Calgary (AB), Canada – U.S. women ski jumpers grabbed two more Continental Cup top-5 finishes and four other top-10s as the tour finished its annual visit to North America with a lightning-interrupted night competition and then an afternoon competition the next day at Canada Olympic Park.
Germany’s Juliane Seyfahrt made it four straight victories, adding two wins on the 95-meter hill to add to her sweep of the weekend events at Utah Olympic Park in Park City. Seyfahrt jumped 95 and 94.5 meters Wednesday to compile 242.0 points with Austrian Daniela Iraschko (87-93) second at 228.5; Tuesday night, Seyfahrt had jumps of 114 and 97.5 meters for 211.5, edging Iraschko, who jumped 107 and 99 for 206.0.
Top U.S. jumper Wednesday on the normal hill were Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT), who finished fourth with Lindsey Van (also Park City) tied for sixth and Alissa Johnson (also Park City) eighth. Tuesday night, Johnson was fifth with Van eighth and high school student Abby Hughes (also Park City) ninth. Jerome also led the American women last weekend at UOP, finishing fourth each night.
“It’s a little frustrating,” said U.S. Coach Casey Colby, “but we want to keep this in perspective. We’ve still got 18 events on the schedule. Our goals were not based on July 20. I’d like to have July back for training and then get into our normal competition schedule starting in August. I’m sure we’ll have better results next month when we go to Europe.”
Tuesday night, a storm closed in on Canada Olympic Park and lightning forced organizers to pull everyone off the jumps for about 45 minutes. The round was restarted and erratic winds, including a tailwind for much of the final round, plagued the jumpers, Colby said, although Hughes had the third-longest jump of the final round, going 100 meters to move into the top 10 in the final standings.
Colby said eight women will go to Germany for the next period of jumping – the five women nominated to the U.S. Ski Team and three women funded by Women’s Ski Jumping USA. “Having the Ski Team cover the five is a great boost for the women’s program because now we can get even more young jumpers to Europe, accelerating their development,” he said.
The women have three events Aug. 6-12 in Germany and then conclude their trip Aug. 15 in Bischofshofen, Austria.