Lake Placid native makes ski jumping history

Team USA’s Tate Frantz, of Lake Placid, soars through the air during the FIS Ski Flying World Championships in Kulm Bad Mitterndorf/Tauplitz, Austria. (Provided photo — Nordic Focus)

PARK CITY, Utah — Lake Placid native Tate Frantz made history at the FIS Ski Flying World Championships this past weekend in Kulm Bad Mitterndorf/Tauplitz, Austria, becoming the first American to finish in the top 20 at the event since 1994.

In the first round of the Individual HS235 on Jan. 26, Frantz soared into 16th place, laying down a 218.5-meter jump for 193.1 points. In the second round, Frantz was able to go 184.0 meters for 161.0 points, giving him 354.1 on the day. Frantz was the lone American jumper to qualify for all three rounds.

Frantz went 209.5 meters for 295.5 points, which landed him 20th overall with 549.6 total points in the third round on Jan. 27. Due to inclement weather, the fourth round was not held, and the third round was used as the final round of competition, securing Frantz a 20th overall finish.

With his performance, he became the first American to place in the top 20 since Tad Langlois in 1994. Langlois finished 18th overall in Planica, Slovenia.

Team USA’s Erik Belshaw placed 36th position, after going 191.5 meters for 127.0 points in the opening round. Kevin Bickner was right behind in 37th, putting together a 165.0-meter jump for 124.7 points, with Andrew Urlaub landing in 42nd place (154.5 meters, 102.1 points).

The 2024 FIS Ski Flying World Championships wrapped up on Jan. 28, with Belsaw, Bickner, Frantz and Decker Dean taking the hill for the Team HS235 event. The foursome was able to tally 647.2 points in the first round and were unable to qualify for the final round of action, finishing ninth overall.

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