PARK CITY, Utah — The third annual Heckert Memorial Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined competition was held at the Utah Olympic Park (UOP) and Soldier Hollow Nordic Center (SoHo) on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Athletes representing Canada, Alaska, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Utah competed in honor of the late Chuck Heckert, a longtime ski jumping official.
Jeannette Heckert told TownLift:
“This sport was always my husband Chuck’s passion before he passed away. It was a commitment 30 years ago by this nation, and now there’s still a commitment by young jumpers and their families carrying the torch. Chuck would be so honored to have a tournament like this in his name, as I am. Thank you all for all you’re doing now.”
Grant Andrews of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club was the big winner on the big hill and the big distance and showed big sportsmanship. The USA Nordic National Team member took top prize in the HS 100/10 K race and told TownLift, “My jumping was all right, some ups and downs but generally trending upwards. These younger athletes like Nickolas Malacinski, Evan Nichols, and Caleb Zuckerman had big jumps that were quite impressive. The cross country racing went pretty well for me, and it’s just nice to be out here competing.” His next stop will be Norway.
Park City Ski and Snowboard Team podiums included Ian Carmack, Logan Cadman, June Maxwell, Sadie McCrank, Liam Demong, Sofia Aragon, Daisy Schmidt, Lomax McCrank, Donovan Toly, and Jette Maxwell.
Behind the scenes was a veritable who’s who of former and current Park City Olympians and their families giving back to their community. Those names included Taylor Fletcher, Bryan Fletcher, Abby Ringquist, Lindsey Van, Jessica Jerome, families of Steven Schuman, Anders Johnson, and Ben Loomis.
Park City’s Valaika Family, who doesn’t even participate in this sport, provided free housing for an out-of-state family, which included a retired Ukrainian Olympian.
Tana Toly, Park City City Council member, was on site spectating and supporting a family member. Toly’s old friend, and fellow Park City High School alums Ricky Bower, was also at the UOP supporting and spectating a competitor and member of his own family. Bower, Snowboard Program Director for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team, is no stranger to the UOP as his father, John, Nordic Combined three-time Olympian started and ran the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Venue.
Events were contested on the small and large hills, during sideways snowstorms, under the full moon, and amid biathlon shooting training and freestyle aerial training adjacent, all throughout the action-packed weekend.
McKenzie Maines of Colorado stood on multiple podiums.
This event also served as one in a series of qualifying competitions toward both the Jr. National Championships and the Jr. World Championships.
This video shows Parkite Billy Demong, gold and silver medalist volunteering to announce the event.