Lebanon’s Alexander On USA’s ‘A’ Team
United States' Nick Alexander jumps during the U.S. Nationals at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, in March 2008. (Associated Press - Douglas C. Pizac)
While spectators and coaches watch from the observation deck, Nick Alexander jumps during a training session in Lake Placid, N.Y., in May 2006. (Associated Press - Todd Bissonette)
After two years struggling with injuries and middling results, Lebanon ski jumper Nick Alexander has returned to top form — both physically and in the eyes of the USA Ski Jumping coaching staff.
Following a strong 2012-13 winter season, Alexander was recently named one of the three athletes designated for team USA’s “A” team for the coming season, which culminates with the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Teammates Peter Frenette and Anders Johnson are the others named to the “A” team, while Andover, N.H., natives Chris Lamb and Nick Fairall were named to the “B” team.
Alexander, 24, is aiming for his second straight Olympic appearance after helping the U.S. finish 11th in the team large hill competition at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia. Individually, Alexander placed 40th in the large hill and 41st in the normal hill.
Prior to the Olympics, Alexander had placed as the top American and 72nd overall in the Continental Cup, one step below World Cup level circuits.
The following winter, he tore an ankle ligament and plummeted to 110th overall, third best on the team. Immersed in physical therapy thereafter, he was relegated to the U.S. Ski Jumping team’s “B” team in 2011-12.
After re-aggravating the same ankle, he had another disappointing winter in the Continental Cup — 99th and third among U.S. athletes — before finally making a full recovery. He started to get back on track last fall with a 33rd-place finish, tops among Americans, last September in Germany.
Carrying that momentum through the winter, Alexander broke through with eight top-35 overall placements and two top-15s, including a third place with 266.9 aggregate points back in Germany on Jan. 26.
He finished the year once again the top-ranked American, his 57th-overall ranking 15 spots higher than during his Olympic season three years ago.
The team opens camp June 8-12 in Franconia, N.H.
Hamilton, Hingston Recognized: Hartford bowling coach Mark Hamilton and Windsor Athletic Director Bob Hingston each received honors at the Vermont State Athletic Directors’ recent spring awards ceremony at Three Stallion Inn in Randolph.
Hamilton, who began the Hurricanes’ club bowling program three years ago, quickly helped develop the sport into a 10-team, varsity league. Hartford championed the first VPA-sanctioned state championship match at Upper Valley Lanes & Games last fall.
Hingston was named the Vermont small school AD of the year, the fourth time he’s received the accolade — as voted by VSAD members from throughout the state — during his 14 years as Windsor AD .
“The fact that I’m voted in by my peers makes me the most proud,” Hingston said in a phone interview yesterday. “Nobody but (fellow ADs) know what the job is truly about.”
In the last year, Hingston has helped oversee repairs to the school’s athletic fields, many of which suffered extensive damage in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
Hingston has also reached out to incoming ADs such as Marty Testo, of Leland & Gray, Springfield’s Joe Brown and Woodstock’s Jeff Thomas to help them acclimate to their new posts.
“As ADs, it’s important to help each other out,” Hingston said. “Sometimes, guys come in and they’ve never dealt with some of the coaching issues or student-athlete issues that we all have to deal with. It helps to have people who can sort of be mentors for you through the process.”
Jared Pendak can be reached at email@example.com or 603-727-3306.