Sunday, August 19, 2018

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Ski jumping: Slovenian jumper Fabijan takes first at Silver Mine

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    Slovenia’s Nik Fabijan won the 5-Hills competition Saturday at the 132nd annual Silver Mine Invitational at Silver Mine Hill.

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    Snowflake Ski Club's August Schini takes the leap during the 132nd annual Silvermine International Ski Jump competition on January 20, 2018 View more photos at LeaderTelegramPhotos.com.

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    Team Slovenia's Awaz Zepic takes the leap during the 132nd annual Silvermine International Ski Jump competition on January 20, 2018 View more photos at LeaderTelegramPhotos.com.

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    Norge Ski Club's Sebastian Sproch takes the leap during the 132nd annual Silvermine International Ski Jump competition on January 20, 2018 View more photos at LeaderTelegramPhotos.com.

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    Ford Sayre Ski Clube's Cooper Dodds takes the leap during the 132nd annual Silvermine International Ski Jump competition on January 20, 2018 View more photos at LeaderTelegramPhotos.com.

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    Blackhawk Ski Club's Anna Hoffmann takes the jump during the 132nd annual Silvermine International Ski Jump competition on January 20, 2018 View more photos at LeaderTelegramPhotos.com.

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Slovenia has a lot of great ski jumpers.

Nik Fabijan may not be considered one of them at home.

For sure, he is No. 1 at Silver Mine Hill.

The 20-year-old powerhouse planted two jumps near the bottom of the mountain in Saturday night’s 132nd anniversary tournament of the Flying Eagles Ski Club to set off a full house crowd of more than 4,000 spectators.

Fabijan took the lead with a first jump of 93½ meters or 307 feet and then cemented his second straight victory with the weekend’s longest jump of 94 meters (308 feet) that reached dangerously close to the transition curve.

“I had no problem landing down there, we train for that,” he said. “This was really fun and we had an awesome time.”

Fabijan had to do his best to beat out Finland’s Elias Vanska, who landed in the same neighborhood and trailed Fabijan by just three total points — 261.5 to 264.5 for the Slovenian.

“I really liked it here and had good jumps,” the 21-year-old Vanska said. “This is something we don’t experience back home.”

Another highlight was the sensational jumping of Decker Dean of Steamboat Springs, Colo. He dominated U20 or Junior Class for the second straight day.

The 17-year-old Dean had jumps of 91 and 91½ meters (299 and 301 feet) to score 251.5 points to convincingly win his duel with U.S. World Junior teammates Hunter Gibson from the Norge Ski Club of Chicago and Eau Claire’s Andrew Urlaub.

Other winners were Cara Larson of Norge in women’s class; Tony Benzie of the Flying Eagles in Masters and Will Schott of Madison in Senior.

In all, the fans were treated to five jumps of more than 300 feet (91½ meters) in contrast to Friday night’s long jump of 90 meters or 295 feet. The hill record of 96 meters (315 feet) set by Slovenian Miha Kveder in 2015 was not threatened.

Urlaub, who had been dominating U20 class most of the season, had jumps of 88 and 87½ meters (289 and 287 feet) and wound up in third place with 226.5 points after finishing fourth on Friday night.

“I wasn’t satisfied with my jumps, but I was happy,” the 16-year-old Flying Eagle said. “I was happy for my teammates, they skied very well.”

He followed long time friendly rival Gibson, as the two have battled for national honors for the past two or three years.

Gibson got better style points on jumps of 87 and 88 meters (285 and 289 feet) to score 236.5 total points.

But neither could match Dean, who had a hot weekend on the boards.

“This is one of my favorite hills,” the 17-year-old said. “Hopefully, I can keep up the good jumping in the Junior Worlds.”

Nate Mattoon, third in Junior Class on Friday night, opted to ski in the loaded 5-Hills class and placed eighth on jumps of 79½ and 81½ meters (262 and 268 feet).

“I’m definitely satisfied,” the 19-year-old said. “It’s been tough getting back from that spill (three weeks ago at Park City). But I’m regaining my confidence.”

Following Fabijan and Vanska in the elite class were Slovenian Jost Susnik, who had a long jump of 91 meters or 299 feet, and St. Paul’s Brian Wallace, who placed second Friday night.

“I haven’t skied a lot this year, but I’ve jumped these Central hills 100 times,” he said. “It’s like riding a bicycle.”

Wallace, the defending U.S. Cup and 5-Hills series champion, had jumps of 89 and 88½ meters (292 and 291 feet) and scored 242.5 points.

Benzie easily won Masters with jumps of 61 and 61½ meters, while Schott took Senior honors by one point over Cooper Dodds of Ford Sayre ski club. Schott jumped 81½ and 82 meters to 80½ and 83 meters for Dodds.

Larson won in a landslide for the second straight night, turning in pretty rides of 75½ and 73 meters with Jillian Highfill of Park City, Utah, second.

Of the Flying Eagles in Junior Class, Ben Dowling had a strong showing with two jumps of 77½ meters (255 feet) to take ninth place of the 27 entries. Landon Lee got his PR on the hill with jumps of 63 and 64 meters (207-210 feet). He was followed by Stewart Gundry, 19th; Carter Lee, 20th; and Logan Gundry, 25th.

— In Friday’s U.S. Cup action, Larson had jumps of 69 and 75½ meters (226-248 feet) for a solid win over Jillian Highfill with Anna Hoffmann of Madison taking third in the U20 female class.

Johnson led the Masters with jumps of 69 and 60 meters (226-197 feet), while Benzie finished second.

Dean took the lead in the U20 class with a first jump of 88 meters (289 feet) and made sure no one was going to catch him when he unloaded the night’s longest jump of 90 meters (295 feet). He scored 243.0 points — the best total of the night — to win handily over Gibson.

Mattoon had two steady jumps of 84 and 85 meters (276-279 feet) to edge teammate Urlaub, who slipped back to 84½ meters (278 feet) after a first jump of 85. Mattoon scored 221 points to 220.5 for Urlaub.

Ben Dowling returned to the hill for two solid rides of 73 meters to take 12th, while other Flying Eagles followed. Landon Lee was 20th, Stewart Gundry 22nd, Carter Lee 25th and Logan Gundry 31st.

In Open class, Fabijan and Wallace were tied for first after the first round, but the Slovenian got the win with a second jump of 89½ meters (294 feet), while Wallace had a jump of 86 (282) to finish six points back.

Vanska edged Susnik for third place by .5 after both sailed 86 meters.


 

SILVER MINE INVITATIONAL

SATURDAY’S RESULTS

5-Hills Class

1. Nik Fabijan, Slovenia, jumps of 93½ and 94 meters (307 and 308 feet) for 264.5 total points; 2. Elias Vanska, Finland 92-93½ (302-307), 261.5; 3. Jost Susnik, Slovenia 89-91 (292-299), 248.0; 4. Brian Wallace, St. Paul 89-88½ (292-291), 242.5; 5. Riku Tahkavour, Finland 88-86.5 (289-284), 234.5; 6. Lojze Petek, Slovenia 87-85½ (285-281), 231.5; 7. Ville Korhonen, Finland 80-82½ (262-271), 205.0; 8. Nate Mattoon, Flying Eagles 79½-81½ (262-268), 204.0; 9. Awaz Zepic, Slovenia 78½-82 (258-269),202.0.

U20 Junior

1. Decker Dean, Steamboat Springs, Colo. 91-91½ (299-301 feet), 251.5; 2. Hunter Gibson, Chicago 87-88 (285-289), 236.5; 3. Andrew Urlaub, Flying Eagles 88-87½ (289-287), 226.5; 4. Greyson Scharffs, Park City, Ut. 80-84½ (262-278), 208.5; 5. Ben Kaiser, Chicago 81-81 (266-266), 205.0; 6. Evan Nichols, New York 79½-80½ (261-264), 197.0; 7. Erik Belshaw, Steamboat 77-76½ (253-251), 192.0; 8. Beckett Ledger, Park City 78-76½ (256-251), 189.5; 9. Ben Dowling, Flying Eagles 77½-77½ (255-255), 189.0; 10. Bennett Gamber, Steamboat 68-71 (223-233), 161.5; Other Flying Eagles: 15. Landon Lee 63-64 (207-210), 123.5; 19. Stewart Gundry 59½-58½ (196-192), 104.0; 20. Carter Lee 59-55 (194-180), 96.0; 25. Logan Gundry 50-49 (164-161), 54.0.

Women

1. Cara Larson, Chicago 75½-73 (248-240), 173.5; 2. Jillian Highfill, Park City 65½-70½ (215-232), 144.0; 3. Paige Jones, Park City 65 1\2-65 (215-213), 131.0; 4. Anna Hoffmann, Madison 60-60½ (197-199), 111.5; 5. Mollie Immens, Chicago 60-59 (197-194), 107.0.

Masters

1. Tony Benzie, Flying Eagles 61-61½ (200-202), 112.0; 2. Eric Hagfors, Team Hella 47-47 (154-154), 49.5; 3. Joe Berens, St. Paul 42-40 (138-131),25.5.

Senior

1.Will Schott, Madison 81½-82 (268-269), 206.5; 2. Cooper Dodds, Ford Sayre Club 80½-83 (264-272), 205.5; 3. Luke Tschida, Minneapolis 79-84 (259-276), 204.0.

FRIDAY’S RESULTS

U.S. Cup Class

1. Nik Fabijan, Slovenia, jumps of 85½-89 ½ meters (281 and 294 feet) for 233.5 total points; 2. Brian Wallace, St. Paul, 84½-86 (278-282), 227.5; 3. Elias Vanska, Finland 84-86 (276-282), 224.0; 4. Jost Susnik, Slovenia, 83½-86 (274-282), 223.5; 5. Lojze Petek, Slovenia, 80-84 (262-276), 209.0; 6. Ville Korhonen, Finland, 76-84 (249-276), 202.5; Awaz Zepic, Slovenia, 76-76½ (246-251), 180.0; 8. Luke Tschida, Minneapolis, 70-77½ (230-255), 169.5.

U20 Junior

1. Decker Dean, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 88-90 (289-295), 243.0; 2.Hunter Gibson, Chicago 85-86 (279-282), 226.5; 3. Nate Mattoon, Flying Eagles 84-85 (276-279), 221.0; 4. Andrew Urlaub, FE 85-84½ (279-278), 220.5; 5. Greyson Scharffs, Park City, Utah, 81-84 (266-276), 209.0; 6. Ben Kaiser, Chicago, 79-81 (259-266), 197.5; 7. Patrick Gasienica, Chicago, 78-78 (256-256), 196.0; 8. Evan Nichols, New York, 79-80 (259-262), 192.5; 9. Erik Belshaw, Steamboat Springs, 73-75 (240-246), 177.0; 9. Beckett Ledger, Park City, 77½-72 (255-236), 177.0; 11. Aiden Ripp, Cloquet, Minn., 73½-72 (242-236), 165.0; 12. Ben Dowling, FE, 73-73 (240-240), 163.5; 20. Landon Lee, FE, 59-60 (194-197), 107.0; 22. Stewart Gundry, FE, 56½-60½ (186-199), 102.0; 25. Carter Lee, FE, 56½-55 (186-180), 89.5; 31. Logan Gundry, FE, 45-44½ (148-146), 38.5.

U20 Female

1. Cara Larson, Chicago, 69-75½ (226-248), 164.5; 2 Jillian Highfill, Park City, 67-69 (220-226), 147.0; 3.Anna Hoffmann, Madison, 60½-61½ (199-202), 112.0; 4. Mollie Immens, Chicago, 58-61 (190-200), 106.0; 4. Paige Jones, Park City, 59½-60 (196-197), 106.0.

Masters

1. Nick Johnson, Minneapolis, 69-60 (226-197), 127.0; 2. Tony Benzie, FE, 59-60½ (194-199), 105.5;3. Eric Hagfors, Hella 50-45½ (164-150), 36.0; 4. Joe Berens, St. Paul, 42-46 (138-151), 35.0.


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