Norge Ski Club ski jump trio all make normal hill finals
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea -- The Olympic dream for three members of Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove took one step closer to the medal stand on Thursday night.
U.S. ski jumpers Kevin Bickner, 21, of Wauconda, Casey Larson, 19, of Barrington and Mike Glasder, 28, of Cary each qualified for Saturday's final in the normal hill event with top-50 finishes in Thursday's qualifying round.
The came one day after the ski jumpers arrived for the Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
The trio will face stiff competition from Andreas Wellinger who will take his strong form into the final.
The 22-year-old German, who already qualified because he was among the top 10-ranked jumpers on the normal hill going into the event, beat defending Olympic champion Kamil Stoch of Poland, who finished second in Thursday's qualifying.
"I think a lot of competitors are really close, especially on the normal hill," Wellinger said. "If I am able to show my jumps, I think I can fight for the podium."
The normal hill final is on Saturday. It will air live at 6:35 a.m. on NBCSN.
Wellinger is third in the overall World Cup standings this season and is among the gold medal favorites in Pyeongchang.
Thursday's qualifying was held to reduce the number of jumpers to 50 for the normal hill final.
Bickner's jump placed 25th in the huge field. With scores of 94.6 and 90.0 on jumps of 91 meters and 88 meters, Glasder and Larson placed 40th and 46th, respectively.
The field was cut to 50.