High Flying: Vt.'s only Olympic-size ski jump crowns winnersBy Kevin O'Connor
STAFF WRITER | February 18,2013
Dana Sprague Photo Chris Lamb, 23, of Andover, N.H., leaps off Brattleboro's Harris Hill on Sunday, besting athletes from Canada, Japan, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Ukraine to win the 91st anniversary Fred Harris Memorial Tournament at Vermont's only Olympic-size ski jump.BRATTLEBORO — A New Hampshire native bested almost 30 world-class ski jumpers — and gusts that toppled slopeside warming tents — to win Sunday's 91st Fred Harris Memorial Tournament during the once-a-year weekend opening of Vermont's only Olympic-size ski jump.
Chris Lamb, 23, of Andover, N.H., leapt off a wind-swept Harris Hill launch and onto a frozen landing surrounded by 2,300 spectators Saturday and another 1,750 Sunday.
“I always like this hill — it's a good feeling to come back,” said Lamb, who set the jump's long-distance record (102 meters, or 335 feet) in 2010 and is now living and training in Norway.
The Brattleboro competition doubled as the only International Ski Federation Cup contest scheduled for the United States this season. It drew elite athletes from Canada, Japan, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, as well as one hometown boy: Spencer Knickerbocker, 20, a member of the U.S. Nordic combined development team.
“I'm happy, considering these are the best jumpers,” the Vermonter said of his 14th-place showing. As for the on-and-off gusts that lifted some and lashed others: “It's an outdoor sport — you just have to deal with the cards you're dealt.”
The contest also featured three U.S. women who, after decades of exclusion from the male-only event in the Olympics, will finally be able to complete in the Winter Games in 2014.
Harris Hill is the only 90-meter ski jump in New England and one of just six of its size in the nation. But because volunteers maintain everything — they added the snowmaking pipe in 1985, a new $20,000 judging stand in 2003, a new launch ramp in 2009 and a new coaching tower last year — the jump opens only one weekend each February.
Lamb has won the Harris title once before, in 2010. With a third victory, he'll be the sixth athlete to retire the trophy since the hill's creation in 1922.
“To be a part of history,” Lamb said, “would be great.”
@rutlandherald.comMORE IN Southern VermontThe Department of Health could lose its funding from Entergy next year, ending more than 42 years... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.