Mollie Immens ready to take off

There were many times in history when man tried to unlock the secrets of flight. From the many zany airplane models that were produced in the 19th century to even gluing feathers on our arms and trying to flap away, the whole term of “flying like a bird” has been seemingly etched in our minds and the minds of those before us for what seems to be forever.

One Cary-Grove junior has cracked this code in a rather elegant manner through the art of ski jumping. This master of flight is none other than our very own Mollie Immens.

Immens has been ski jumping for what seems to be forever to her now. Being the hardworking individual that she is, she has always pushed herself on the hill and off of it, making her both a better athlete and a better academic student. In the very tough national competitions she is in, one truly needs that determination in order to succeed as she has done in the past.

Immens said the competitions are scored “based off of distance points and style points,” with both criteria heavily scrutinized by the judges. The athlete with the most points is the winner of that round.

Competitors actually jump a total of 3 times, with the first being just for practice and the other two being checked tooth and nail for accuracy and style, such as if you have an instance of poor jumping posture.

“If you have an arm out or something like that, that could make for fewer style points”, Immens said. Judges check skiers for their posture when they land the jump, which is professionally called a “telemark landing.”

For maximum points, skiers need to be “relaxed and calm while in the air,” Immens said. That’s no small task when you’re flying hundreds of feet through the air at high velocity with no safety equipment.

Despite the challenges of this stringent grading, Immens has achieved success as a jumper. Throughout her last season of Junior Nationals, which ended a few weeks ago, she improved significantly and took third place at a challenging competition.

Immens seeks out those challenges to try her skills against the best competition she can find. She has traveled to Europe twice to be among the best of the best in the ski jumping world.

Ski jumping consumes a great deal of her time, but Immens commits to her education as much as she does to her aspirations of being an Olympic athlete.

“It is pretty hard, since I miss a lot of school, but I still push for my grades to be good because I want to be good in both school and in sports,” she said.

With that in mind, she looks forward to attending one of her dream colleges, Westminster or Utah State. Both are close to Park City, Utah, where ski jumping is always in the air and where she can consistently practice her sport. Once there, she plans on studying many different things, with medical sciences at the top of her list.

“I want to help people while still being able to do sports, not being stuck in an office building all day, but to be out with athletes and helping them,” she said.

Whether she is zooming down the jump or helping athletes on the field, Immens has proved she’s ready to fly high.