Frogs, toad take their best leap in annual Rangeley jumping contest

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Judges and frog contestants with their human trainers line up before the annual Frog Jumping Contest at the Rangeley Blueberry Festival Aug. 17. Best Overall winner is Libby Whidden, 10, front center, holding McDuffo’s travel container. McDuffo made a 41-inch leap. 

RANGELEY — The annual Frog and Toad Jumping Contest was held at Rangeley’s Blueberry Festival on Aug. 17 with 30 contestants, ages 3 to 43, taking part. The contest abounded with amphibians as well, including one toad.

Andy and Dick Hall and Liz Pimentel again officiated as judges. Catchers Braiden Thompson and Leigh Archambeau returned the amphibians to their owners if they leaped out of bounds during the contest.

The jumpers were judged on the best of three jumps.

Winners were as follows:

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Medium category: First prize and Best Overall, Libby Whidden, 10, and her frog, McDuffo, who jumped 41 inches; second, Blue Dugan for his 38½-inch leap and his trainer, Owen Dugan, 9, who was last year’s Best Overall winner. Blue Dugan was the official Blueberry Festival Frog due to being a shade of blue. Third prize was awarded to Kaleb Thompson, 7, and his frog, Bull, 37 inches.

Large category: Tie for first at 34½ inches, Faith Olson, 11, and her frog, Grend, and Violet Orr, 4, and her frog, Jonathan; second, Eben LaLiberte, 7, and his entrant, Freddie the Frog, 27½ inches; and third, Michelle Cerminara, 6, and her frog, Jumper.

Small category: First place, Feisty and his trainer, Sarah Olson, 14, 17¼ inches; second, Tiny and trainer Jocelyn Guy, 11, 16 inches; third, Leigh Archambeau and Mommy, 13 ¾ inches. Leigh also caught four out of the family’s five frog contestants.

Other prizes, starting with the Small category: Most jittery, Neville, entered by Julia Lyons, 10; and friendliest, Grant, entered by Grant Archambeau, 5.

In the Medium category, 5-year-old Emil Nieser’s Lloyd won for being the only toad; Skylar Thompson, 3, and Frogelina won for being the smallest frog. Most alert loner prize went to Peppy, entered by Evan Dolinski, 9; tiniest, George and his trainer, Larry Guy; biggest feet, Jeffrey and his owner Braiden Guy, 7; most consistent jumps, Freckles, coached by Caroline Willis, 6, at 16 inches; shortest hop, Will Lyons, 8, and Froggy, 5 inches; cutest frog, Taylor, and trainer, Taylor Archambaeau, 9; prettiest eyes, Evan, and trainer, Evan Archambeau, 8; oldest and greenest, Dad Curt Archambeau and his hopper, Daddy.

Other awards given were most likeable, Big Kahuna, trained by Seth Whidden, 12; most active, Fibo and trainer, James Mannette, 18; happiest, Green Morrill, trained by Sam Morrill, 8; prettiest ears, Pica and trainer Alex Turnbull, 5; pokiest, Silas and trainer George Olson, 4½; greenest face, Jackie Chan and his owner, Kim Pong; highest hop, Lucy and owner, Olivia Heatley, 5; fastest hop, Braylon Heatley, 7, and Hoppy.

Prizes were awarded. The non-competitive activity is run by volunteers and supported by donations.

One of the frog contestants peers out at the camera while awaiting his turn in Rangeley’s annual Frog Jumping Contest.

First overall winner was Libby Whidden, age 10, sports her prize, a winner’s hat, for McDuffo’s 41-inch leap.  
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