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Gabby Armstrong soars into Junior jumping worlds

January 6, 2017
By MORGAN RYAN - Sports Editor ( , Lake Placid News

Lake Placid senior Gabby Armstrong was selected as one of the 10 athletes who will represent the United States at the International Ski Federation's USANA Nordic Junior World Ski Championships that will take place Jan. 30 to Feb. 5 at the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow Nordic Center.

It's the first time the global junior event has been held in the USA since 1986 in Lake Placid.

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association selected the team based on results of international Continental Cup competitions along with three trials events with jumps at Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Park City, Utah.

Article Photos

Lake Placid’s Gabby Armstrong launches off the 90-meter jump during the National Ski Jumping Championships at the Flaming Leaves Festival in Lake Placid on Oct. 9. Armstrong took third in the competition behind gold medalist Tara Geraghty-Moats and Nina Lussi, of Lake Placid, who are both members of the US women’s ski jumping team.
(News file photo — Justin A. Levine)

Armstrong told the Lake Placid News following a high school cross-country ski race Thursday at Mount Van Hoevenberg that she had recently spent a week jumping in Norway to compete in her first Continental Cup event.

"It was my first Continental Cup event, which is just a step lower than a World Cup event," she said. "It was good. I met a lot of girls my age in the sport. It was a great experience. I jumped well for what I was expecting, so it was a really fun start to the season."

Armstrong placed first in Thursday's 3.75-kilometer cross-country skiing race against Saranac Lake. She said she has been mostly jumping this year, but hopes to shift her training to be able to make it to the high school state championship meet Feb. 27-28 at Bristol Mountain.

Armstrong's older sister Nina Armstrong, who is a sophomore at Harvard College, will also be competing at a junior world championship this year. Nina qualified for the Junior Biathlon World Championships in Slovakia after a strong performance last weekend at a competition in Vermont.

The United States' 10-person junior ski jumping team includes six athletes who competed in the 2016 World Championships in Rasnov, Romania, including Logan Sankey, of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, who was also on the 2015 team that jumped in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The 2017 team is led by top qualifiers from trials Casey Larson (Barrington, Illinois) of the Norge Ski Club and Anna Hoffman (Madison, Wisconsin) of the Blackhawk Ski Club. Larson swept to wins in all three trials events while Hoffman won back-to-back last weekend on the Olympic jumps in Park City.

The team is one of the most diverse ever with athletes representing seven different clubs from three major ski jumping regions of the country. Five team members are from the strong USSA Central Division including three from the Chicagoland's Norge Ski Club.

"We've seen some strong progress from our men's jumping team both at the junior and World Cup level in the past few years," said USA Nordic Executive Director and Olympian Billy Demong, a Vermontville native who now lives in Park City, Utah. "It's a great benefit for these athletes from clubs around America to be jumping on what has become a training base for much of the season. It's a tremendous opportunity to garner international experience with a home field advantage and I credit the Utah Organizing Committee with having the vision and tenacity to bring this event back to the USA."

"This team is a real tribute to our Fly Girls program," said women's ski jumping USA. President Laura Sankey. "This initiative from Women's Ski Jumping USA. was only introduced three years ago but is already making a difference."

All five of the women on the team were a part of the inaugural Fly Girls program.

"Casey Larson has shown his strength with very solid jumps in all three qualifying events," said Men's Coach Clint Jones. "It was good to see that Trevor Edlund also stepped up his game a bit in Park City. There is a bit of a gap back to the next athletes, but they are young and will earn some great experience this year at Junior World Championships."

"Anna Hoffmann is a great example of how the Fly Girls program can work," said Women's Ski Jumping U.S.A. Coach Alan Alborn. "This will be her first Junior Worlds but she joins a very experienced team especially with Cara Larson and Logan Sankey."

Casey Larson and Sankey were also members of the Youth Olympic Games team that competed last February in Lillehammer.

The first competition day is Wednesday, Feb. 1 with individual events for both men and women. The women's team event is Thursday, Feb. 2 with the men Friday, Feb. 3. Jumping concludes with a mixed gender team event on Sunday, Feb. 5.



(Name, hometown, USSA club, birthdate, age at start of championships)


Decker Dean, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) 8/8/2000 (16)

Trevor Edlund, Woodbury, MN (St. Paul Ski Club) 03/02/1997 (19)

Patrick Gasienica, Richmond, IL (Norge Ski Club) 11/28/1998 (18) *

Casey Larson, Barrington, IL (Norge Ski Club) 12/16/1998 (18) * ***

Nathan Mattoon, Eau Claire, WI (Flying Eagles Ski Club 9/22/1998 (18) *


Gabby Armstrong, Lake Placid, NY (New York Ski Education Foundation) 12/06/1998 (18) *

Anna Hoffmann, Madison, WI (Blackhawk Ski Club) 3/28/2000 (16)

Cara Larson, Barrington, IL (Norge Ski Club) 11/5/2000 (16) *

Samantha Macuga, Park City, UT (Park City Nordic Ski Club) 2/17/2000 (15)

Logan Sankey, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) 5/28/1998 (18)* ** ***

* Member of 2016 Junior Worlds team

** Member of 2015 Junior Worlds team

*** Member of 2016 Youth Olympic Games team



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