Three new skiers to Andover Nordic competed in one of their very first races on Wednesday at Cardigan. Cardigan used interval starts on their full-length race course, so six skiers began the race every 30 seconds, instead of everyone going off at once. The official results for this race have yet to be published.
Co-Captain Neil Thorley ’19 were especially impressed by all the new skiers.
Thorley said, “I was very proud of Hugo Solomon [’19], Courtney Sanders [’21], and Neena Goldthwaite [’20]. They are three of our newest skiers and have very little experience on snow. These were hard conditions to be just getting used to the sport on, and I think they all did really well given that.”
Weather conditions, especially wind, making the race technically difficult, according to Thorley and Co-Captain Eli Newell ’20.
“Wind was a bit of an issue and also, given the temperature was hovering around freezing for a while, the snow was very soft and very powdery, it was easy to sink in and it was hard to get good footing. So, good technique and footing carried the day and the skiers with good balance did well,” said Thorley.
Newell added, “Most of the course is an open field, so for a lot of it you have the adversity of the weather, but generally people muscled through it… We don’t have much opportunity to train on hills here, so having a course that was flatter and more like the terrain around here definitely was a good thing for our team.”
Prior to the race, the team did everything they could do to prepare through conditioning and training without being able to ski, according to Thorley.
“There was a lot of running, a lot of strength circuits work, anything we could do to stay in shape and stay in form, without having any snow to ski on. That’s really been the biggest issue so far this season, is not having the opportunity to actually get out on snow and practice skiing, because there’s only so much you can do on dryland before you can begin learning good technique,” said Thorley.
According to Newell and Thorley, the team has a good culture and attitude that has allowed it to perform in races while having poor practice conditions.
Newell continued, “We are a really small, close-knit team. Despite the lack of snow around here we stay enthusiastic, and we have a lot of fun together. It’s really exciting to be part of a team where we have so much fun together while also performing well athletically.”
Thorley said, “Gray skies, brown ground: it has not been what you would call ideal ski season. What I think is really great is we’re not getting discouraged, we’re not getting upset by we can’t be skiing. Everyone’s been making the best of it, they’ve been powering through it. I think it’s really been the team dynamic that has been getting us through performing in less than ideal conditions.”
Next Wednesday, the team will travel to St. Paul’s.
Editor’s Note: Hugo Solomon ’19 is an Associate Video Editor for The Phillipian.