Max Block ’12 poled hard through the finish line as he and Cal Brooks ’11 led Andover Nordic to a second place finish on Saturday. Andover’s strong performance on the NMH course placed it in great contention for the NEPSAC championships. The race at NMH was a relay race with two-man teams. Andover raced four teams in the boys race and two in the girls race. The course at NMH was fast and icy, as the snow had melted and then refrozen the night before. Andover took advantage of the perfect conditions, with the team of Brooks and Block finishing third overall, followed directly by the team of Julian Danziger ’11 and Scotty Fleming ’10. The boys finished with a score of 16 tied with Belmont Hill’s 16 points. Belmont Hill’s third duo, however, outraced Andover’s and took the win from Andover’s clutches. The girls team didn’t fare quite as well, only racing two teams against Belmont Hill’s four. Andover fought hard, though, and the duo of Louisa Chafee ’09 and Mimi Tanski ’11 took third place. Following the strong performance on Saturday, the team traveled to Putney School in Vermont on Wednesday to race at the NEPSAC championships. There were two races set up at Putney: a treacherous seven kilometer classic race and a skate relay. Leading the way in the classic for Andover were Brooks and Tanski. Brooks went out first for Andover on the difficult course, navigating the tricky turns and steep slopes en route to a solid 22nd place finish. Following Brooks were Ben Ho ’11 and Danziger, finishing in 31st and 33rd places respectively. Danziger said, “That course was definitely the toughest course of the year. There were so many brutal uphill sections that really took a toll on the performances.” Directly after the finish of the boys race, the girls took on the relentless slopes. With Tanski out front followed closely by Captain Berol Dewdney ’09, they led the girls team and finished in 18th and 19th place. The boys went out hard from the start in the skate relay with Block taking the first leg. While Ho and Fleming placed the team in fourth place after their legs, it was up to Brooks to take the team through the finish. Brooks fought hard against the top two skiers in New England even though he was pushed back into sixth place. The girls relay team also fared well, with Dewdney leading the way and Tanski finishing on the anchor leg. Together they took third place. The Andover boys finished seventh overall out of ten teams racing and the girls finished fifth out of seven teams. With these excellent performances, Andover looks to race well at the final race of the season against St. Paul’s.