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Joyce Endee

Eagle fliers soar to third at home meet

THE KENNETT SKI JUMPING TEAM poses for a group photo after its home meet on Friday, Feb. 4. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
February 07, 2011
ALBANY — The worst thing that could've happened to the Kennett ski jumping team was the double dose of snowstorms on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.

With the team's lone home meet of the season having been rescheduled twice, with the final chance coming on Friday, Feb. 4, the hill was in great shape and ready to go.

However, the piles of snow that blanketed the area in the middle of last week meant that the team had just a couple of days to get the hill back in shape in time for their home meet.

But, with lots of hard work, coach Chip Henry and his team hosted Concord, Sunapee, Plymouth and Hanover under the lights on Friday night.

"It was a monumental effort by all the kids, their siblings and their parents," Henry said. "We had quite a crew out here."

He noted that having only two days to get the hill ready was tough, but he was proud of the work that went into it.

Add to it the fact that it was a gorgeous night and all but one of the teams was able to make the trip to the rescheduled meet, and things went off pretty well.

"It was a nice night," Henry said. "I'm glad almost all the teams could make it."

Hopkinton, due to a previous alpine commitment, was the lone team unable to make the trek.

While the Eagles didn't come home with the victory in their home meet, they did get some very good jumps from a number of the team members.

Duncan Cromwell led the way for the Eagle fliers, soaring to jumps of 26.5, 29.5 and 30 meters and picking up second place overall with 100 points.

Ben Emery was second for the Eagles, picking up jumps of 25, 24 and 25.5 meters to take ninth overall with 80 points.

Matt Halupowski was the third Eagle jumper, as he and teammate Torin LaLiberte tied for 13th overall, both picking up 76.5 points overall. Halupowski had jumps of 25.5, 25 and 24 meters and LaLiberte had leaps of 25.5, 25 and 25 meters.

Thomas Gregston leaped to 17th place with jumps of 24, 22.5 and 21.5 meters for 70.5 points. Pete Grzesik was 20th with jumps of 21.5, 24 and 18 meters for 68 points. Madison Doucette placed 23rd with her jumps of 22, 21.5 and 19 meters for 65.5 points. Travis Rockett rounded out the flock of Eagle fliers with jumps of 18.5, 19 and 19 meters for 61 points.

All told, Hanover came away with the team victory, picking up 376 points. Concord was second with 366 points and the Eagles were just half a point behind in third place with 365.5 points.

Henry noted that Emery, LaLiberte and Halupowski all had the best jumps of their career, by far.

"The crowd must have pumped them up," he said.

The Eagle coach noted that his squad certainly will have its work cut out for it when the team sets out to defend its state championship on Friday at Proctor Academy.

"We're going to have our hands full defending our championship," Henry stated. "Every meet has had a different team take it. It's going to be close."

The ski jumping championships will take place at Proctor Academy at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 11.

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