Flying High

Alexander Takes Second At Nationals

Park City, Utah — Lebanon’s Nick Alexander planted himself between a pair of Andover, N.H., competitors as New Hampshire natives swept the podium on Sunday at the Large Hill U.S. Ski Jumping Championships at Utah Olympic Park.

U.S. National Team jumper Nick Fairall took the victory with jumps of 125.5 and 131.5 meters, scoring a meet-best 260.0 points. Alexander checked in at 242.1 points for second place, with Andover’s Chris Lamb third at 218.1. USA Ski Jumping held the national meet in summer conditions for the sixth straight year.

Alexander, showing continued improved form, credited his work on his takeoffs as the key to his weekend. “I’ve tried to stop killing the takeoff; it’s a more subtle move now than before,” Alexander said. “It’s made a huge difference, and I have been working on my flight position, too. I’ve got as ways to go, but it’s coming.”

A Lebanon Outing Club competitor and 2010 Olympian, Alexander recorded jumps of 122.5 and 124.5 meters off the UOP’s 134-meter jump. The runner-up finish was Alexander’s best at nationals since winning the 2010 title.

Fairall’s victory was his first at nationals.

“Nick Fairall’s jumping has been improving all summer, and he’s getting more consistent,” U.S. head coach Clint Jones said. “He’s stepped it up. I am excited to get him back to Europe.”

“Winning the national title feels great,” said Fairall, a member of the Andover Outing Club. “I am really excited, that’s for sure.”

Lamb, who jumped 115.5 and 121.5 meters, recently returned stateside after two years of training and going to school in Norway. “It does feel good to get the bronze medal today, but my jumping still isn’t 100 percent,” Lamb said. “I need to work on a few things. Still, it’s a good feeling.”

Mike Glasder, of Illnois’ Norge Ski club, was fourth, with hometown favorite Anders Johnson fifth. Canadian jumper Mackenzie Boyd set a hill record of 139 meters to win the open overall title, and FIS World Cup champion Sarah Hendrickson won the women’s division with jumps of 125.5 and 111.5 meters.

The U.S. Normal Hill Championships will be held in Lake Placid, N.Y., in October.