Hilary Rich ’09 skated her way once again into second place for the Andover Nordic team this past Wednesday, narrowly missing first place. She led the race through the first half of the course, which was an uphill battle, but was passed on the long stretch down by Stephanie Crocker of St. Paul’s School. The Nordic team traveled to Waterville Valley, New Hampshire for this meet, where they competed against several other prep schools around New England. The course was placed on a Nordic trail called “Tripoli.” It started up a series of steep hills for 2.5k. An orange cone marked the turnaround, and from there the racers tucked back down the same hill. The average time up the mountain was around fifteen minutes, and the average time down was around two minutes. Both the girls’ race and the boys’ race were 5k in length, which is longer than the races have been in the past few weeks. All races were originally scheduled to be around 5k in length, but due to sparse snow conditions and limited trails, each race had been shortened at the last minute. Arielle Filiberti ’07 explained, “I liked this race because it focused on endurance rather than speed. This was different from the other races, which were sprint races, and therefore faster and much shorter.” For the girls’ team, Filiberti trailed not far behind Rich, and was followed by teammates Morgan Broccoli ’07 and Roxy Pierson ’07. Sara Ho ’08 and Co-captain Sarah Dewey ’07 also finished well, double-poling their way through the end to 15th and 17th, respectively.. Co-captain Sarah Dewey commented of the course, “It was great to finally ski on real snow. It was a fun race, and I think the team did really well overall.” Co-captain Jim Elder ’07 was first to skate across the finish line for the Andover boys’ team. Following Elder were Dave Holliday ’08 and Walker Washburn ’08. Also finishing strong were Jonas Allerbeck ’07 and Ethan Schmertzler ’07. Holliday noted, “The competition was about what we expected. The snow conditions were good, and the downhill was fast. Several people wiped out because they lost control.” Co-captain Jim Elder said, “The snow was cold and dry, which is good for Nordic skiing. Waterville got about three inches of powder earlier this week, and it really helped during the race.” The lack of snow this winter has hurt the Nordic team and their ability to improve their technique and speed. Instead of using Siberia for laps of skiing, they have continued to run around the streets of Andover and occasionally roller-ski around a parking lot. Roller-skiing helps to work muscles that are used in Nordic, but the team will be happy when they have enough snow for actual skiing. Hopefully the cold temperatures over the next couple of weeks will bring new snow for the team to practice on. Next week, the team will travel to compete in the Vermont Academy classic race. The team will be competing against many other schools, and they hope to continue skiing well despite the lack of snow.