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Austrian teen wins at Pine Mountain

February 16, 2009
By Ron Deuter

IRON MOUNTAIN - Competing here for the first time, 16-year old Lukas Mueller of Austria looked every bit the seasoned pro in winning both days of the 2009 Island Resort and Casino Pine Mountain Continental Cup Ski Jumping Championships Saturday and Sunday.

Mueller, who earlier this month claimed the junior world championship in Strbske Pleso, Slovakia, had to hold off fellow Austrian and seven-year Pine Mountain veteran Stefan Thurnbichler both days to take the top podium spot.

"It is really amazing because [Saturday] it was my first time to win and [Sunday] it is my second time," Mueller said. "It's really special."

Thurnbichler, crowd favorite and last year's Pine Mountain champ, did all he could to shake a consistent Mueller from the lead, including jumping an amazing hill-record of 143.5 meters (471 feet) during his second try on Sunday.

Thurnbichler's record-setting flight drew roars from the thousands in attendance and put the pressure squarely on Mueller, who had yet to make his second attempt.

"I have to congratulate him because it was really amazing," Mueller said. "I knew I had to make a good jump, and if I did I would win."

Mueller came though with a leap of 136.5 meters, enough to just outscore Thurnbichler 289.1 to 286.0. Saturday's battle saw Mueller score 292.7 to Thurnbichler's 281.4.

"He's junior world champion winner and he's also a crazy guy," Thurnbichler said of his teammate. "[At Pine Mountain] you have to be crazy because there is so many wind and you can jump so far. You have to push your jump into the air and just do it. Don't think about it."

Thurnbichler moved from sixth to second on Sunday with his record feat. As soon as his skis touched the ground, Thurnbichler threw his arms up in celebration, knowing by the response of the fans he had accomplished something historic.

"It's awesome. It's really, really, really cool," he said. "It's almost the same as sky-flying. I've jumped the biggest hill in the world and went 224.5 meters. But this is almost the same feeling because with this wind you get higher and higher and higher and your stomach is going up. The feeling is awesome."

Along with claiming the top two positions each day, Austria put a total of five jumpers in the top 10 on Saturday and four on Sunday.

Norway's Jon Aaraas (273.7) was third on Saturday, while Slovenia's Anze Damjan (269.6) took third on Sunday. Andreas Wank was the only German in the top 10 on Saturday, finishing fourth (262.3), but he and two other Germans cracked the top 10 on Sunday.

Blake Hughes, 28th on Sunday, and John Lyons, 29th on Saturday, were the top U.S. finishers. Kingsford's Zak Hammill, competing in his first-ever COC event, came up short in his bid to crack the top 30.

The always popular long-standing contest went to Haakon Helgesen of Norway with a jump of 148 meters (485 feet).

Both days of the competition went off under ideal conditions with no lengthy delays. Skies were overcast Saturday with a few flurries. Sunday morning's training session was scratched due to wind, but the sun was out in time for the afternoon's competition.

"For large hills, normal hills, this is my favorite," Thurnbichler said. "It was very good prepared this year. Sometimes we have a lot of ice out there and it can be really hard but now it's in really good shape, and a little bit soft.

"It was very nice to come again. I hope I come next year again and the years after."

Many of the skiers were surprised to see so many fans and delighted by the atmosphere of support.

"I was very impressed that so many people showed up," Aarass said. "They seem to really enjoy the fact that someone is coming from overseas doing their best. I think people really appreciate that. It makes us also appreciate the jumping even more."

Complete results follow with place, name, country, distance one and two (meters) and total points. After the first round, the top 30 qualified for a second jump. For those after 30th place, distance only is listed.

Sunday Results:

1 Lukas Mueller, AUT, 142.5, 136.5 - 292.7.

2 Stefan Thurnbichler, AUT, 129.5, 143.5 - 281.4.

3 Anze Damjan, SLO, 140.0, 127.0 - 269.6.

4 Erik Simon, GER, 135.0, 129.5 - 265.1.

5 Andreas Strolz, AUT, 123.5, 132.0 - 257.4

6 Jon Aaraas, NOR, 130.5, 125.5 - 255.3

7 Maximilian Mechler, GER, 126.0, 133.0 - 255.2.

8 Balthasar Schneider, AUT, 130.0, 127.5 - 255.0.

9 Andreas Wank, GER, 125.0, 129.5 - 253.1

10 Vegard Swensen, NOR, 122.0, 129.5 - 249.3.

11 Julian Musiol, GER, 127.5, 125.5 - 246.9.

12 Manuel Fettner, AUT, 133.0, 118.0 - 246.3.

13 Saso Tadic, SLO, 122.0, 129.0 - 242.3.

14 Roland Mueller, AUT, 121.5, 126.5 - 238.9.

15 Erik Lyche Solheim, NOR, 122.5, 123.5 - 237.3.

16 Haakon Helgesen, NOR, 120.5, 124.5 - 234.5.

17 Florian Schabereiter, AUT, 116.0, 130.0 - 233.3.

18 Daniel Lackner, AUT, 121.0, 121.0 - 228.6.

19 Kenneth Gangnes, NOR, 120.0, 121.5 - 223.7.

20 Tobias Bogner, GER, 121.0, 117.0 - 220.9.

21 Jurij Tepes, SLO, 120.0, 117.5 - 218.5.

22 Stig Sorensen Rud, NOR, 111.5, 126.5 - 216.9

23 Marc Krauspenhaar, GER, 102.5, 126.0 - 200.8.

24 Markus Eisenbichler, GER, 99.0, 123.5 - 191.0.

25 Jere Kykkaenen, FIN, 99.5, 113.0 - 163.5.

26 Christoph Haenel, GER, 100.0, 105.5 - 154.9.

27 Trevor Morrice, CAN, 101.0, 103.0 - 153.7.

28 Blake Hughes, USA, 102.5, 96.5- 143.7.

29 Toenis Kartau, EST, 103.0, 91.5 - 135.1.

30 Illimar Paern, EST, 98.0, 98.0 - 134.8.

31 Christoffer Nygaard, NOR, 89.6.

32 Sebastien Cala, FRA, 90.0.

33 Nick Johnson, USA, 87.7.

34 Josh Hanson, USA, 88.7.

35 Krzysztof Kowalczyk, USA, 88.5.

36 John Lyons, USA, 88.4.

37 Zachery Hammill, USA, 87.8.

38 Matic Kramarsic, SLO, 90.1.

Saturday Results:

1 Lukas Mueller, AUT, 135.5, 136.5 - 289.1.

2 Stefan Thurnbichler, AUT, 131.0, 139.0 - 286.0.

3 Jon Aaraas, NOR, 128.0, 138.5 - 273.7.

4 Andreas Wank, 125.5, 133.0 - 262.3.

5 Erik Lyche Solheim, NOR, 125.5, 132.5 - 259.9.

6 Anze Damjan, SLO, 124.0, 133.5 - 254.0.

7 Manuel Fettner, AUT, 124.5, 128.5 - 251.4.

8 Florian Schabereiter, AUT, 130.0, 124.5 - 250.6.

9 Stig Sorensen Rud, NOR, 127.0, 127.0 - 250.2

10 Balthasar Schneider, AUT, 122.0, 128.5 - 244.4.

11 Kenneth Gangnes, NOR, 130.0, 119.5 - 244.1.

12 Erik Simon, GER, 123.5, 126.5 - 242.0.

13 Julian Musiol, GER, 121.0, 126.0 - 236.1.

13 Matic Kramarsic, SLO, 114.5, 132.5 - 236.1.

15 Saso Tadic, SLO, 120.0, 125.5 - 234.9.

16 Maximilian Mechler, GER, 123.0, 132.0 - 230.0.

17 Vegard Swensen, NOR, 119.0, 123.5 - 229.5.

18 Roland Mueller, AUT, 117.0, 123.5 - 225.4.

19 Jurij Tepes, SLO, 113.5, 126.0 - 224.6.

20 Haakon Helgesen, NOR, 118.0, 122.5 - 223.9.

21 Marc Krauspenhaar, GER, 119.0, 119.5 - 216.8.

22 Daniel Lackner, AUT, 118.0, 118.0 - 215.3.

23 Markus Eisenbichler, GER, 120.0, 116.0 - 214.8.

24 Christoffer Nygaard, NOR, 116.0, 122.0 - 212.9.

25 Tobias Bogner, GER, 117.0, 116.5 - 211.8.

26 Sebastien Cala, FRA, 112.0, 111.5 - 190.3.

27 Jere Kykkaenen, FIN, 109.5, 114.0 - 188.3.

28 Christoph Haenel, GER, 106.0, 103.0 - 160.2.

29 John Lyons, USA, 107.5, 95.5 - 151.4.

30 Trevor Morrice, CAN, 108.5, 82.5 - 123.8.

31 Toenis Kartau, EST, 97.0.

32 Andreas Strolz, AUT, 98.5.

33 Nick Johnson, USA, 94.5.

34 Illimar Paern, EST, 89.0.

35 Josh Hanson, USA, 85.0.

36 Zachery Hammill, USA, 77.0.

37 Krzysztof Kowalczyk, USA, 76.5.

38 Blake Hughes, USA, 77.0.

 
 

 

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