Thursday, February 23, 2006

Colleges and Competitions

Hello Everyone!


I know it has been awhile since my last update but I have been dealing with a lot of emotions about my ski jumping career. The past few weeks have really not gone as well as I would have liked them too. I am and always have been bad at relaying bad news. On a lighter note, I found out recently that I have been accepted to; Perdue University, St. Cloud State University, University of Utah as well as University of Southern Maine.

The recent domestic tournaments in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Westby, Wisconsin and Ishpeming, Michigan were very difficult for me because I just could not find my stride or my groove. I was severally behind in my in-run position for all of the competitions. Coming down the vertical everything would feel really good, but coming up to the take-off I would fall behind and I would be unable to make a clean confident move from there. In Eau Claire I was second, In Westby I was 3rd and 4th and finally in Ishpeming I was second by nearly twenty full points.

The World Cup B this past weekend in Iron Mountain,Michigan went worst for me. We had no opportunity to train on the hill really at all. The winds were very gusty. Iron Mountain is truly the only hill that scares the heck out of me. The same type of things were going on, my in-run position was very far behind and my take-off movement was very tentative. The temperature including wind chill in the first event was -45 degrees. After my trial jump I stuck my fingers into a boiling hot cup or coffee and I did not even feel it! After the first day of competing I finished in 35th place. The next morning I knew I had to make some changes and I needed to stop letting the hill get into my head. I had a solid trial jump and on the 1st competition jump I decided I was going to really not be afraid. I had a slightly better jump and I got down the hill a little better, but I barley missed the top 30 and I finished in 31st.

From here I plan on going to the Super Tour Finale in Steamboat Springs CO. On the 17th and 18th of march. Despite my poor performances I am still ranked #1 in the overall Super Tour points. I will be going into Steamboat with the lead and I hop to protect it.

Thank you all for your support!
Brian

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super Tour in the Midwest #1

Super Tour!
Eau Claire WI
K-86
2/4 and 2/5

On Wednesday of last week myself, Blake Hughes and Evan Bliss all piled into my Kia Sportage and made the nearly twenty-four hour drive to the beginning of the Mid-West Tour. The drive was super long and it was fairly windy along the way.The first event was to be held in Eau Claire Wisconsin. The day that we arrived there was little to no snow on the hill or anywhere for that matter.

The main event was on Saturday the fifth. The event started about noon time and the temperature was about seventeen degrees! It was very cold.. My first jump in the trial round was just a solid jump, there was not very much time to really get adapted to the hill. On the first competition jump I went eighty-five meters and I was tied for second place. This jump did not really feel that great, on the in-run I was struggling to stay in balance, because the track was quite wide. On my last jump in the competition I stayed more in balance and I had a ninety-three meter jump which secured my spot in second. Davis really seemed to be jumping well all weekend.

Results Top 3

Davis Miller
Brian Welch
Evan Bliss

The next stop on the tour is Westby, Wisconsin next weekend!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Results HS100

1. Clint Jones, Steamboat Springs, Colo., (99.5-101.5 meters) 276.0 points
2. Todd Lodwick, Steamboat Springs, Colo., (100-100) 273.0
3. Tommy Schwall, Steamboat Springs, Colo., (97.5-98) 262.5
4. Trevor Morrice, Canada, (91-93.5) 237.5
5. Brian Welch, Scarborough, Maine, (91.5-94.5) 236.5

National Championships

National Championships
Steamboat Springs CO
1/21/06 and 1/22/06




On Thursday of last week in the middle of a blizzard myself, Willy Graves and Evan Bliss of the Eastern division made the normally five hour drive from Park City to Steamboat in ten hours. At some points the road actually looked like a ski trail!

On Friday we had official training on both the big hill and the small hill. We had two jumps on each hill. These were the first two jumps I had, had all year on steamboats small hill and two of only six of two on the big hill. I had a fairly consistent official training, on both hills I was right around the top ten.

Saturday morning I was up at six-thirty to begin preparation on my skis, warm up and get mentally prepared for the event at nine on the big hill. The trial round went fairly smoothly I had an all right jump of 112.5 meters, the longest jump in the round was a 120 by Todd Lodwick. In the first round of competition the jury decided to move the starting position down from gate nine to gate seven. I had a slightly better jump in the competition round of 111.5 but I was still in eighth place. In the final round I had the best jump I had on the hill all weekend of 114, this moved me up to seventh place. Fifth amongst special jumpers.

Sunday morning I woke at seven-thirty because I finished my ski preparations the night before. I felt very good about the technique changes I had been making progressively with my coach Larry Stone. I knew all I really needed to do was get better push against the take off. My first round in competition I went 91.5 meters, I was pretty late off the end of the take off which means I didn't get the final strong kick to get the height I needed to be up with the early leaders, nonetheless I was still tied for sixth place. I knew that I could do better though and I went up to the top completely confident that I could move up with a strong second jump. I had a much better jump in terms of kick against the take off and I went 94.5 meters and I put in a fairly stylish telemark earning 53.5 style points. This moved me up to 5 place. Third amongst the special jumpers.

I am pretty excited about how things went this weekend I jumped at a fairly consistant level!

I will be in Park City, Utah until the first of February at that time I will be traveling to the Midwest for several national Super Tour events as well as a World Cup B in Iron Mountain Michigan.

Thank you all for your support!.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Olympic Trials

United States Olympic Trials
Lake Placid NY 12/30 /12/31 2005
K-90
K-120
Park City UT 1/7 1/8 2006
K-120
K-90



The last ten days has been a long test of mental as well as physical skills for me. The first Olympic trial in Lake Placid on the K-90 went very poorly, which inevitably put me out of qualifying for the 2006 Winter Games. There are several reasons for this. I had been skiing very poorly on the K-90 the whole week leading up to the event. I was at the time the overall point leader in the Super Tour/Olympic points criteria, which means I was the last skier off the hill. All my counterparts in front of me where jumping extremely far. In the first round I had a jump of 90.5 meters and I was some 20 points off the leaders. This put me in a very stressful situation, I needed to jump 100 plus meters in order to finish respectably. So like a quarterback down 20 points in the last 2 minutes of a game I tried to force a result and threw an interception, I had a 84 meter jump which put me far out points wise. I felt very distraught after the first event and I knew I had a lot of work to do in the next events to make up the 60 points I lost in the first event.

In the next event in Lake Placid on the K-120 I had one of the best competition of my life. I had a 130 meter jump in the first round. The next furthest jump was Tommy Schwall at 125 meters. I out jumped the currently ranked #3 guy on the Olympic team by 5 full meters. On my second jump I shanked a little bit and fell back to second place in the second Olympic qualifier.

Going into the Park City events I was far back in the Olympic qualifying due to my poor performance in the first K-90 event in Lake Placid. I started in Park City nearly 10th on the list. My first event on the K-120 in Park City I showed some real promise. I had the second longest jump in the competition both on my Trial round and on my final round of competition. I was unable to make up any ground however because the best three out of four events count for the overall Olympic points. So everyone including myself threw out the Park City K-120 event because in overall points it was our least amount of points.

In the 4th and final event we all had to deal with incredible winds and virtual blizzard here in Park City. I had the longest jump on the hill in the trial round of 95 meters. In the competition my form did not change much except I was nearly a meter early on both of my jumps, which kept me from the podium. I finished averagely with two jumps of 88.5 meters and I gained only 6 points in the Olympic points. However I did move up from nearly tenth to seventh. There are still some coaches discretion choices that could be made but I think I am so far down the list that, that shouldn't matter.

The Olympic Team will be named after the US athletes, Clint Jones, Tommy Schwall, Logan Gerber and Jim Denney return from the Japanese Continental Cups which will serve for the final Olympic qualifier. If Jim and Logan do not score in the top 30 in Japan than Anders Johnson and Jim will make the Olympic team based on the domestic qualifiers.

I will be skiing for the rest of the season in Domestic US competitions and hopefully a couple more international events.

Thank you all for your support and I will be keeping up updated for the rest of the season on my results

Points

Olympic Team Rank
Points

Skier LP - 90 M LP - 120 M PC 1 PC 2 Total Pts Behind
3 Johnson 254.5 232.8 x 242.0 729.3 63.0
4 Schwall 250.5 249.6 x 222.5 722.6 56.3
5 Denney 259.5 230.2 x 232.5 722.2 55.9
6 Gerber 249.5 242.3 x 192.0 683.8 17.5
7 Welch 208.5 243.8 x 214.0 666.3 0.0
7 Kessler 243.0 235.8 x 186.0 664.8 (1.5)
10 Keate 223.5 228.6 x 207.5 659.6 (6.7)
8 Nelson 241.0 216.5 x 205.0 662.5 (3.8)
11 Wert 226.0 225.1 x 168.0 619.1 (47.2)
12 Kling 230.0 217.1 - 447.1 (219.2)
13 Farrall 219.5 226.9 x 200.0 646.4 (19.9)
14 Hughes 238.0 189.4 - 427.4 (238.9)
15 Schauer 211.5 212.7 - 424.2 (242.1)
16 Bliss 230.0 194.0 - 424.0 (242.3)
17 Fletcher, B 222.0 196.8 - 418.8 (247.5)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Rovaneimi 2

Hello all!

The second competition in Rovaniemi actually went as well as it could have gone to have not placed in the top 30 again.

My first trial round jump was actually a good jump compared to those previous. I went 89 meters which was fairly competitive for the round. I decided I would really deliberately focus on making my lower back really long in my in-run position, which translated to meters right away. A lot of times I push very hard against the takeoff with my legs but because my back is not long the power is absorbed with my back. In the competition round I did everything that I had done on the jump previous except I started too early which means I did not get the most out of my takeoff.

My skis have been fairly fast which is a good thing. I have been waxing with very cold wax. It is always better to wax hard than too soft, because when you wax warm the sharp snow crystals catch the soft wax and thus creates friction. So when waxing those boards for alpine skiing remember wax harder as opposed to softer!!

I am here in Rovaniemi until December 9th and at that time I am traveling back to the United States for training in Park City, Utah

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Rovaneimi

Hello all!

I am in Rovaniemi Finland. A place where you only see the sun in winter for 1 hr each day. Several famous ski jumpers have come from here including ex U.S Ski Team head coach
Kari Yiliantila.

Things have been going well here for the most part. Jetlag has been kind of a problem, yesterday I could barely function during official training. I had two very interesting jumps and went back to the hotel and crashed for about 14hrs. I awoke this morning feeling quite alot better. This morning we went and visited the real Santa's village and that was very neat and relaxing.

This afternoon in the first COCJ of the year I placed outside of the top 30. I had a better take-off on my qualification jump, however I flew with my chest low which cut through the air and landed six meters short of the qualification distance. Mentally I feel the strongest I a have ever been . I am very confident that can can attain a top 30 result tommorow.

I hope all is well
Brian

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

EARLY SNOW IS FINALLY HERE !!

Park City, Utah
K-120
11/23/05


Hello Everyone!

The K-120 here in Park City, Utah the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics opened this past Sunday!

Since Sunday we have been following a fairly normal training regiment. We have jumped 4 sessions, and we have lifted weights at the Park City High School weight room on two occasions. Mike our coach also has been throwing in gymnastics to help build up our coordination but also to breed competitiveness in our team atmosphere.

On top of all the physical training I have been continuing with my mental work I have a daily routine which consists of relaxation, imagery and also reading and mental exercises. I have also been putting a real lot of work into my skis to make them as fast as they can be by waxing repetitively sometimes, five times a day.

I have really been working my butt off to make sure everything is in order to make a success of the upcoming trip to Finland.

I will be leaving for the Continental Cup opening in Rovenemi and Lahti, Finland on the 29th of November.



Happy Turkey Day!!