|ZAO, Japan (March 9) - The U.S. Ski Team's Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) had her first podium in a year-and-a-half Sunday, finishing third in the final women's FIS Continental Cup ski jump in Zao, Japan. The podium boosted her to seventh in the final FIS Continental Cup standings. Norway's Anette Sagen won her third straight and capped a near perfect Continental Cup season.|
It was the first podium since August 2006 for Jerome, and first on snow since she was third in Zao two years ago. She put together jumps of 83.0 and 82.0 meters on the K90 hill for 194.0 points, just two points out of second. Sagen won with 222.0.
It was a sweet end to the season for Jerome, who was coming back from injury after missing most of last year. It was the 13th Continental Cup podium of her career.
"I was really stoked to be on the podium again," said Jerome. "It was really warm and the track was like a roller coaster. The wind was messed, but not as bad as yesterday."
Jerome jumped to second in the first of two rounds but had problems in the second round to drop to third.
The U.S. Ski Team's Avery Ardovino (Park City, UT) was 12th with Alissa Johnson (Park City, UT) 14th.
Nine nations took part in the season-ending event in Zao. The opening weekend of the Japan Tour was cut short with the cancellation last week in Sapporo. A record 13 nations scored points in the 2007-08 Continental Cup, which ended Sunday. Germany led team standings over Austria and Norway, with the USA fourth.
The U.S. Ski Team's Lindsey Van (Park City, UT), who missed most of the last part of the season, was the top American in sixth with Jerome in seventh.
The Team now heads back home to Park City for next weekend's backcountry.com U.S. Ski Jumping Championships at the Utah Olympic Park. Competition is scheduled for Friday and Sunday. Jerome, a four-time U.S. champion, will be looking to carry the momentum from her strong Continental Cup finish onto her home jumps.
Events open with a large hill competition Friday at 8:00 a.m. at the Utah Olympic Park, with the normal hill Sunday, also at 8:00 a.m. The women have an exhibition nordic combined event Saturday with jumps at 8:00 a.m. and cross country sprint at 6:40 p.m. at Soldier Hollow.
2008 FIS WOMEN'S CONTINENTAL CUP
Zao, Japan - March 9, 2009
K90 Jump (jumps) points
1. Anette Sagen, Norway, (88.0-93.0) 222.0
2. Daniela Iraschko, Austria, (80.5-85.5) 196.0
3. Jessica Jerome, Park City, UT (83.0-82.0) 194.0
4. Jenna Mohr, Germany, (76.0-87.5) 190.0
5. Jacqueline Seifriedsberger, Austria, (78.0-83.5) 186.0
12. Avery Ardovino, Park City, UT (74.5-73.0) 153.5
14. Alissa Johnson, Park City, UT (73.5-70.0) 145.5
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