface. The only problem was a wet patch at the bottom of the counter slope of the of bigger hills. Most of the skiers negotiated the counterslope without difficulty, but some employed unconventional techniques. The jumper at the right lowered into a deep squat and skied straight off the outrun, across a brief muddy patch and up the dry oak leaves where he slowed to a peaceful stop.

The host and date for the 2012 Championships weren't nailed down until January 2012 and Tim Denisson, who grew up in St Paul but has spent his adult life teaching and coaching in Cheyenne Wyoming stepped up and did much of the organizing and final hill preparation. Knowing that the entry list wouldn't be long, Tim consulted with the Masters Committee and decided to reverse the old rules of 'two events per jumper' and 'only the oldest jumpers on the tiny hill'. He open it all up -- jump whatever hills you want, all four if you like. Alana Maki, in the 25-29 year Pre-Masters class, was the only one to jump all four hills. But not before she took the mike and opened the competition with a solo vocal rendition of our National Anthem.

We have prepared a separate page with a gallery of photos, all with commentary, sometimes rambling, to give you more of the ambience and details of who was there and what went on. See it now. Here we will simply show the results of the four events, in the order they were conducted, and below them, pictures of the competitors and a few others recognized at the awards ceremony.

 

Complete Results of the
USA Masters Ski Jumping National Championships
at the St. Paul Ski Club's Carver Lake facility
Feb 18, 2012, (46 m, 30 m, 20 m & 10 m events)

 
OFFICIALS:
  • Chief of Comp: Pat Lyons
  • Technical Del: Jim Grahek
  • Announcer: John Lyons
  • Grand Marshal: Don West
JUDGES:
  1. Bryan Sanders
  2. Greg Windsperger
  3. Leroy Martinson

Dist. Points per Meter
  • K-46 . . 3.2
  • K-30 . . 4.2
  • K-20 . . 4.8
  • K-10 . . 5.2

 

46 Meter Event -- Feb 18, 2012

 
Masters-IV (ages 60-69)




   Athlete Name         Ski Club        

       Dist   dist    -Judge Scores-  Style    Jump   Total

       (M)    pts.    J-1  J-2  J-3    Pts.    Pts.    Pts.

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

1. TIMO DENISSON        ST. PAUL  

       33.5   20.0    15.0 15.0 15.0   45.0    65.0

       32.5   16.8    14.0 14.5 15.0   43.5    60.3   125.3





Masters-III (ages 50-59)



   Athlete Name         Ski Club        

       Dist   dist    -Judge Scores-  Style    Jump   Total

       (M)    pts.    J-1  J-2  J-3    Pts.    Pts.    Pts.

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

1. DOUG MAKI             ITASCA   

       30.5   10.4    15.5 14.5 14.0   44.0    54.4

       30.0    8.8    13.0 14.0 15.0   42.0    50.8   105.2



2. JOE BERENS         MINNEAPOLIS 

       31.5   13.6    12.0 13.0 13.0   38.0    51.6

       31.0   12.0    12.5 13.5 14.0   40.0    52.0   103.6





Masters-II (ages 40-49)



   Athlete Name         Ski Club        

       Dist   dist    -Judge Scores-  Style    Jump   Total

       (M)    pts.    J-1  J-2  J-3    Pts.    Pts.    Pts.

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

1. TONY BENZIE          IRON MT.  

       36.0   28.0    15.0 15.0 13.5   43.5    71.5

       35.5   26.4    15.0 15.5 15.5   46.0    72.4   143.9





Pre-Masters (ages 25-29)



   Athlete Name         Ski Club        

       Dist   dist    -Judge Scores-  Style    Jump   Total

       (M)    pts.    J-1  J-2  J-3    Pts.    Pts.    Pts.

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

1. ALANA MAKI            ITASCA   

       20.0  -23.2    11.5 12.5 11.0   35.0    11.8

       21.5  -18.4    12.0 12.5 12.5   37.0    18.6    30.4





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30 Meter Event -- Feb 18, 2012

 
Masters-IV (ages 60-69)




   Athlete Name         Ski Club        

       Dist   dist    -Judge Scores-  Style    Jump   Total

       (M)    pts.    J-1  J-2  J-3    Pts.    Pts.    Pts.

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

1. TOM RICCHIO            IOLA    

       28.0   51.6    14.5 14.0 13.5   42.0    93.6

       28.0   51.6     8.0  8.5  4.0   20.5    72.1    165.7





Masters-III (ages 50-59)



   Athlete Name         Ski Club        

       Dist   dist    -Judge Scores-  Style    Jump   Total

       (M)    pts.    J-1  J-2  J-3    Pts.    Pts.    Pts.

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

1. JOE BERENS         MINNEAPOLIS 

       26.0   43.2    13.0 13.0 13.0   39.0    82.2

       26.0   43.2     5.0  5.5  3.5   14.0    57.2    139.4



2. JIMMY MYLANDER       ST. PAUL  

        8.0  -32.4     9.5 10.5 10.0   30.0    -2.4

        9.5  -26.1     9.5 10.0 10.0   29.5     3.4      1.0





Pre-Masters (ages 25-29)



   Athlete Name         Ski Club        

       Dist   dist    -Judge Scores-  Style    Jump   Total

       (M)    pts.    J-1  J-2  J-3    Pts.    Pts.    Pts.

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

1. ALANA MAKI            ITASCA   

       22.5   28.5    14.0 12.5 12.0   38.5    67.0

       24.0   34.8    14.0 13.0 12.5   39.5    74.3    141.3





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20 Meter Event -- Feb 18, 2012

 
Masters-IV (ages 60-69)




   Athlete Name         Ski Club        

       Dist   dist    -Judge Scores-  Style    Jump   Total

       (M)    pts.    J-1  J-2  J-3    Pts.    Pts.    Pts.

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

1. TOM RICCHIO            IOLA    

       15.5   38.4    14.5 14.0 13.5   42.0    80.4

       17.5   48.0    15.5 14.5 15.0   45.0    93.0    173.4



2. TOM MOORE              IOLA    

       11.0   16.8    11.5 12.0 12.0   35.5    52.3

       11.0   16.8    11.5 12.0 13.0   36.5    53.3    105.6





Masters-III (ages 50-59)



   Athlete Name         Ski Club        

       Dist   dist    -Judge Scores-  Style    Jump   Total

       (M)    pts.    J-1  J-2  J-3    Pts.    Pts.    Pts.

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

1. JOHN CONLEY         RH ISLAND  

       10.0   12.0    11.5 11.0 11.5   34.0    46.0

       12.0   21.6    12.0 11.5 12.5   36.0    57.6    103.6





Masters-II (ages 40-49)



   Athlete Name         Ski Club        

       Dist   dist    -Judge Scores-  Style    Jump   Total

       (M)    pts.    J-1  J-2  J-3    Pts.    Pts.    Pts.

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

1. TIM SCHWARTZ         ST. PAUL  

       11.5   19.2    11.5 11.5 12.0   35.0    54.2

       10.5   14.4    12.0 11.0 11.5   34.5    48.9    103.1





Pre-Masters (ages 25-29)



   Athlete Name         Ski Club        

       Dist   dist    -Judge Scores-  Style    Jump   Total

       (M)    pts.    J-1  J-2  J-3    Pts.    Pts.    Pts.

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

1. ALANA MAKI            ITASCA   

       14.5   33.6    12.5 13.0 12.0   37.5    71.1

       14.0   31.2    13.0 13.5 13.5   40.0    71.2    142.3





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10 Meter Event -- Feb 18, 2012

 
Masters-IV (ages 60-69)




   Athlete Name         Ski Club        

       Dist   dist    -Judge Scores-  Style    Jump   Total

       (M)    pts.    J-1  J-2  J-3    Pts.    Pts.    Pts.

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

1. TOM RICCHIO            IOLA    

        6.5   41.8    11.0 12.0 11.5   34.5    76.3

        8.0   49.6    11.5 12.5 12.5   36.5    86.1    162.4





Masters-II (ages 40-49)



   Athlete Name         Ski Club        

       Dist   dist    -Judge Scores-  Style    Jump   Total

       (M)    pts.    J-1  J-2  J-3    Pts.    Pts.    Pts.

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

1. TIM SCHWARTZ         ST. PAUL  

        7.0   44.4    12.0 11.5 11.0   34.5    78.9

        7.0   44.4    12.0 12.0 12.0   36.0    80.4    159.3





Pre-Masters (ages 25-29)



   Athlete Name         Ski Club        

       Dist   dist    -Judge Scores-  Style    Jump   Total

       (M)    pts.    J-1  J-2  J-3    Pts.    Pts.    Pts.

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

1. ALANA MAKI            ITASCA   

        5.0   34.0    13.0 12.0 12.5   37.5    71.5

        6.0   39.2    12.0 12.0 12.0   36.0    75.2    146.7





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AWARDS and HONORS

 
To begin the awards ceremony, US Masters Committee Chairman and chief organizer of the Masters Championships, Tim Denisson, told the assembled group that he had been unable to estimate the medal needs so he purchased a selection of nice medals and that each competitor would receive just one medal with all of the skier's placements announced at one time. With just ten competitors, Tim had a few extra medal which he used to recognize and reward others who had supported the event. We will post a picture of each medal recipient, starting with the oldest age group and working down to the Pre-Masters, with a little paragraph about each one.
  The Nice Masters Medal

 

Mr. Everything, Tim Denisson   Tim Denisson grew up in St. Paul and learned his jumping with the St. Paul Ski Club. He has lived his adult life in Cheyenne, Wyoming where he taught school and coached soccer, but he always found time to get bach to St. Paul to see his family and friends and renew his roots.

Tim was the prime organizer of the 2012 Masters Championships and, being primarily a bigger hill jumper, and perhaps tired after days of hill work and chasing details, Tim competed only on the K-46 where he skied beautifully and took the gold unchallenged.

Tom Ricchio of Iola, Wisconsin grew up in Racine where he learned to jump in the program of beloved long time coach Brady Emerson. Tom's profession moved him around from time to time but even when he lived in Moline, Ill, Tom's love for ski jumping brought him north on many weekends to enjoy the sport.

Tom and Tim are long time rivals but this year Tom passed up the big hill so the two avoided head-to-head competition. Instead, Tom skied to victory on all the other three hills (k-30, K-20 and even the tiny K-10 meter hill).

  Tom Ricchio

Tom Moore   Adult beginner Tom Moore of the Iola Ski Club lives a couple of hours east of Iola but his enthusiasm brings him to Iola often where he joins Tom Ricchio in jumping and the always necessary hill maintenance. The two often travel to meets together, as they did to St. Paul.

Tom has only recently turned 60 (his white hair was misleading, it was already white when he took his first jump) and joined Tom and Tim in this year's top class, where he competed on the K-30 and the K-20 meter hills.

Doug Maki has long been a hardworking member of the Itasca Ski and Outing Club in Coleraine, Minn. Doug was the senior member of one of two father-daughter jumping duos in St. Paul this year with his daughter Alana who skied in the Pre-Masters class.

Doug jumped only on the big hill (K-46) where he skied very nicely and used superior style points to eke out a close win over Joe Berens of Minneapolis.

  Doug Maki

Joe Berens   Joe Berens of the Minneapolis Ski Club was a gymnast before he came as an adult to ski jumping and quickly advanced to bigger and bigger hills. He has even jumped the big hill in Westby, though he has learned caution and passed up on the Westby opportunity this year.

In the St. Paul Championships Joe jumped the two bigger hills, achieving his usual good distance and taking home a first and a second place.

Rhode Island Chiropractor Dr. John Conley came to ski jumping as an adult, after flirtations with bobsled and luge, among other sports. He was the only competitor to travel to St. Paul from the east.

In spite of the length of his trip to St. Paul, Dr. John restricted his competitive jumping to the K-20 meter hill where he took the top place.

  Dr. John Conley

Jim Mylander   Another adult beginner Jim Mylander was the dad in the other father-daughter jumping duo as his daughter Emily was a forejumper on the three smaller hills. We heard whispers of a rivalry and it appeared that the daughter won out in this case.

Jim chose to compete only on the K-30 meter hill where he placed second to Joe Berens.

Tony Benzie of Iron Mountain, Michigan, has just returned to the sport after several years of inactivity, but his skill was evident in his jumping in St. Paul.

Tony competed only on the big hill (K-46) where he dominated the competition. He probably regrets not having a chance to ski the K-70 in Minneapolis.

  Tony Benzie

President Tim Schwartz   St. Paul Ski Club President Tim Schwartz decided to join the fun in this year's National Masters Champion. Tim is a BMW motorcycle owner who wears his colors proudly (yes, the good old twin, not that modern four cylinder stuff).

Tim competed on the two smaller hills, K-20 and K-10, where he took two first places.

The youngest competitor in the Championships was Alana Maki who grew up in Coleraine but now lives and teaches music in Wisconsin. Alana made up a father-daughter duo with dad Doug Maki. Alana was the sole competitor in the 25-29 year Pre-Masters class.

Alana made a big day of it, opening the Championships with solo rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. She completed her day by being the only athlete to compete on all four hills. Of course she took the top place on all four.

  Alana Maki

Mark Windisch   Mark Windisch was definitely the day's "luckless lad" -- Mark skied beautifully in practice but fell on his hip, then fell again walking a cross an icy patch, landing on the same sore spot. When he fell a third time on the outrun after his trial jump on the K-46, banging down on the same sore hip, he winced and looked down at the swelling bruise, took off his number bib and gave up for the day. Luckless indeed!

Pictures of Mark's practice jumps suggest that he would have given Tony Benzie a good run for top spot overall on the big hill.

Joey Edlund   At left is 11 year old forejumper Joey Edlund, third of three ski jumping Edlund brothers.

The other forejumper was Emily Mylander (right), the daughter in another father-daugher jumping duo, who easily exceeded Dad's distance on the K-30 meter hill. We're sure that Dad was proud of her.

  Emily Mylander

Judges for the day were ex-USST member Bryan Sanders, Olympian and Ski Team Coach Greg Windsperger and past top Nordic Combined competitor Leroy Martinson. They spent a long afternoon in four different judges stand (best seat in the house, but standing) where they turned in the remarkably consistent points you see in the results above. At right we see Martinson (in blue) and Sanders (in red), Tim Denisson's first non-skiing medal winners.
  Leroy Martinson and Bryan Sanders

Don West   Tim Denisson's final medal went to Don West who retired in Jan 2011 after a 65 year ski jumping career.
Don and his wife Barbara made the long drive to St. Paul From Plattsburgh NY (top right corner of NY) to join in the fun but not to ski. Don had recently begun treatment for cancer and wanted to show his friends that he still enjoys a healthy appearance.
Don brought skis but wisely kept his retirement pledge.

(Yes, I'm also the one creating these pages, I continue as webmaster of the U.S. Masters Ski Jumping web site. DCW)

 
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Walter Cherry in Hall of Fame

 
Walter Cherry The Masters Ski Jumpers Hall of Fame was established by long-time Masters jumper Earle Murphy. This year's sole inductee was Walter Cherry, long time St. Paul ski jumper and Ski Club supporter. Tim Denisson called during the week to be sure that Walter would be at the jumps and especially, that he would be at the awards ceremony, but Tim didn't let on that Walter would be honored in this way.
Walter showed up early, skis and all, and tried a couple of runs down the ten meter jump but he didn't feel comfortable so he didn't enter the competition, leaving Masters-5 Class (age 70-79) empty.

Walter Cherry and Tim Denisson Walter enjoyed a successful Masters jumping career, skiing all the big hills and winning the Masters competition in the 1977 National Championships on the K-86 meter jump in Laconia, NH. He continued jumping through 1993 when he was a member of the U.S. Team at the fourth International Masters Championships in Kuopio, Finland.

A professional engineer, Walter contributed both the profile and the structural design for the present St. Paul K-46 meter ski jump. Always a perfectionist, Walter says that it is time for a recontouring of that hill's landing. Congratulations Walter on a great career and thanks for all you gave back to the sport.

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USSA

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