After tirelessly preparing for Wednesday’s scheduled duathalon at the Putney School, the Andover Nordic team initially felt disappointment upon hearing the meet would be cancelled due to icy roads and wet snow. The duathalon, where skiers are forced to switch techniques by changing skis halfway through the race, always promises to be one of the most exciting competitions of the season. However, the cancellation gives the well-rested Andover skiers a chance to train even more for next week’s New England Prep School Athletic Championships Proctor in Andover, NH. The format for next Thursday’s Championships will inclue two races. First, there will be a 6-kilometer individual skate race. Then, the final event will be a 4 x 3 kilometer classic relay, consisting of the teams’ top 4 members. Dave Holliday ‘08, Andy Clay ‘08, Matt Sternberg ‘08, Ben Ho ‘11 and Nate Miller ‘08 round out the boys team lineup. The girls plan on racing Berol Dewdney ‘09, Captain Sara Ho ‘08, Mimi Tanski ‘11, Kie Watanabe ‘08, Lousia Chaffee ‘09 and Brenna Liponis ‘10. Looking back at the team’s last race, held at Vermont Academy, the team vividly remembers the dangerous, icy conditions. The tough course forced Andover skiers to concentrate just to stay on their feet. The Vermont Academy conditions are something the Andover skiers hope to never encounter again. Next week’s racers are ready for the more rolling and wider course at Proctor, where there will be no risk of flying around any corners or off the trail. All the Andover skiers are strong and ready to race. Clay would even go as far as “I feel great!” For his first year of skiing, let alone racing as Andover’s number 2, Clay seems ready for a breakthrough race and maybe a season best. Holliday will be hoping to break the top 10, as will Dewdney and Captain Ho in their respective races. Tanski, also in her first year on skis, is looking strong and ready to cruise over the Proctor flats like she does on the fields at Andover. Sternberg, Ben Ho and Chaffee are also experimenting with the sport for the first time, but are definitely vital parts to the varsity team. Ho has consistently come in 3rd for the team and is having a great breakout season. Andover’s ski team will be seeing a lot of him at the head of the pack in the next three years. Liponis is an experienced skier, and her technique will give her a great advantage in next week’s race. The final NEPSAC race at Proctor counts for double points in the league’s rankings. A standout performance could boost both Andover skiers’ individual rankings and the team’s overall up the charts. After several weeks of vital training, Andover racers believes that the team well prepared for Thursday’s race. The girs team has consistently placed 3rd, behind St. Pauls and Vermont Academy. The boys team are just short of 7th place by a few points. However, the boys team will get a chance to face its closest rivals, Cardigan Mountain School, on the Proctor course next week Despite suffering a few cancelled league races, the Andover Nordic team has had some great training this season and looks forward to strong finishes in New Hampshire next Thursday.