Canadians open with solid showing

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The announcer had a few problems finding the Canadian National anthem for the opening ceremonies of the North American Junior Ski Jumping Championships, but that glitch didn't stop Canadians Stefan Read and Dominik Bafia from finding the podium Friday.

"In official training, I out-jumped everyone by at least 10 meters, so I was pretty confident today," Read said.

It showed on the K-114 hill as he put up the longest jumps of the day to win the event with 224.2 total points. Read soared 114.5 meters on his first attempt and then 115 meters on his second to lead the field.

The closest to him was teammate Bafia who jumped 113.5 on his first jump and 114 on his second to place second.

"It's a good competition for us because it allows us to compete with the American guys, and many of them are pretty close to our level," Bafia said after the event.

The closest American jumper was Eric Camerota who jumped 112 on his first attempt and 111 on his second to place third overall. The Nordic combined skier is currently taking a break from the World Cup B circuit hoping to earn a spot on the World Junior team. His finish in the K-114 competition along with a first place finish in the Nordic combined event later in the afternoon have all but sealed a slot for the skier from Utah.

But securing a World Junior spot doesn't mean that Camerota is satisfied with his third-place showing.

"We are going to go back to basics tonight and hopefully come out with a little better form tomorrow," Camerota said. "It would be nice to move up on the podium a bit."

Fellow Nordic combined skier Skyler Keate was fourth, and American special jumper Chris Francis came in fifth.

Steamboat skiers Davis Miller finished 10th, Alex Miller was 14th, and Trevor Wert was 20th. Taylor Fletcher came in 28th, Andy Garber was 29th, Bryan Fletcher was 30th, and Kyle Lockhart placed 31st. Niels Morck placed 38th.

The K-114 was the first of five events that make up the North American Junior Championships.

Today the special jumpers will return to the hill at 9 a.m. for the K-90 special jumping competition.

Once again the Nordic combined athletes also will take part in that event. Their jumping results will count in the special jumping section and also will be used to seed a 10-kilometer cross country race at 2:30 p.m.

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