Slovenians conquer Pine Mountain

By RON DEUTER

Sports Editor

IRON MOUNTAIN – Led by 17-year old Anze Lanisek, Slovenia dominated the standings Saturday at the 2014 Bellin Health Pine Mountain Continental Ski Jumping Competition.

Lanisek, the overall winner with 275.8 points, was one of six Slovenians in the Top 10 Saturday. He finished seventh during Friday’s first competition, before traveling 132.5 meters (434.71 feet) for his first Saturday jump and then sealing his victory with the longest flight of entire competition at 133 meters (436.35 feet) in his second attempt.

“My jumps were really good,” he said. “Today was the best. Normally it is windy, but today was the best that could ever happen.”

Lanisek was a first-time participant at Pine Mountain.

“Oh yes, it’s great here,” he said. “I am having a lot of fun. I am happy I’m here and win.”

Teammates Nejc Dezman (second), Andraz Pograjc (third) provided a Slovenian sweep up top with Rok Justin (sixth), Tomaz Naglic (seventh) and Matjaz Pungertar (10th) comepleting the banner day for the country.

Dezman was the weekend’s strongest performer, also finishing third on Friday. He entered the weekend as the Continental Cup points leader and left Pine Mountain with an even bigger margin.

Norway’s Fredrik Bjerkeengen, a winner here in 2013, was fourth Saturday followed by Finland’s Lauri Asikainen in fifth.

Friday winner Klemens Muranka Of Poland slipped to 14th on Saturday, unable to improve on his first jump of 129.5 meters.

The U.S. didn’t get any of its jumpers past the first jump Saturday. William Rhoads was the top U.S. finisher in 46th place.

More than 60 athletes from 11 different countries participated in what was the 75th anniversary of jumping at Pine Mountain.

Saturday’s event went off under ideal conditions and in front of a record crowd of 11,343 fans. All rows of parking were full on the Pine Mountain Resort grounds, with parked cars overflowing well onto Pine Mountain Road.

“There were more people here Saturday than any of us in the club can ever remember,” Kiwanis Ski Club spokesperson Susie Fox said.

Those in attendance were treated to a regular conveyer-belt of activity on the slide all day. Between practice, trial jumps and the competition rounds, there were few lulls in the action on the hill.

Sunday, however, turned out to be a different story. Stubbornly breezy conditions canceled Sunday’s scheduled competition round, but with the ski club staging a successful Friday show for the first time ever, the jumpers were still able to book two complete rounds of competition.

“Sunday’s winds were a bit of surprise,” Fox said. “The forecast did not indicate there would be any issues.”

After entering a delay during Sunday morning practice jumps, organizers waited on the weather held out hope as long as possible before officially canceling around 3:45 p.m.

“Had we known on Saturday that the forecast called for wind on Sunday, we would have tried to hold another competition round on Saturday. But it was unexpected,” Fox explained.

The weekend’s large number of jumpers, up nearly a dozen from 2013, was attributed to the fact that there was no other ski jumping competition occurring in the world other than the Olympic games.

Slovenia’s win Saturday marked a second straight year of victory at Pine Mountain. Anze Semenic won two of the three competitions staged here last year. He returned to defend his title and managed a sixth-place effort Friday before fading to 34th Saturday.

Saturday results follow:

Continental Cup Ski Jumping

Saturday, Feb. 8

Pine Mountain

Pos. LAST NAME, First (Country), 1st jump-2nd jump-Score

1 LANISEK Anze (SLO), 132.5-133 – 275.8

2 DEZMAN Nejc (SLO), 125.5132.5 – 272.5

3 POGRAJC Andraz (SLO), 126-134 – 268.2

4 BJERKEENGEN Fredrik (NOR), 125.5-129.5 – 267.8

5 ASIKAINEN Lauri (FIN), 129-131.5 – 263.6

6 JUSTIN Rok (SLO), 127-131.5 – 261.4

7 FETTNER Manuel (AUT), 120.5-132.5 – 255.1

7 NAGLIC Tomaz (SLO), 128.5-130.5 – 255.1

9 SCHIFFNER Markus (AUT), 121-128 – 252.4

10 PUNGERTAR Matjaz (SLO), 128.5-125.5 – 251.6

11 HUBER Daniel (AUT), 129.5-126 – 248.8

12 HRGOTA Robert (SLO), 121-123.5 – 246.9

13 POPPINGER Manuel (AUT), 118-123.5 – 242.4

14 MURANKA Klemens (POL), 129.5-115 – 236.8

15 MECHLER Maximilian (GER), 114.5-122.5 – 235.6

16 HULA Stefan (POL), 116.5-122.5 – 232.1

17 HAUER Joachim (NOR), 122-121.5 – 227.3

18 SCHULER Andreas (SUI), 126-123.5 – 227.1

19 GRIMSRUD Simen Key (NOR), 128-115.5 – 226.7

20 BIEGUN Krzysztof (POL), 122.5-118 – 222.8

21 SCHOFT Felix (GER), 118-121.5 – 219.5

22 EISENBICHLER Markus (GER), 115.5-113.5 – 217.7

23 HAMMER Tord Markussen (NOR), 130.5-111 – 215

24 ZNISZCZOL Aleksander (POL), 110-110 – 206.2

25 HAYBOECK Stefan (AUT), 110-108.5 – 204.5

26 PASCHKE Pius (GER), 108-109.5 – 199

27 VARESCO Daniele (ITA), 117-105 – 193.7

28 CECON Federico (ITA), 116-97 – 180.3

29 NOMME Martti (EST), 121.5-88.5 – 167

30 VALTA Ossi-Pekka (FIN), 121-86.5 – 164.2

31 STAUDER Christoph (AUT), 113.5 – 102.6

32 SOEBERG Sigurd Nymoen (NOR), 113.5 – 102.4

33 GRIGOLI Marco (SUI), 107.5 – 102.3

34 SEMENIC Anze (SLO), 109.5 – 101.2

35 MIETUS Krzysztof (POL), 110 – 100.9

36 BRANDT Johan Martin (NOR), 112 – 98.3

37 LUGERT Tobias (GER), 110 – 97.9

38 EGLOFF Pascal (SUI), 108.5 – 95.4

39 WENIG Daniel (GER), 104.5 – 94.7

40 ALTENBURGER Florian (AUT), 105 – 93

41 KANTYKA Przemyslaw (POL), 111 – 89.8

42 KLUSEK Bartlomiej (POL), 106.5 – 87.3

43 DELLASEGA Diego (ITA), 108.5 – 86.6

44 AALST VAN DER Oldrik (NED), 106 – 85.9

45 AIGNER Clemens (AUT), 101.5 – 84.2

46 RHOADS William (USA), 104 – 82.6

47 GEIGER Karl (GER), 97 – 82.2

48 WIT DE Ruben (NED), 102.5 – 78

49 QUECK Danny (GER), 98.5 – 76.8

50 KAELIN Pascal (SUI), 94 – 74.8

51 KYKKAENEN Jere (FIN), 108 – 74.7

52 BICKNER Kevin (USA), 98.5 – 73.8

53 GLASDER Michael (USA), 99 – 69.5

54 WALLACE Brian (USA), 99 – 69

55 HAUPT Alexander (USA), 89 – 54.9

56 DI LENARDO Zeno (ITA), 90 – 51.6

57 MATTOON Nicholas (USA), 84.5 – 47.7

58 LAMB Chris (USA), 85.5 – 46.6

59 BROWN A J (USA), 89.5 – 46.2

60 FRIBERG Christian (USA), 80 – 38.1

61 ANTONISSEN Lars (NED), 85 – 35.4

Disqualified

MOILANEN Lasse (FIN)

NOTES: One full competition round includes two jumps, but only the Top 30 qualify for a second jump Friday’s results were printed in Saturday’s Daily News, and they can also be viewed at www.kiwanisskiclub.com.

Ron Deuter’s e-mail address is rdeuter@ironmountaindailynews.com.