Cary native Glasder earns Olympic spot in ski jumping
PARK CITY, Utah -- Former World champion Sarah Hendrickson and Michael Glasder clinched spots in the Pyeongchang Games on Sunday as the overall winners at the U.S. Olympic trials for ski jumping.
Glasder, a native of Cary, qualified for his first Olympics after missing the cut in 2010 and 2014. He claimed the men's title with 270 points after two jumps. Glasder edged in front after covering 98.5 meters at 87.4 kph on his first jump.
"I was relaxed, feeling good, feeling like my technique was heading in the right direction," Glasder said. "Obviously, showed that today and I'm looking to build on that toward the Olympics."
Kevin Bickner, of Wauconda, gave Glasder a stiff challenge after he covered 100 meters at 87.3 kph on his second jump. Bickner finished second with 268.6 points. William Rhoads took third with 256.6 points.
The rest of the four-man team will be officially announced on Jan. 22, but Bickner and Rhoads are likely candidates.
Hendrickson was the women's winner with 263.4 total points after two jumps. She took the lead following a first jump where she covered 97.5 meters at 91.0 kph.
It is the second trip to the Olympics for Hendrickson. She qualified for Sochi in 2014 but finished 21st overall after suffering a major knee injury in a training accident before the games.
Hendrickson has undergone four knee surgeries since participating in the Sochi Games. Winning at the Olympic trials represents a particularly satisfying step for her in her comeback.
"It's pretty emotional just because the four years have been so tough," Hendrickson said. "This gives me confidence that hard work pays off, and if you keep working for your dream, then you'll get there. That is something that will stick with me for the rest of the life, and that's a really good lesson, too."
Abby Ringquist followed in second with 248.1 points. Nita Englund took third with 238.9 points.
The 2018 Winter Games begin on Feb. 9.