More than 50 of the best young ski jumpers in North America will be in Steamboat Springs this weekend to chase $2,000 in prize money during the second Super Tour event of the winter.
Tommy Schwall of Steamboat, a member of the 2002 Olympic Team, is expected to be in the field, according to Todd Wilson, Nordic program director for the host Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Most of the participating athletes are older teenagers.
The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club will provide between six and eight athletes and 17 are on their way from Park City, Utah. Teams also are coming from the upper Midwestern states in the Central Division and from Lake Placid, N.Y.
The ski jumping competition begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at Howelsen Hill. Saturday's competition includes a Nordic combined event with a 2:30 p.m. cross country ski race. However, all of the prize money is attached to Saturday's ski jumping on the K90 hill and Sunday's competition on the K114 jump.
Both special jumpers and Nordic combined athletes are eligible to compete for the first place prize of $550.
Wilson said the Super Tour is no different from the traditional Winterstart event previously hosted by the Rocky Mountain Division of the U.S. Ski Association at Howelsen Hill. The primary difference is the prize money being funded by the USSA.
The USSA lacked sufficient funds this year to support a ski jumping development team, Wilson said. Instead, it applied the available money to prizes for the Super Tour. Canadian ski jumpers claimed most of the dough at last week's opening winter Super Tour event in Park City.
Stefan Read won the K120 jump with 242.9 points and Canadian development teammate Gregory Baxter was second with 229.4 points (Baxter won the K90 and Read placed second). Schwall placed sixth with 202.3 points. The next best finish by a Steamboat athlete was Trevor Wert's 11th place. Nordic combined skier Alex Miller finished 16th. Logan Gerber placed 19th.
Canadian skiers swept the top three places in the Nordic combined event at Park City, which was won by Wesley Harris. Miller was the top Steamboat finisher in fifth after jumping to third place. He was 1:17 behind Harris at the conclusion of the cross country ski race. Davis Miller was the next Steamboat finisher in ninth place. Andy Garber was 13th, Taylor Fletcher, 15th and Kyle Lockhart was 17th.
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