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Back on the Hill: Hanover Freshman Jumps to Second at NHIAA Meet

  • Hanover's Tristan Meyer takes his first jump of the night during the NHIAA ski jumping championship in Hanover, N.H., on Feb. 15, 2018. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Sunapee's Cameron Summerton, left, and Kennett's Sean Maloney walk back up the hill together after their second jump at the NHIAA ski jumping championship in Hanover, N.H., on Feb. 15, 2018. Both qualified for the Junior Nationals in Alaska. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Sabin Mitchell is congratulated by her boyfriend, Elias Zinman, after she placed first in the NHIAA ski jumping championship in Hanover, N.H., on Feb. 15, 2018. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Sunapee's Lane Smith jumps during the NHIAA ski jumping Championship in Hanover, N.H., on Feb. 15, 2018. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Hanover — Teddy Ruth has been itching to get back onto the ski jumping ramp since the Hanover High freshman suffered a nagging concussion at the 90-meter hill in Lake Placid, N.Y., in October. Marauder coach Tom Dodds was just as eager to see what his up-and-coming jumper could do once healthy.

Ruth didn’t disappoint on Thursday night in front of nearly 250 people in attendance at the NHIAA ski jumping championship at the Roger Burt Memorial Ski Jump at Oak Hill, finishing second overall behind experienced Kennett jumper Sean Maloney in the boys individual competition. He also helped Hanover again settle for second place behind repeat-champion Kennett for the team state title.

“I didn’t really get the full experience (this season),” said Ruth, who had to petition the NHIAA to participate in Thursday’s state meet despite returning to the sport two weeks ago. “I know I did a lot of work with my coaches about imagery visualization. I did a lot of watching the pros to nail it all down.”

Added Dodds: “Teddy is awesome. He came out in our pre-states meet and was a little tentative, but it was remarkable how aggressive he was jumping from the beginning.”

Ruth saved his best jump for last, leaping 31.5 meters on his third and final attempt of the night. He finished with 121 points, accumulated between distance and style points scored by the judges.

Hanover sophomore Sabin Mitchell won the girls event by a single point, edging out Kennett’s Elizabeth Koroski, 94.5-93.5, for her second straight title. Her best jump was a 24.5-meter leap on her second attempt, although Mitchell admittedly got a little nervous after Koroski posted a girls’ best 25-meter leap on her third try.

“It was really surprising,” Mitchell said of her victory. “I 100 percent thought my sister (Sophie) was going to win. … It was much better than I was jumping yesterday. Yesterday, I wasn’t jumping very well. Today, I improved way more than I thought I was going to.”

Lebanon’s lone jumper, freshman Ayla Weale, took third place (93 points) behind Mitchell and Koroski. Sophie Mitchell, Sabin’s twin sister, placed fourth (86.5) for Hanover.

But Maloney, the lanky Kennett senior who hopes to continue his ski jumping career in Norway next winter, was the event’s best competitor by a wide margin. His second jump was an evening-best 34 meters, a half-meter away from the record of 35 meters set by Hanover’s Ryan Cutter in 1999.

“I started off my first jump, it was a little shorter than I hoped,” said Maloney, who admitted his 30.5-meter first-run distance was one of his shorter distances at Oak Hill. “My second jump, I was stoked. … I knew had to focus, had to bring it in. I got that takeoff on point, and I could just see the bottom of the hill from the knoll. I knew it was far.”

Maloney pumped his fists in the air after his third attempt, going 33.5 meters, sure that he’d solidified his second state crown.

“I’m really happy with the way I performed on my last two jumps,” he said.

Hanover’s Sawyer Hanlon tied for fifth with Kennett’s Chase Lee in the boys division with 113 points; Hanlon made back-to-back 30.5-meter jumps on his second and third tries, but he earned just 16 style points on his third jump. Mason Winter’s 29-meter jump put him in seventh for Hanover (111.5 points), while Colin Rozzi (103), Jasper Meyer (102.5) and Tristan Meyer (88.5) rounded out the Marauders’ scoring.

Sunapee was led by sophomore Cameron Summerton, who finished tied for eight place with a top jump of 30 meters for 111 points. Lane Smith placed 10th (105) for the Lakers.

Summerton, Ruth and Maloney are all headed to Anchorage, Alaska, early next week to take part in the Junior National Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships at the Kincaid Park Nordic Ski trails.

“Just traveling across the country, it’s going to be an amazing experience,” said Summerton, who is flying from Boston on Monday with Ruth and Maloney. “I have no clue what to expect. I worked hard all year to try and get there, and I was able to get the last spot on the team. I’m super excited about it.

“I’m stoked. It’s going to be an awesome trip.”

The Junior Nationals begin Tuesday and run through next Saturday.

Team Scores: Kennett 382, Hanover 375.5, Plymouth 367, Sunapee 353.5, Concord 326, Lebanon 84, Merrimack Valley 81.

Josh Weinreb can be reached at jweinreb@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.