Englund wins U.S. jumping title
U.S. Ski Jumping athlete Nita Englund won the U.S. Ski Jumping Championships on Saturday in Lake Placid, New York, dominating her competitors on the HS100 normal hill.
Englund, from Florence, Wisconsin, trained with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Steamboat Springs jumper Logan Sankey placed sixth in the event.
“It’s my first national title. It means a lot to me,” Englund said in a news release. “It is a benchmark for winter, and it shows the progress I have made in the last year. I traveled back from my training base in Slovenia to be here, and it was nice to be back in the U.S. for the first time in awhile.”
She was the clear leader through both rounds Saturday. She opened with a strong 86.0 meter first jump to lead Abby Hughes, from Park City, Utah. Englund sealed her first gold medal in the second round with a towering 95.0 meter jump to win with 227.0 points. Hughes took silver, with Lake Placid hometown favorite Nina Lussi, the large hill champion from August, picking up bronze.
Sankey scored at 82.0, 0.5 behind Emilee Anderson.
“I grew up ski jumping in the Midwest, and we are used to jumping in difficult conditions,” Englund said. “A lot of midwestern guys did well on the men’s side today, too. I really embrace the atmosphere of tricky conditions, because I know I have to focus even more to post a good jump.”
Mike Glasder, of Cary, Illinois won the men’s title, beating teammate Kevin Bickner, of Wauconda, Illinois.
Glasder took advantage of Bickner’s misfortunate on the first jump. Bickner, who had won Saturday’s non-Championship event, went short on his first ride. Glasder then cranked out the long jump of the round at 98 meters.
In the second round, Bickner put the pressure on with an impressive 95 meter ride before Glasder closed out the Championships with a stunning 100 meter effort to take gold. It was his first medal performance at nationals. One of the most impressive rides of the day came from Nick Mattoon (Eau Claire, Wisconsin), who went 93.0 meters on his second jump to move up into the medals, finishing third.
Among other Rocky Mountain Division athletes, Steamboat’s Decker Dean placed 33rd, while Elijah Vargas was 24th, Peter Rosenthal 27th and Brenden Andrews 28th.
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