Flaming Leaves
Ski Jumps
Lake Placid, NY
October 12-13, 2013

including National Normal Hill & Nordic Combined Championships

The 2013 Flaming Leaves Ski Jumping Festival in Lake Placid featured two National Championship events. On Saturday, Oct. 12 NYSEF coaches and volunteers, with the help and support of ORDA, organized their annual NYSEF K-90 competition. Then on Sunday, October 13, ORDA hosted the National Normal Hill (K-90m) Championships and the National Nordic Combined Championships.

Scoring of all competitions was done by Ewoxx of Germany who produced results only in .pdf files. For that reason, this page includes no results -- only podium pictures and links to the results.


NYSEF Flaming Leaves Ski Jumping Competition
Saturday, Oct. 12 at noon

The Weather for Saturday's NYSEF jumping competition could not have been more pleasant, but the gentle breeze up the landing was not dependable -- it blessed many of the jumpers but changed to a cross wind and even a tailwind for a few less fortunate competitors. Fans welcomed local favorites Andrew Bliss and Taylor Hoffman, as well as Cooper Dodds and Colin Delaney, who both recently graduated from college.

Fourteen athletes from three divisions of USSA competed in the Women's Class, including the US Women's Team, minus reigning World Champion Sarah Hendrickson who was recovering from an injury. Lindsey Van dominated the competition with two jumps of 92.5 meters. The first five places were filled by members of the US Women's Ski Jumping team.

[ See complete results of Saturday's NYSEF competition.]

Womens Podium
Womens Class Medalists
Jessica Jerome (2nd),    Lindsey Van (1st),    Nina Lussi (3rd)


The 15 skier Junior Class included jumpers from the Central and Eastern divisions, but the top two finishers were from north of the border. Jean-Charles Pretorius and Rogan Reid were two of five Canadian jumpers who made the long trip from Calgary to compete on Saturday and to jump as guests in Sunday's National Championships.

Junior Mens Podium
Junior Class Medalists
    Rogan Reid (2nd),  Jean-Charles Pretorius (1st),  Casey Larson (3rd)


The Open Class listed 38 skiers including the USA Ski Jumping Team and the US Nordic Combined Team, but young Will Rhoads broke through, finishing first ahead of favorites Anders Johnson, Nick Alexander, Nick Fairall and Peter Frenette.

Open Mens Podium
Open Class Medalists
Anders Johnson (2nd),    Will Rhoads (1st),    Nick Alexander (3rd)


[ See complete results of Saturday's NYSEF competition.]

Perhaps the biggest surprise in Saturday's competition was Tara Geraghty-Moats from Vermont, a talented jumper and strong cross country racer who has committed to the National Biathlon Team. Tara hadn't jumped for some time but she brushed the dust from her jumping skis and proceeded to place sixth in the Women's Class. Here is Tara in flight on Saturday. Practice? Who needs practice?
Tara Geraghty-Moats in Flight

Not everyone at the jumps was there to ski or to watch the event. While Taylor Hoffman was competing, his twin daughters amused themselves in the puddle fed by the water used to keep the track slippery on the 90 meter tower. On Saturday (right) the girls soaked their clothing as they splashed through the water so on Sunday (left) Mom dressed them for the activity. We don't know if these are both twins or the same girl.
Taylor Hoffman's Twin Daughters at Play


US National Normal Hill Ski Jumping Championships
Sunday, Oct. 13, trial round at 9:30 am

The Weather for Sunday's National Championship jumping was just as nice as the previous day, and the gentle breeze up the landing seemed a bit more dependable, making for a fair competition. The start list was almost identical to Saturday's but with only two classes -- Open Women and Open Men -- the Juniors had to jump with the Seniors and cope with the Seniors' low speeds. One name was added to the start list -- local product Alex Madden joined in the fun on Sunday only.

Lindsey Van dominated the women's competition just as she had done the previous day and added a sixteenth gold medal to her long list of National Crowns that started in 1998 when she was just 13.

[ See complete results of Sunday's National Championships.]

Lindsey Van, National Champion
Lindsey Van flies to her 16th National Championship
with a second round jump of 96.5 m.

Womens Podium
Womens Class Medalists
Jessica Jerome (2nd), Lindsey Van (1st), Alissa Johnson (3rd)


In the men's competition, it was close after the first round of jumping with Nick Alexander leading Anders Johnson by a slim 2.5 points, but Nick removed all doubt on the very last jump of the day as he flew 99 meters and won by more than 20 points. Nick Fairall moved a half-point ahead of Johnson with a second round jump of 92.5 meters. No room for sibling rivalry in the Johnson family as brother Anders and sister Alissa both took home bronze medals from this National Championship competition.

Nick Alexander, National Champion
Nick Alexander flies to a slim lead in the first round. Nick led both
rounds with two 99 m. jumps to take his second National Championship.

Mens Podium
Open Class Medalists
Nick Fairall (2nd), Nick Alexander (1st), Anders Johnson (3rd)


[ See complete results of Sunday's National Championships.]


It takes a lot of money and personnel to organize a National Championship. By rule, organizers must include officials from outside the host division, and for this weekend, Technical Delegate Chuck Heckert and Style Judge Keith Hanson flew in from Park City.
Hard-working Officials
The photo above shows four more of the hard-working officials who made the weekend events go smoothly. At left, just marking a score card, is Steve Sydow who traveled from Duluth MN to serve as a Style Judge. Looking down at his clipboard is the Chief of Competition Larry Stone. Larry has served as a ski jumping coach at all levels from the Salisbury CT Junior jumping program to Head Jumping Coach for the US Ski Team and, most recently, part time coach working with the little kids in Lake Placid. Larry raves about the new 20 meter jump (photo below) recently constructed between the K-48 and the K-120 meter hills.

Next to Larry is Jennie Frenette, mother of Olympic jumper Peter Frenette, who operated the start light, and who graced each day of competition with a vocal rendition of the Star Spangle Banner. At right, in the North Country hat, is announcer David McCahill. We understand that David has rejoined the NYSEF staff after a year spent teaching English in Austria, and we welcome his return.

The new 20 meter jump


US National Nordic Combined Championships
Sunday, Oct. 13, Cross Country (roller ski) race at 3 pm

The Nordic Combined competition was a sprint event using the first competitive ride from the day's jumping competition and an 11 km cross country race with Gundersen handicap held on a recently improved roller ski course at the Olympic jumping complex. A four-lap format gave spectators several opportunities to watch the race develop.
The start list showed 20 competitors and, with no Nordic combined event for the women, organizers permitted jumping and cross country star Tara Geraghty-Moats to join the fun.

The jumping phase placed Todd Lodwick, Alec Gantick and Billy Demong in the top three positions, to start the race at times 0, 4 and 16 seconds respectively. Brett Denney, Bryan Fletcher and Taylor Fletcher started in positions 6-8, starting the race at 38, 56 and 62 seconds. Gantick faded early and Demong caught Lodwick before mid-race. Behind them, Denney and the Fletcher brothers worked together to close the gap to the leaders. In the end, Demong dropped Lodwick, who was also passed by the group of three, but "Iron Bill" held on for the victory and Taylor Fletcher edged his brother Bryan in a sprint for the other two medals. The win gave Demong his sixth National Nordic Combined Championsip, and in addition he has been National Jumping Champion three times, though these records pale in comparison to Billy's World Championship and Olympic gold medal.

[ See complete results of the National Nordic Combined Championship.]

Bill Demong, National Champion
Billy Demong celebrates his National Championship

Fletcher Brothers Sprint
The Fletcher Brothers sprint for the silver medal.

Nordic Combined Podium
Womens Class Medalists
Taylor Fletcher (2nd), Bill Demong (1st), Bryan Fletcher (3rd)


[ See complete results of the National Nordic Combined Championship.]


Before the medal ceremonies for the National Championships, Lake Placid officials called together nineteen athletes for a "Send off to Sochi" celebration. A microphone was passed along the line as the athletes introduced themselves -- most of them claimed to be "Sochi hopefuls" though many had competed in previous Olympic Games.

Olympians and Olympic Hopefuls

Singled out of the crowd of hopefuls were three past Olympians, bobsled pilot Jamie Greubel, local ski jumper Peter Frenette who was the youngest US skier at the Vancouver Games, and Nordic Combined star Bill Demong, a World and Olympic Champion who has competed in four Olympics beginning in Nagano in 1998. These three related some of their Olympic experiences and talked about their hopes for the future.

Three Olympians
Jamie Greubel, bobsled; jumper Peter Frenette; Gold Medalist Bill Demong



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