Athletes to get a chance to shine at Steamboat jumping event

Hitchens Brothers series starts Wednesday

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— For generations, the Hitchens Brothers Wednesday Night Jump Series has served as a starting point for young athletes in the Yampa Valley.

This year’s four-event series, which is free to athletes ages 6 to 13, begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday on the smaller ski jumps at Howelsen Hill. The competition will take place on the HS20, HS28 and HS42 jumps and is open to Nordic and Alpine skiers.

“This is a super fun event, and it’s great that it is free,” organizer Terin Petersen said.

Training and warm-up begin at 4 p.m. and run until 4:45 p.m. Registration is from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. The event is free to everyone, but skiers who are not a part of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club will need to sign a waiver before the event begins.

Free pizza, pop and snacks will be served from 5:30 p.m. until the start of the event.

The first competitive jumps begin at 6 p.m., with ribbons awarded to the top three finishers (in Nordic and Alpine disciplines) on each of the jumps.

Petersen said the events are designed for young athletes who have some experience skiing, but she said the skiers don’t have to be trained in jumping to take part.

She said coaches will be available to teach the basics of jumping, and new jumpers will start on the smaller, less intimidating jumps at Howelsen Hill.

“This is a great place to learn to jump,” Petersen said.

The three other dates of this year’s Hitchens Brothers series are Jan. 19, Feb. 16 and March 2.

This year’s series is sponsored by Nordic Excavating, which is owned by former U.S. Ski Team special jumper Rick Mewborn.

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