Reigning world champion Sarah Hendrickson and Nick Fairall claimed U.S. ski jumping titles on the large hill at the 2002 Olympic ski jumps in Park City, Utah, on Sunday.
Hendrickson, 19, and Fairall, 24, won on a snow-less hill in 80-degree weather. Hendrickson captured her second national title with a score of 222.1 over two jumps. 2012 U.S. champion Jessica Jerome took second (209.9), and 2009 world champion Lindsey Van was third (174.5).
“I didn’t have a good day yesterday on the normal hill, so I didn’t know what to expect going into the large hill,” Hendrickson, a Park City native, said in a U.S. Ski Team press release. “I’ve always jumped better on large hills, so I’m very happy about today and glad we put on a show for the quite a few people who showed up. I love jumping here in Park City on my home turf — it’s always a great atmosphere.”
Fairall’s total of 260.6 topped 2010 Olympian Nick Alexander, who posted 242.1.
The lead-up to the Sochi Olympics begins with the U.S. Championships on the normal hill in Lake Placid, N.Y., from Oct. 12-13.
The World Cup ski jumping season starts in late November for the men and early December for the women. The U.S. Olympic trials take place in Park City from Dec. 28-29.
Hendrickson is expected to vie with Japan’s Sara Takanashi in the first Olympic women’s ski jumping competition come February. Takanashi, 16, won the 2012-13 World Cup title.
The U.S. hasn’t won a medal in ski jumping since the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix, France, in 1924.