Lake Placid, N.Y. It's only July, but no one can blame Steamboat Springs ski jumpers Brendan Doran and Adam Schwall if they are already looking forward to next winter.
"It's a good starting place," Doran said after winning the National Summer Jumping title in Lake Placid on July 2. "It's the middle of the summer and this is a pretty good indication of how the training is going. It also lets me know who's out there and who will be coming up next winter."
Doran, one of the senior members of the U.S. Ski Team's special jumping squad, won the event which was held on the normal, K-90 hill's plastic-covered jumps in Lake Placid with efforts of 94.5 and 96 meters. He edged Russian jumper Volodymr Hlyvka for the summer title.
Schwall, the other Steamboat Springs jumper in Lake Placid, collected the junior title in the event by soaring 96.5 and 97 meters. The juniors started from a higher point and chalking up longer jumps than their senior counterparts. The two classes, however, were scored separately.
Doran has won the senior title at the summer jumping competition four times during his career, including the last two times the event has been held.
"It was great," he said. "Anytime you win something like this twice in a row, you feel pretty good."
Doran, who is coming off of one of his best seasons, said he hopes the win will carry over to the winter months.
Last March, on snow, he won the National Normal Hill Championship in Steamboat Springs. It looks like he hasn't lost a step this summer.
"I'm feeling pretty good right now. The back is good. The knee is good and I feel like I'm jumping pretty well," Doran said.
Doran blew out his knee two years ago and had to battle back through a lengthy rehabilitation process. Then, last year, he had to cut his World Cup season short because of lower back pain.
But he said both problems have disappeared with the summer heat and he is hoping to pick up where he left off when the snow starts to fly in November.
Until then, he will continue to train on the plastic at the Lake Placid complex. He also plans on heading to Park City when the Olympic Jumping Complex opens later this month or early August.
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail him at email@example.com