February 27-28, 2010
Itasca Ski and Outing Club, Coleraine MN
The Championships offered a K-70 meter event on Saturday and 20 & 40 meter jumping on Sunday.
Mt. Itasca is a full spectrum ski area. Many Coleraine residents amused themselves on skis or snowboards, inner tubes or plastic toboggans, on the groomed slopes on both sides of the jumps. Cross country skiers skated past below the jumps and a few practiced at the biathlon facility.
Itasca ski jumps: K-70 at right, 40 (with tower) & 20 at left, 10 & 5 in the center.
On Sunday, junior jumpers from Ishpeming MI and from Minneapolis, St. Paul and Cloquet MN joined a large field of local Coleraine jumpers in the annual Itasca competition on K-10, 20 and 40 meter jumps. The Masters competitors skied in rotation with the youngsters. The weekend was blessed with perfect weather. A bright spring sun blazed down on the beautifully prepared jumps and a gentle five mph north breeze, just below freezing, kept the snow dry and fast as it pushed up the landing hill, giving the jumpers a little something extra to fly on.
Several Masters skiers showed up on Friday and took advantage of the conditions, taking many practice jumps. The fun continued on Saturday, before and after the brief 70 meter competition as Old Boys played in the snow with the kids. With a Poma-Lift to whisk the eager jumpers back to the top, some of the numbers were impressive. It was reported that sixty two year old Tom Ricchio (right) of Iola had 23 jumps on Saturday.
Mark Miles drove over from Ishpeming and in his exuberance, he aggravated an old back injury and had to pull out of the competition. Tournament organizer Rick Anderson wrote "He has a herniated disc from a previous injury and it flared up after having too much fun on Saturday. But then again, as Larry Maki used to say 'They said we were having too much fun but we didn't listen.' Maybe that should be the new Masters saying."
With Miles out of the start list, the remaining nine man field was the same size as at last year's event in Wisconsin Rapids. Three Masters jumped Saturday on the K-70 hill. Then on Sunday, four skied on the K-20 and seven on the 40. Masters competitors came from Ishpeming, Minneapolis, St. Paul and, of course, Coleraine, and two made long trips from New York and Wyoming, respectively.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
John Herschbach, Coleraine
Practice resumed in earnest soon after the big hill competition ended, but a few of the Old Boys had had enough. However, everybody stayed around the hill and in spite of the comfortable chalet and other available shelter, they all stayed outside. It was simply too beautiful to be indoors!
Tom Moore and Tom Ricchio of Iola, Mark Miles of Ishpeming and
Don West of Lake Placid converse as they soak up the sunshine.
All good things must come to an end, and eventually skiers began to drift away in ones and twos, heading for the motel for a shower and a rest. The event motel was seven miles south in Grand Rapids where tournament organizer Rick Anderson had arranged a room where the Masters could get together for dinner and drinks, and to introduce this year's
This year's inductees were the Maki brothers, Jim and Doug, and neither of the new honorees was aware of what was coming. Master of ceremonies Tim Denisson of Cheyenne, Wyoming, a Hall of Fame member and charter member of the Wyoming Wingnuts ski jumping club, kicked off the festivities with a few words and then called on 2009 inductee Tom Ricchio to introduce the first new member, Doug Maki. Doug lives right at the ski jumps and has made huge contributions to his club and to Central Division ski jumping through the years.
Class of 2010
Brothers Doug (left) and Jim Maki of Coleraine
When the applause for Doug died down, Denisson resumed and introduced the second honoree, Doug's brother, Jim Maki. Tim had been Jim's coach back in the day and had plenty to say. Jim had skied in the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid and continued skiing his best for two more years. He skied four ski flying hills and even went flying at age 31, a Masters-age ski flyer!
Awards for the 70 meter Championship jumping followed the Hall of Fame ceremony, but the awards were brief, with only two of the big hill competitors in the room.
Minneapolis jumpers Dave Zarling (far left) and Joe Berens (near left), first and second respectively in the 40-49 age group, accepted their awards, which were clever printed certificates (yes, suitable for framing!).
Fortunately another Minneapolis skier filled the gap. Patrick Kruegel (left) had another duty on Saturday, but arrived in Grand Rapids just a little late for the banquet but in time the induction ceremonies.
The ceremonies ended with the Master jumpers lining up in front of the Masters banner for still another picture, after which most of them stayed around to chat quietly and order another drink. After all, next to ski jumping, a Master ski jumpers favorite activities are drinking beers and telling lies.
Seated: Tom Ricchio, Don West, Dave Zarling, Tom Moore. Standing: Rick Anderson,
Jim Maki, Tim Denisson, Doug Maki, Paul Johnson, Mark Miles, Joe Berens, Patrick Kruegel.
About noon, Sue asked everyone to stand while Alana Maki (left) sang the National Anthem. Doug Maki's daughter Alana is a ski jumper and an elementary school music teacher. In her gentle voice, she delivered a very nice solo rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.
Jumping started for the kids on the ten meter hill and then moved to the 20 where old and young assembled at the top start. The four Masters who opted to ski the 20 led off each round, starting with 72 year old Don West who drove 1100 miles from Plattsburgh NY to participate in the Championships. Sixty two year old Tom Ricchio of Iola WI followed and set a new hill record of 24 meters. Next down the track was Tom Moore, aged 59, also representing Iola, followed by Joe Berens, who matched Ricchio's new hill record.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Doug Maki, Tom Moore, Don West, Joe Berens, Patrick Kruegel, Tom Ricchio, Tim Denisson
Front (L-R): competition chairman Rick Anderson, competitors Don West, Doug Maki,
Patrick Kruegel, Tom Ricchio. Back: Joe Berens (black cap), Tom Moore, Tim Denisson