NYSEF jumpers take flight

LAKE PLACID – Cold temperatures and firm tracks made for ideal ski jumping conditions for the annual Lions Club Jumping Tournament held Saturday, March 15 at the McKenzie-Intervale Jumping Complex in Lake Placid.

With a strong turnout of more than 30 top junior jumpers from across New England taking part, competitors took flight on the K20- and K48-meter hills before donning skate ski gear for the nordic combined races.

Action on the 20-meter was constant, with Henry Gibson taking second place and Thomas Kline placing third in the U8 class.

In the U10 boys class, NYSEF teammates Bryce Kloc and Christopher Byrne pushed each other to take second and third, respectively.

The girls classes were consistently the deepest fields of the day, with Jasmine Bujold of NYSEF skiing to a fourth-place finish in the U12 class, just 0.8 points off the podium.

In the U12 boys class, locals Nate Ball placed third and Grant Thurston was second.

In the competitive open class on the 20 meter, Brian Byrne of Lake Placid came in second, followed by NYSEF’s Quin Taylor in third. Inez Burkard finished just behind in sixth, a strong finish in her first ever ski jumping meet.

On the larger K48 meter hill, Lake Placid native Matt White took a commanding 28-point win in the U14 class ahead of NYSEF teammate Avery Thurston.

Brian Byrne skied well on the big hill to nab silver in the U16 class, while NYSEF’s Mark Breen took top honors in the open category.

The event was organized by NYSEF and hills were well prepared by the Olympic Regional Development Authority. Trophies, awards and lunch were generously provided by members of the Lake Placid Lions Club and long-time Lions and ski jumping supporters Jay Rand and Doug Hoffman were on hand throughout the day before handing trophies to competitors during the awards ceremony.

The Eastern Ski Jumping calendar came to a close last weekend with 20-meter action, a part of the NYSEF Nordic Kids Festival.