Alissa Johnson, Willy Graves take first golds since 1980
Park City, Utah, March 5, 2011 — Alissa Johnson and Willy Graves, both of Utah’s Westminster College, won the first U.S. Collegiate Nordic Ski Jumping National Championships — the first collegiate ski jumping competition held in the United States since the NCAA abandoned the sport in 1980.
Visitors to the Olympic Training Park and up-and-coming collegiate jumpers training over the weekend watched
with awe as 28 athletes from Westminster College, University of Utah, University of Colorado, Carelton College, Utah
Valley University and the University of Minnesota launched off the K90 ski jump.
Women, Open class:
1. Alissa Johnson (Westminster) 224.5 points, 95.5m and 87.5m
2. Abby Hughes (Westminster) 203.5 points, 203.5 points, 90m and 82.5m
3. Karin Friberg (University of Minnesota-Minneapolis) 131.9 points, 73m and 67.5m
Men, Open class:
1. Willy Graves (Westminster) 218.5 points, 84.5m and 94.0m
2. Alex Haupt (University of Utah) 214.5 points, 88.5m and 89.5m
3. Alex Miller (University of Colorado-Boulder) 214 points, 81m and 96m
Longest jumps of the day belonged to J1-class athletes Eric Mitchell (241.5 points, 90.5m and 102m), a member of Canada’s national ski team, and Sarah Hendrickson (225.5 points, 99m and 89.5m) of the U.S. Ski Team.
John Jacobs, the USCSA board member who spearheaded the move to create a home for collegiate ski
jumping, said that watching the competition was “Kind of a ‘Field of Dreams’ moment.”
“We wanted to tell all the junior ski jumpers around the country, hey, don’t give up,” Jacobs said. “Because we’re here waiting for them as they get older. And everyone is welcome.”
Video highlights of the competition can be found at http://www.uscsa.com/video/national-championship-highlights.
The USCSA is the sports federation for collegiate team ski racing and snowboarding in America. The USCSA
believes that student-athletes of all levels and abilities should have access to quality and exciting venues of
competition. In excess of 178 colleges from coast to coast, fielding over 5,000 male and female, alpine, freestyle,
cross-country, snowboarding and nordic ski jumping athletes in over 300 events annually. Team performance is
emphasized within the USCSA, a departure from the typical individual or world cup scoring format often found in
skiing. USCSA athletes agree that this team orientation fosters a team approach across their collegiate athletic
and academic careers, and often the mentality proves indispensable in their adult lives and careers.