Jerome leads team in Hinterzarten World Cups

HINTERZARTEN, Germany — Jessica Jerome snagged two solid top-10 results this weekend in the season’s second World Cup stop, leading the Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team.

Jessica Jerome

Jessica Jerome

Jerome was an impressive 10th Saturday and 9th Sunday out of a field of 70 jumpers. Teammate Lindsey Van posted a hard-fought 9th on Saturday and faltered a bit to 21st on Sunday. Weather conditions were nearly perfect on the first day of competitions in the Black Forrest of Hinterzarten, but Sunday unpredictable winds set in, causing shorter jumps and some unlucky rides.

“I had a good first jump and favorable conditions. My second jump was decent, but the wind wasn’t as cooperative,” said Jerome, who jumped 96.5 and 94 meters. “ I’m satisfied with another top 10 and am excited to come home and get some good training in.”

Japan’s Sara Takanashi easily won both Hinterzarten events. Russia’s Irina Avvakumpva took 3rd and 2nd. Visa Team jumpers Alissa Johnson finished 30th Saturday and 29th Sunday, Abby Hughes didn’t make the second round both days. Nina Lussi didn’t make it past qualifications.

Both Van and Jerome bounced back this weekend after placing 22nd and 19th in the World Cup opener in Lillehammer, Norway on Dec. 7.

Van said her jumping is better, but she’s looking for more from herself. “I know there’s more in there.”

In a big blow to the sport, Austria’s Jacqueline Seifriedsberger fell during training in Hinterzarten and suffered an ACL tear to her right knee. Seifriedsberger is the bronze medalist from the 2013 World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy. Visa Team member Sarah Hendrickson, who won gold in Val di Fiemme, is home in Park City rehabbing from her August knee injury and is on track to be back on snow in January.

The Visa Team heads home to Park City for the holiday and to prepare for the Olympic Trials on Dec. 29.

“We’re looking forward to competing in front of our friends and family,” Jerome said.

Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 Normal Hill women’s event
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Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013 Normal Hill women’s event

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• Dec. 29 – USOC Olympic Trials in Park City, Utah
• Jan. 3-4 – Chaikovsky, RUS, World Cup