Lillehammer, NOR -- The U.S. Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team had a very respectable showing today in Lillehammer, Norway at the first World Cup competition of the 2014/15 season.
Sarah Hendrickson of Park City, UT, the current World Champion, finished 9th by improving her first 89-meter jump with a strong second jump of 96.5 meters. Jessica Jerome, also of Park City, finished 11th, improving upon her first jump of 87 meters with a second jump of 92.5 meters.
“I was rather frustrated with today,” commented Sarah Hendrickson. “My training jumps went really, really well, but my competition jumps were not as good for me technically. My nerves got the better of me. Granted, I haven’t competed in a World Cup in over a year, but it is hard for me to not be performing at a higher level.”
Nita Englund of Iron Mountain, MI finished 18th in the field of 30 jumpers that qualified. "I am excited for my first World Cup points, and I thought it was a great start to the season. The conditions were challenging because there was a lot of tailwind today. There were also a few surprises in the results. I am looking forward to more competitions this winter!"
Tara Geraghty-Moats of West Farlee, VT and Nina Lussi of Lake Placid, NY did not qualify for a second jump.
“All in all, this was a good day in Lillehammer, Norway, with light snow and wind coming from behind. As a somewhat rookie team, the athletes performed pretty well, with Nita Englund scoring her first World Cup points and Tara Geraghty-Moats qualifying for her first ever World Cup,” said Head Coach Alan Alborn. “Sarah Hendrickson had a good day, coming back to her first World Cup in more than a year and executing three solid jumps, with her third jump being the best. Jessica Jerome performed consistently and strongly in this opening World Cup event. The team will now have a few days of training to polish their skills before competing in next weekend’s Continental Cup in Notodden, Norway.”
Slovenian Spela Rogel won the competition, with strong jumps of 93.0 and 99.0 meters. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria (95.5 and 97.0 meters) and Sara Takanashi of Japan (93.5 and 97.0 meters) rounded out the podium, finishing in second and third place respectively.