Sarah Hendrickson near podium in Norway
NOTODDEN, Norway — Sarah Hendrickson placed fourth and fifth in the first Continental Cup competition of the 2014-15 season. Under cloudy Norwegian skies, Hendrickson, 20, achieved distances of 92.5 and 88.5 meters in her two jumps on Friday, Dec. 12. She maintained this consistency and high performance on Saturday, Dec. 13, with two jumps of 91.5 and 90 meters.
"I’m content with the way this competition went," said Hendrickson. "I had some issues in training that knocked me on my heels mentally, so I was relieved to just have normal jumps. Each one was a step in the right direction, so I am focused on the positive aspects. I am excited to get back home, rest, and evaluate some things. A lot has changed since last year’s competitions, including teammates, team dynamics, coaches and staff. Everything is for the better — it’s just a matter of time to get into the rhythm again."
U.S. Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team members Nita Englund, Nina Lussi and Tara Geraghty-Moats were also among the field of 44 jumpers in the competition. Englund, 22, finished 13th in Friday’s competition, with jumps of 87.0 and 87.5 meters. However, judges disqualified Englund on Saturday, citing regulation SCE1, and determining that she was too light for her skis.
Lussi, 20, finished 21st on Friday and 22nd on Saturday, with consistently strong jumps of 81.5 and 84.0 meters on Friday and 81.5 and 82.0 meters on Saturday. Geraghty-Moats, 21, improved on her Friday 24th-place finish (79.0 and 85.5 meter jumps) to finish 13th on Saturday with jumps of 88.0 and 86.5 meters.
The team’s travel coach, Vasja Bajc, was satisfied with the team’s performance in this early season competition.
"Of course, we have things to work on," he said. "But, all things considered, we are headed in a good direction and I strongly believe that the next event results will be on a higher level. Each athlete is not only reflecting on the positive points from this weekend’s event, but also is thinking about weak points to improve upon. We are looking forward optimistically, building a strong team, setting clear goals, and being proud of each individual’s good result, no matter who achieves it."
Several members of the U.S. Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team will be returning to the U.S. for holiday time with family and additional training. The team will next compete in the World Cup competition in Sapporo, Japan, Jan. 10-11.
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