Neil Thorley ’19, Andover’s fastest racer, glided past the finish line in ninth place with a time of 13:28 in the 5-kilometer race. In its first race of the season, Andover Nordic traveled to Holderness and finished sixth out of 11 teams.
Led by Captain Aditya Krishnamachar ’17, Andover struggled to perform under difficult racing conditions. With the lack of heavy snowfall, racers found it hard to smoothly transition from turn to turn. Nonetheless, Krishnamachar posted a strong time of 17:40 at the race.
Krishnamachar said, “The snow was wet, warm, and pretty tough to get through so times were a little slower than they would typically be. This was definitely a race where you had to rely on good technique getting up the hills and try and maximize the speed you generated from the downhills.”
To combine with Thorley’s strong showing, Eli Newell ’20 excelled in the season opener to finish in the top 20 with a time of 14:51. Battling tough conditions, Spencer Davis ’18, Rex Noble ’18, and Chris Ward ’19 finished with times of 16:09, 16:50, and 18:14 respectively.
Thorley said, “I think we put up a pretty strong showing, Aditya and Eli did particularly well. It was a tough race, the course was one of the hardest I’ve skied, and the conditions weren’t exactly fantastic. It was one of those races where you have to go in knowing that everything could fall apart and you just have to make the best of it. I’m really proud of the team for how they did. It was only our second time on snow as a team, and to go out and race as strong as we did was really amazing.”
Krishnamachar said, “We have a few members that didn’t race today but will definitely do so next week, so I’m excited to see how that race goes for them. We, as a team, will definitely keep trying hard to improve throughout the season.”
Despite Andover’s slow start to the season, the team hopes to accrue future success through hard work and determination.
“I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, I think that once we actually get out on snow and can train, we’re going to have a really strong team this year, and I can’t wait to see how we do,” said Thorley.
Andover competed in its second race at Proctor Academy this past Wednesday.