LAKE PLACID — Six Lake Placid-based ski jumpers and Nordic combined skiers competed in the U.S. Junior Nationals from Feb. 22-26 in Salisbury, Connecticut. The event showcased some of the best athletes under 20 years old from all over the country.
Kai McKinnon, of Lake Placid — the lone female on the Eastern team — brought home the lion’s share of the medals, with three silvers in the women’s U-16 special jumping, Nordic combined, team Nordic combined events along with a gold in the women’s team event.
McKinnon’s performance cemented herself in the top ranks of the next up-and-coming wave of U.S. women’s ski jumpers.
McKinnon was one of six New York Ski Educational Foundation athletes on the 13-person Eastern team.
Mitchell Penning of Toronto, Canada, placed 11th in the jumping event, while Jack Kroll was close behind in 13th. Both Penning and Kroll train with NYSEF in their Winter Residence program along with McKinnon.
Duncan Van Dorn, Henry Loher and Eli Larkin — who qualified for their first junior national championship — placed 20th, 21st and 24th, respectively, in the jumping event.
The trio trains with head coach Colin Delaney and coaches Jay Rand and Larry Stone in the NYSEF local ski jumping program.
In the Nordic combined event, Kroll and Van Dorn earned 12th and 13th place, respectively, while Loher took 17th.
Van Dorn, Kroll and Penning competed in the team jumping event on East Team 1, which earned 4th place. Larkin and Loher, who competed on East Team 2 finished in 8th place.
In the Nordic combined team sprint event, Kroll, alongside Angelo Goodwin, from New Hampshire brought home a silver medal. Penning and Van Dorn garnered 8th place in the event followed by Loher’s team in 9th place.