Olympian Jessica Jerome soared to her 13th U.S. title in the HS134 large hill competition in the L.L.Bean U.S. Ski Jumping Championships at the Utah Olympic Park. (USSA-Tom Kelly)
PARK CITY, UT (July 30, 2017) - Veteran Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) returned from a one-year hiaitus to take her 13th career national title on the HS134 meter hill at the Utah Olympic Park in the L.L.Bean U.S. Ski Jumping Championships. On a day where Canadian jumpers dominated the overall competition, Cara Larson (Barrington, IL) of the Norge Ski Club took silver with Logan Sankey (Steamboat Springs, CO) of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club bronze.
Canadian Taylor Fendrich won the overall competition, leading a strong contingent of Altius Nordic Ski Club jumpers. Only Americans were eligible for U.S. Championship medals.
In the opening round, Jerome had the longest ride at 120.5 meters, but lost style points on her landing with Henrich taking the overall lead. Jerome came back with the longest second round jump at 122.5 meters, but Henrich remained strong at 121.5 meters to take the overall win, with Jerome picking up the U.S. Championship gold.
“My first round jump was OK but the landing was terrible,” said Jerome. “On the second jump, everything was better from flying to landing. It felt great to get back into competition mode.”
With top U.S. jumpers including Nita England, Nina Lussi and Tara Geraghty-Moats training in Europe, and World Champion Sarah Hendrickson still coming back from injury, the event provided a platform for U.S. juniors to shine.
Larson, whose older brother also medaled in the men's copmetition, put together jumps of 100.5 and 101.5 meters to earn her first silver. Sankey, competing in only her second U.S. Championship, earned her first medal with a bronze.
“I was definitely really honored to be competing today,” said Sankey. “I’m happy with my second round jump and my overall performance this weekend. I love ski jumping and I love ski jumping in front of a crowd. I’m incredibly excited about my first us championships medal.”
Cara Larson soared to silver in the L.L.Bean U.S. Ski Jumping Championships. (USSA-Tom Kelly)
Bronze for Logan Sankey in the L.L.Bean U.S. Ski Jumping Championships
Jerome, one of the strong pioneers of the Women's Ski Jumping USA. program, took a complete break from ski jumping last season, just recently getting back into the gym and onto the jump - a break designed to refresh her for another Olympic bid leading up to the 2018 Games in PyeongChang.
“I needed to take a break, but I still wanted to take a shot at one more Olympics,” she said. So she stepped away from the sport for a year, putting her head into the books under the U.S. Ski Team’s partnership with Westminster College i Salt Lake City.
“It feel great to be back - I’ve been healthy. I’ve had a lot of new feelings, which was the goal. Going off these jumps constantly you can get numb. It’s been a good experience so far.”
The normal hill U.S. Championships are set for October in Lake Placid, NY.