U.S. jumper earns best career finish | ParkRecord.com

U.S. jumper earns best career finish

USSA News Bureau

U.S. ski jumper Kevin Bickner soars off the large hill at the Utah Olympic Park during the U.S. National Championships in July.

Kevin Bickner (Wauconda, Illinois) snagged a career-best finish at the FIS Grand Prix in Einsiedeln, Switzerland, taking eighth place.

Bickner jumped 111.5 and 114.5 meters on the large hill against a strong field that included 14 nations. Maciej Kot of Poland won the Grand Prix, followed by teammate Kamil Stoch in second and Michael Hayboeck of Austria in third.

Mike Glasder (Cary, Illinois) was the only other U.S. athlete to participate, but did not make the final cut.

"I knew today if I jumped like I've been jumping the last couple of weekends, a decent result would come," said Bickner. "But it was a little unexpected for this result to come so soon in a high-level competition. It just gives me more confidence knowing it wasn't my best performance."

Bickner's finish was the first top-10 result by an American in a Grand Prix or World Cup event since 2002, when Clint Jones (Steamboat Springs, Colorado) took second in the Innsbruck, Austria, Grand Prix.

Next up, the ski jumpers head to the Ski Jumping Summer Grand Prix in Hakuba, Japan, on Aug. 26.