Eau Claire Flying Eagles ski club member Nick Mattoon won the class J1 Junior National ski jumping championships last Thursday in Minneapolis. The 17-year old Mattoon had jumps of 70 and 73.5 meters, good for 227 points to win in comfortable fashion. Nick spoke to WEAU Sports Director Bob Gallaher Sunday morning about becoming a national champion, "I'm definitely getting better, getting more consistent, I've always been able to this year, have some good jumps, but they are coming more consistently now, still got a lot to work on, but's getting there. It's amazing to see that we can produce at least four or five jumpers that are upcoming that can make in turn, U.S. ski teams, it's really encouraging for us as jumpers and for our ski club, knowing that we can produce them and to get these younger kids up to where we are now."
Mattoon, who won the Silvermine Long Standing jump during last month's North American Nordic Combined championships here in Eau Claire will compete in Germany next week before finishing the ski jump season in Vancouver later this month. Nick says it's been an exciting winter, "This is what I love to do, I love traveling and traveling the world and the country and being with my friends and competing is fun. We try really hard to do our best, have people come out and stick with the sport and keep training and because it's a smaller sport in the U.S. Overseas they don't have a problem, they have millions of kids but here it's tougher for us but yeah, it's good to see kids come out and get better and improve and get to where we are now."
The Flying Eagles has a second podium finisher last week as Ben Loomis took third place in the class J2. Adam Hamler was 16th while Nate Mattoon finished 19th.