Nordic Captures Fifth

Andover Nordic plowed through sloppy conditions on Wednesday against Kimball Union Academy in what was to be a trying race for the depleted squad. With almost half the team not fit to race due to sickness, Andover fought hard but was only able to bring home a fifth place finish. The conditions at Kimball Union Academy were wet and slushy as temperatures all over New England rose above freezing. However, since Andover was skiing classic, a form of skiing similar to running, the conditions did not prevent the race from happening. With good ski preparation and training, Andover looked to race well despite only racing five boys and three girls. The course at KUA was relatively hilly, with a huge climb at the beginning leading to a loop at the top of the hill. After repeating the loop twice, the final two kilometers of the race were straight downhill to the finish. Leading the way for the Andover girls team was Mimi Tanski ’11, who has improved considerably over the course of the season. With power and good striding technique, she finished in 17th place with a time of 26:12. Following Tanski were Brenna Liponis ’10 and Mia Pecora ’10. Although they both fought hard throughout the race, fatigue and sickness caught up with them, not allowing them to compete to their full potential. As only three girls were fit enough to race, Andover was unable compete and finished eighth overall. The boys team, also stricken by sickness, fared well despite the loss of key skiiers. Leading the pack for the boy’s was Cal Brooks ’11. Despite having a severe cold, Brooks skied hard up the grueling hills and pulled out a respectable 20th place finish. Ben Ho ’11 finished 30 seconds after Brooks in 22nd place, moving up several spots compared to his last classic race where he finished 34th. Julian Danziger ’11 and Andrew Townson ’10 anchored the boys team, finishing in 29th and 39th place respectively. Andover managed to pull out a fifth place finish overall. Even though the outcome of the race was not as good as expected, Coach Keith Robinson was not concerned about the team’s performance. He said, “It was a good experience for the team even though the results didn’t show.” Looking forward to NEPSACS next week, Robinson said, “Hopefully we can get the team healthy and ready to go for NEPSACs.” He continued, “With a fully healthy top five on the boy’s side I expect we can do much better than we did today. If things work out on the health front I think we’ll see the boys and girls have some of their best team results of the season at the race.” Andover will travel to Holderness this weekend in preparation for next week’s NEPSAC championships at NMH.