On Wednesday, Andover Nordic Skiing travelled to race at a multi-school meet hosted by Proctor Academy.
Proctor provided solid conditions for the meet, according to Coach Keith Robinson ’94.
Coach Robinson said, “Conditions at Proctor today were great. A little icy on one of the downhills, but I don’t think any of our kids got caught out on that corner.”
The lack of snow in Andover prior to the race forced the team to prepare differently.
Amelia Cheng ’21 said, “We prepared by doing multiple other kinds of exercises that simulated the same muscles that Nordic does, like running, circuits, and sometimes even ultimate [frisbee] or speedball… So even without snow we hold practice to build strength and team bonding.”
Coach Robinson added, “We can work on the fitness aspect, but to improve technique we really need snow again… I think we were as prepared as we could have been, and we had some great results because of it. With sprint races, there is a bit of luck involved since it is so short and is based on place, not time. One fall and you can be four skiers down, but a lot of our racers have been through this before, and did a great job dealing with that pressure.”
Although Nordic is an individual sport, the team is still able to support one another.
Cheng said, “We work as a team by cheering each other on during races and practices, and a lot of the more experienced people tend to help others technique-wise…even though you’re by yourself during a physical race, your teammates are always beside you.”
Moving forward, the team hopes that there will be more snow on the ground so that it can work on technique, according to Nikita Muromcew ’21 and Coach Robinson.
Coach Robinson said, “Next week, I mostly hope we can get back on snow and get some good technique practice.”
Nikita Muromcew ’21 said “The team is going to continually focus on skate skiing technique, as well as classic skiing technique.”
Nordic skiing is a new sport to many participants on the team, so the coaches focus not only on complex strategies but also on the fundamentals.
“Many people on the [team] are new to skiing, so we also focus on fundamentals — learning how to ski,” said Muromcew.
Next week, the team will not race in order to prepare for the LR championship on February 14, a race at the Rivers School, and finally, the Nepsac championship that will conclude the season.