Ready to take off: Aigner leads strong field for Pine Mountain jumps

PIPER BURNS AND Jodi Ellis of Sagola get an autograph from Dean Decker of the USA Nordic ski jumping team during the Meet the Skiers event Thursday evening at Pine Mountain Resort in Iron Mountain. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — Austrian ski jumper Clemens Aigner leads a talented international field ready to challenge Pine Mountain in this weekend’s Bellin Health Continental Cup.

Aigner, 27, who ranks third in the Continental Cup’s winter standings, had a first-place finish Jan. 12 in Bischofshoefen, Austria, turning in a long jump of 142 meters, or 466 feet. Pine Mountain’s hill record is 471 feet, set in 2009 by Austria’s Stefan Thurnbichler.

The win at Bischofshoefen was Aigner’s 10th in Continental Cup events.

Other top jumpers in this weekend’s field hail from Norway, Poland, Germany and Slovenia.

Justin Rok, 26, of Slovenia, ranks third in overall summer-winter Continental Cup points. He won Saturday’s competition in Brotterode, Germany, followed by a fifth-place showing Sunday.


Martin Hamann, 22, of Germany, ranks eighth in the winter standings, followed by 23-year-old Sondre Ringen of Norway, ninth; and Ulrich Wohlgenannt, 25, of Austria, 10th.

Wohlgenannt soared to a second-place finish Saturday at Brotterode. Skiers from Poland are coming on strong, with 20-year-old Pawel Wasek placing second Sunday at Brotterode and Stefan Hula, 33, nabbing third.

Andreas Granerud Buskum, 23, of Norway, ranked ninth in summer-winter Continental Cup points, is coming off a third-place effort Saturday at Brotterode, his best result this winter.

Bor Pavlovcic, 21, of Slovenia who sailed 441 feet for a second-place showing at Pine Mountain in 2017, ranks 18th in winter points. Moritz Baer,

22, of Germany, after a strong summer season, stands 11th in overall points.

The United States has seven jumpers entered, led by 18-year-old Andrew Urlaub, who placed 24th Sunday at Brotterode. The list also includes 21-year-old Casey Larson, who had a 16th-place finish a year ago at Pine Mountain; and Patrick Gasienica, 21, who placed 17th at a summer event in the Czech Republic.

Other U.S. jumpers are: Dean Decker, 19; Nathan Mattoon, 21; Greyson Scharffs, 18; and Hunter Gibson, 18.

Canada, France and Kazakhstan also will be represented at Giant Pine this weekend. In all, 37 jumpers from nine nations are on the entry list.

The 2020 Bellin Health Pine Mountain Continental Cup

The timetable, weather permitting, is —

Today: Official training, 1 p.m.

Saturday: Trial round begins at 11 a.m. Opening ceremonies are at 12:15 p.m., with the first competition at 1 p.m. Bellin Health will host a children’s play area from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday: Trial round at 11 a.m., with the second competition at 1 p.m.