The 2011 U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships kicked off Friday morning with athletes jumping on the K90. Peter Frenette and Lindsey Van were crowned the male and female 2011 Normal Hill U.S. Champions.
The men’s competition was tight with Olympic silver medalist Brett Camerota and two-time Olympian Anders Johnson landing solid jumps forcing Peter Frenette, who jumped last, to fly high. In the end, Frenette’s last minute heroics would earn him the top podiium spot, with Camerota in second, while Johnson claimed the final spot on the podium.
“I’m confident with my jumps this summer,” said Frenette. “My best jumps were in this competition.”
Also on the start list were Olympic medalists Todd Lodwick and Billy Demong. Lodwick and Demong joined a roster of 84 male athletes, ranging in all ages. Demong and Lodwick, who took Vancouver by storm, hope to secure and impact the U.S. nordic combined program for the future.
“A lot of these guys have been training really hard,” said Demong. “One of the benefits of doing U.S. Championships in the summer is it’s the first big competition for everybody. It’s a time to showcase what they’ve been doing. Since Todd and I have taken some time off, it’s a good opportunity to beat us.”
The women’s final round kicked off the championship title battle, with Lindsey Van dethroning 2010 U.S. champion Jessica Jerome. Van took the top step of the podium with Sarah Hendrickson in second and Abby Hughes third. The podium was swept by three Park City women competing in front of a hometown crowd.
“It’s definitely good to be jumping again. I haven’t competed in almost a year so it’s a little nerve racking, but more relief,” said Van. “I’m just happy that I was able to jump in general and perform pretty well, I can’t complain.”
“I love the summer course because everyone brings out their big guns,” said Morris. “It’s a fun day with no real pressure to perform well. The crowd was awesome, weather was perfect and commentary was good. It was great.”