Van sets mark for women’s jumping
For the second day in a row, Lindsay Van of Park City, Utah, set the mark to beat for the women at the U.S. Ski Jumping & Nordic Combined Championships.
“I just tried to focus on what I really needed to do,” Van said. “I haven’t been feeling too well lately, but it worked out.”
Van posted jumps of 88.5 meters and 91.5 meters to edge teammate Jessica Jerome for the title. Van finished with 230.5 points, and Jerome was second with 222.5 points. “She jumped a little better than she did yesterday,” Van said about Jerome. “It was a little bit closer, which always makes it more fun.”
Canadian jumper Katie Willis was third overall, but her scores counted only in the guest class. Abby Hughes was the third place American for the second day in a row.
Van won the large hill title last year, and she came to Steamboat with the goal of winning both this time around.
“It’s always the goal to come out and win,” Van said. ” The field is definitely improving. I mean, all across the world, every country has more and more women each year, and the competition level is so much higher. On any day, anybody can win.”
This year, nine women showed up in Steamboat to compete in the women’s class, which attracted six athletes from the United States and three from Canada who competed in a special guest class.
“For the last 10 years, we’ve been pushing this sport forward,” Van said. “But we are not going to stop until we get what we want. We want everything that the boys have and to get some equality. It’s growing every year, and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
Women compete on the Continental Cup but are hoping for World Cup and Olympic status.
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Things have changed since Joe Ghiglia and Rick Bear graced the stage at the Ratskeller, located in the basement of Inn at Thunderhead in Ski Time Square, in the 1970s.