EDUCATION

High schoolers soar in New Hampshire, the last state to offer ski jumping as scholastic sport

  • In this photo taken Wednesday Feb. 4, 2015 fans watch as a high school ski jumper competes in Newport, N.H. The state is the only place in the nation that still offers ski jumping as a competitive sport for high-schoolers.(AP Photo/Jim Cole)

    In this photo taken Wednesday Feb. 4, 2015 fans watch as a high school ski jumper competes in Newport, N.H. The state is the only place in the nation that still offers ski jumping as a competitive sport for high-schoolers.(AP Photo/Jim Cole)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Wednesday Feb. 4, 2015 a high school ski jumper skis down the inrun as he competes in Newport, N.H. The state is the only place in the nation that still offers ski jumping as a competitive sport for high-schoolers. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

    In this photo taken Wednesday Feb. 4, 2015 a high school ski jumper skis down the inrun as he competes in Newport, N.H. The state is the only place in the nation that still offers ski jumping as a competitive sport for high-schoolers. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Wednesday Feb. 4, 2015 a high school ski jumper takes off in the darkness as he competes in Newport, N.H. The state is the only place in the nation that still offers ski jumping as a competitive sport for high-schoolers.(AP Photo/Jim Cole)

    In this photo taken Wednesday Feb. 4, 2015 a high school ski jumper takes off in the darkness as he competes in Newport, N.H. The state is the only place in the nation that still offers ski jumping as a competitive sport for high-schoolers.(AP Photo/Jim Cole)  (The Associated Press)

Ruby Spitz and her teammates at Hanover High School in New Hampshire are members of an exclusive club: The Granite State is the only place in the nation that still offers ski jumping as a competitive sport for high schoolers.

Ruby, a 15-year-old sophomore, says the adrenaline rush is what keeps her going back to the top of steep ramps on frigid nights to tackle the gravity-testing sport.

America has never embraced ski jumping, and when major colleges dropped programs three decades ago, the last incentive for high school jumpers disappeared everywhere but here.

For a time in the 20th century, New Hampshire was the center of the country's ski jumping community and two members of the U.S. team, Nick Fairall and Nicholas Alexander, are natives.