Local U12-U16 athletes competed this past weekend in “Jumptoberfest” in Fox River Grove, IL. It was a great opportunity to get on age appropriate hills for these athletes. Top results came from Kai McKinnon (Lake Placid), who placed 1st in the U14 girls on the K40 and 3rd in the U16 Girls Nordic Combined off the K70. Duncan Van Dorn (Lake Placid) placed 2nd in the U14 Boys Nordic Combined off the K40. Max Fey (Wilmington) placed 5th in a competitive U14 Boys field on the K40. Way to go!

When discussing the competition, 13-year old Kai said, “jumping outside Chicago was a brand new experience for me.. It was great to compete against other female jumpers from across the country.” Although youth jumpers were unable to train on the local hill in Lake Placid this summer, it gave the team the opportunity to travel and test their legs on other competition hills. Athletes also trained and competed in Park City, UT at the Springer Tournee this summer.

As far as upcoming goals, Kai commented, “long term goal would be to get a personal record on the new 90 meter hill (in Lake Placid).” Athletes like Kai will begin traveling more as they progress in the sport. Currently attending Lake Placid High School, she discussed balancing athletics and academics, “balancing athletics, travel and academics can be really difficult…I found if I can focus on completing my school work even if it means using my free time, I can get it done. School will always come first.”

Kai, like most jumping athletes, are excited for the work that has been done on the 90 meter hill. “It is a beautiful jump and I am excited to see how much it will help me and my teammates progress in ski jumping.” Congrats to Kai and the rest of the NYSEF Ski Jump Team! More details on ski jumping and nordic combined programs at www.nysef.org.

Photos of Kai.