Ski jumpers take flight
2018 Iola Winter Carnival
By Holly Neumann
More than 65 skiers took part in the 57th annual Iola Winter Carnivals ski jumping event held at the Iola Winter Sports Club on Sunday, Feb. 4.
“Ski jumping in Iola has been going on for many years in Iola,” said Tom Ricchio, who has been involved with the program for the past 16 years. “It is a feeling you have to experience to know what it is really like. The exhilaration, the feeling of flying through the air, it gets you hooked.”
The youths agree with Ricchio.
“The feeling you get while you are in the air and know you just had a really nice take off and you get to hold and ride. It is incredible,” said Daisy Forester, age 14. “I want to keep jumping for as long as I can. I want to become a better jumper than I ever thought I could be.”
Adeline Swanson, 12, took first place in the U14 Division from the 30 meter hill.
“I have been jumping since I was 2,” she said. “My brother had seen jumping on the Olympics and thought it was really cool so he gave it a try. So did I and I love it.”
Swanson too loves to fly.
“It is hard to describe that feeling once you take off,” she said. “You soar. You feel weightless, the wind is in your face and you float all the way down. It is beyond incredible.”
Even at their young ages, Forester and Swanson are some of the veterans on the hills. Jumpers younger than them seem to take it all in as well.
“I like it when you go off the jump and it feels like a bump,” said Lucia Hassrick, 6.
Lucia gives credit to her big sister Estella for getting her started.
“She has taught me everything she knows,” said Lucia. “But she is only a little better than me.”
Otto Schwinn, 8, likes to fly.
“Going down the hill is a little scary, but when you jump you are like a bird,” he said. “I fell yesterday when I was practicing and split my lip, but I got up again because jumping is so much fun.”
Finley Dickman, 6, has been jumping for 2 years.
“I like it here in Iola,” he said. “The hardest part is the landing. My dad tells me to keep my butt up so I won’t fall down.”
No matter how these young skiers got started, the certainly love what they do.
“It is a lot of fun to watch the young kids,” Ricchio said. “Makes me want to get back out there and do it all over again.”
Ricchio himself was a jumper for 60 years.
“This is Iola,” he said. “The Iola Winter Carnival carries on the Norwegian tradition of ski jumping. I hope it is here for many years to come.”
Ski jumping results were as follows:
5 meter hill
U8 Male: first TJ Gregor with 218.3, second Finley Dickman with 192.4, third Malyshersky Yevrhen 177.2.
U8 Female: first Brianna Keck 193.7, second Lucia Hassrick 191.4, third Addi Mjolsness 157.6
10 meter hill:
U10 Male: first Hunter Hull 243.7, second Tristan McLynn 235.6, third Bradyn Scholl 235.4
U10 Female: first Annie Misurek 223.7, second Kaija Copenhaver 200.8, third Jessica Diedrich 180.0
10K Open Male: first Matt Diedrich 215.3, second Leo Houle 189.9, third Jaxson Pedley 177.2
10K Open Female: first place Amara Rasmussen 204.9, second Gwyneth Paavola 199.6
30 meter hill
U12 Male: first Maxim Glyvka 164.5, second Hunter Hill 147.5, third Mason Gorski 144.5
U12 Female: first Estella Hassrick 146.0, second Annie Misurek 127.5, third Sandra Sproch 122.5
U14 Male: first Stewart Gundry 180.0, second Casey Flett 164.0, third Andrew Lukanus 136.0
U14 Female: first Adeline Swanson 160.5, second Carlee Hull 157.5, third Sophia Schreiner 157.0
30K Female Open: Iyana Flett 140.5
60 meter hill
U16 Male: first Shane Kocher 196.2, second Swbastian Sproch 175.6, third Stewart Gundry 164.9
U16 Female: first Daisy Foerster 101.3, second Carlee Hull 96.6, third Adeline Swanson 97.4
U20 Male: first Aidan Ripp 196.2, second Noah Pollard 185.4, third Lucas Nichols 171.1
U20 Female: first Faith Kocher 90.9
Masters: first Tony Benzie 157.7, second Patrick Kruegel 127.2, Tryg Gessner 122.6