Warmer weather draws crowds to Norge ski competitions

  • Norge Ski Club member Cara Larson, 14, of Barrington competes on the 70-meter hill in the K70 Junior category Saturday at the Norge 110th Annual International Ski Jump Tournament in Fox River Grove.

      Norge Ski Club member Cara Larson, 14, of Barrington competes on the 70-meter hill in the K70 Junior category Saturday at the Norge 110th Annual International Ski Jump Tournament in Fox River Grove. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Jack Gasienica of Park City, Utah, competes on the 70-meter jump Saturday at the Norge 110th Annual International Ski Jump Tournament in Fox River Grove.

      Jack Gasienica of Park City, Utah, competes on the 70-meter jump Saturday at the Norge 110th Annual International Ski Jump Tournament in Fox River Grove. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Gabby Armstrong of Lake Placid, New York, competes on the 70-meter hill Saturday at the Norge 110th Annual International Ski Jump Tournament in Fox River Grove.

      Gabby Armstrong of Lake Placid, New York, competes on the 70-meter hill Saturday at the Norge 110th Annual International Ski Jump Tournament in Fox River Grove. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Norge Ski Club member Marty Knapp of Fox River Grove says he has been dressing up as a Viking for about 37 years.

      Norge Ski Club member Marty Knapp of Fox River Grove says he has been dressing up as a Viking for about 37 years. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Spectators watch the Norge 110th Annual International Ski Jump Tournament on Saturday in Fox River Grove.

      Spectators watch the Norge 110th Annual International Ski Jump Tournament on Saturday in Fox River Grove. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • David Zarling of Minneapolis competes on the 70-meter hill Saturday at the Norge 110th Annual International Ski Jump Tournament in Fox River Grove.

      David Zarling of Minneapolis competes on the 70-meter hill Saturday at the Norge 110th Annual International Ski Jump Tournament in Fox River Grove. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Crowds started to gather before the 110th annual Winter Ski Jump Tournament at Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove. Saturday temperatures were in the 40s, causing muddy trails, compared to last year's frigid temperatures and mounds of snow.

      Crowds started to gather before the 110th annual Winter Ski Jump Tournament at Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove. Saturday temperatures were in the 40s, causing muddy trails, compared to last year's frigid temperatures and mounds of snow. ANNA MARIE KUKEC | Staff Photographer

  • Ashley Hannah, 16, of Fox River Grove is ready to compete on Saturday during the 110th annual Winter Ski Jump tournament at Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove.

      Ashley Hannah, 16, of Fox River Grove is ready to compete on Saturday during the 110th annual Winter Ski Jump tournament at Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove. ANNA MARIE KUKEC | Staff Photographer

  • Casey Larson, 16, of Barrington, is getting ready Saturday to compete in the junior national qualifier during the 110th annual Winter Ski Jump Tournament at Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove.

      Casey Larson, 16, of Barrington, is getting ready Saturday to compete in the junior national qualifier during the 110th annual Winter Ski Jump Tournament at Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove. ANNA MARIE KUKEC | Staff Photographer

  • Megan Maiworm and husband Kevin Maiworm, both 35, are fans of the Norge Ski Club's annual Winter Ski Jump Tournament, but this is the first year they tailgated with about 20 friends and family during the 40-degree temperatures on Saturday.

      Megan Maiworm and husband Kevin Maiworm, both 35, are fans of the Norge Ski Club's annual Winter Ski Jump Tournament, but this is the first year they tailgated with about 20 friends and family during the 40-degree temperatures on Saturday. ANNA MARIE KUKEC | Staff Photographer

  • The Viking Ski Shop at Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove displayed some of its most colorful skis during its 110th annual Winter Ski Jump Tournament on Saturday.

      The Viking Ski Shop at Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove displayed some of its most colorful skis during its 110th annual Winter Ski Jump Tournament on Saturday. ANNA MARIE KUKEC | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/24/2015 5:56 PM

Megan and Kevin Maiworm of Algonquin decided the 40-degree temperature on Saturday was perfect to tailgate.

They weren't at a football game. They hosted about 20 family and friends in an unseasonably grassy field before heading to the 110th annual Winter Ski Jump Tournament in Fox River Grove.

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"We're going to start a new tradition," said Kevin Maiworm, 35.

The Maiworms were among about 1,000 fans on Saturday, who lined up for the annual tournament at Norge Ski Club, at 100 Ski Hill Road, just north of Routes 14 and 22. The tournament continues Sunday with gates opening at noon. About 5,000 enthusiasts are expected.

Organizers anticipate about 70 skiers on Saturday and another 60 on Sunday from around the United States, Slovenia, Finland, Canada and elsewhere. Admission on Sunday is $15 at the gate with free admission for children ages 12 and younger.

USA Ski Team jumpers will compete for U.S. Cup points, cash awards and national rankings. The tournament is sanctioned by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, the national governing body for Olympic skiing and snowboarding.

"Tickets were sold out everywhere I checked," said Charlie Sedivec, a Norge Ski Club spokesman and the club's unofficial historian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The warmer temperatures attracted a full crowd but likely could cause "slower" slopes during the competition, said Norge Director Guy Larson.

"The temperatures cause the snow to be more wet and that could slow down the skiers," Larson said.

He said safety of the slopes will remain a priority during the competition. But so far, they've never had to cancel a competition.

"I've been here for 12 years, and we always had to deal with Mother Nature," he said.

Casey Larson, 16, of Barrington, prepared to compete in the 70-meter jump in the junior national qualifier on Saturday. It's his 10th year in competition.

"The hill crews did a good job on preparing it for the competition," said Larson. "I'm not worried about it. It's just different conditions. That's all."

Even Ashley Hannah, 16, of Fox River Grove was in full gear, awaiting to do her jump.

"The slopes could be slower, but I like that. I've only been jumping for three months," she said.

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