Even the most resilient crowd on campus could not stand the subzero temperatures forever. As one Andover Nordic skier after another succumbed to the elements and called in sick, hopes for success at last Wednesday’s skate race at Vermont Academy turned bleaker than the weather. In the end, only two boys and two girls were well enough to embark on the two-and-a-half hour journey to central Vermont. Those who raced performed well, but lacking sufficient entries, the squad never had a chance against the other schools. The boys were first to race, dashing out of the starting gates less than an hour after the team arrived. Travis Green ’04, starting in the second heat, acknowledged that he would be unable to keep up with the racers around him for long, and maintained a comfortable pace right from the start. Green was racing despite an injury, which undermined his leg power. Two heats behind Green, Scott Silverstein ’04, recalling an upsetting skate race earlier in the season, started at a more relaxed pace than usual, conserving energy for the first half of the race while maintaining a competitive attitude. Silverstein caught up to Green after 2K, stuck behind his teammate for about a kilometer, and harnessed his remaining power toward the end to blast through the finish in 20:04. Green remained close behind, fighting for the last hundred meters to finish with an elapsed time of 21:26. “The course was difficult, but very rewarding,” reported Green. “I was pleased with the terrain. I think I performed the best I could have given my condition.” The girls met the course with mixed reactions. Captain Jackie Brown ’03 had the best Andover race of the day. Brown started strong and never gave up, skating to the finish in 26:32. Helen Fitzmaurice ’05 had more difficulty and finished with a time of 31:17. With NEPSACs less than a week away, Andover skiers are hot on the heels of Putney and NMH. Despite a generally poor race at VA, the blue racers are all showing huge improvement and are eager to find out where they will end up at the season’s end.