There is no maybe in the triple jump, and that is what Ethan Nurick loves about it.

“It’s black and white progression. Either you (get a personal record) or you don’t,” Nurick said.

A senior at Waterville Senior High School, Nurick was one of the top triple jumpers in the state this past indoor track and field season. A tiebreaker kept Nurick from the Class B state title, and he repeated as Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B champion in the triple jump. Nurick also placed third in the long jump at the state meet, third in the long jump at KVACs, and second in the 55-meter hurdles at the conference meet.

Waterville senior Ethan Nurick is the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal Boys Track Athlete of the Year. Morning Sentinel photo by David Leaming

“The kid’s in phenomenal shape,” Waterville indoor track and field coach Ted Brown said. “He does work on the little things, and it’s all paid off.”

For his success, Nurick is the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal Boys Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year.  Lawrence’s Alex Higgins and Jack Jowett of Erskine Academy were also considered.

Nurick defended his triple jump crown with ease at the KVAC meet in early February. His conference-record leap of 41 feet, 10.75 inches was more than a foot longer than Jon Duso of Belfast. While pleased to set the KVAC record, Nurick also downplayed it.

“I know a kid who jumped better than that. Time and place is what matters,” Nurick said.

At the state meet, Nurick and Jon Rodrigues of York could not have been more evenly matched. Through their six jumps, Nurick and Rodrigues had a best of 42-3.50. Nurick made that jump on his fourth try. Rodriques tied Nurick on his final attempt. Dead even, the triple jump title came down to second best jump. Rodriques was 42-2.75. Nurick’s was 42-0.5.

“I’d gotten my best jump in the qualifying round,” Nurick said. “I guess I didn’t have anything left.”

Nurick’s best jump of the year — 43-1.75 — came against some of the toughest competition at the Dartmouth Relays in mid-January. Nurick began studying the physics of jumping a few years ago with former Waterville coach Ian Wilson, now the head track and field coach at Thomas College. With Wilson, Nurick studied his jump’s mechanics, breaking it down in slow motion, frame by frame, finding little things to tweak and make himself better.

For example, he worked at keeping his knee drive lower on his first jump, which is different than when he competes in the long jump.

“It makes it so you’re not flying super high in the air on your first jump,” Nurick said, and that would take energy away from the third and final jump. “That contributed to a lot of my success this year.”

Brown said Nurick is helped by his dedication to the sport and discipline.

“He comes to the first day of practice in really impressive shape,” Brown said. “He’s got all the tools. I’ve seen him jump huge distances in practice. He’s very relaxed in practice. If he can keep himself as relaxed as he is in practice in meets, Ethan will have big jumps.”

Nurick plans to compete in the triple jump, long jump, and 110 hurdles in the spring season. He has a couple distances in mind, 22 feet in the long jump and 44 feet in the triple. Both would be more than enough to challenge for the state title. After graduation, Nurick will attend Vassar College, where he plans to compete on the track team. Accepted early admissions to the Poughkeepsie, New York school, Nurick said he chose Vassar because he liked the small, liberal arts focus, and the opportunity to continue his track and field career.

“I’m looking for good (jumping) marks going into college,” Nurick said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 

 

 

 

 

 

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