Cal Brooks ’11 Makes All-New England Team at NEPSACS

Cal Brooks ’11 jumped out of the starting gate last Wednesday, powering his way through a 6.5-kilometer skate race to a 9th place finish. Brooks’ performance earned him a spot on the All-New England Ski Team, and put the Andover Boys Team in position for a solid 5th place finish at the most important race of the season. Brooks said, “That was definitely one of my better races, I was really happy with it. I guess it came at the right time, too.” The NEPSAC Championships held at the Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine, was divided into two different races, a 6.5-kilometer skate race in the morning, and a four by three kilometer classic relay in the afternoon. In preparation for the NEPSAC Championships at the Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine, ten skiers traveled to Vermont for midwinter break to practice on challenging, hilly terrain. “Training definitely helped a lot. My technique got a lot better, which really made a difference since it was such a hilly course,” said Yuto Watanabe. Co-Captain Mimi Tanski ’11 said, “Yuto really had a great race. He’s probably the most improved this season.” Tanski led the Girls team, skating to a solid 11th place finish in the skate race. “The skate race was on a really hard course, since it was incredibly hilly. The relay was classic style, which is not our team’s forte, but the course was easier,” said Tanski. Kelsey Jamieson ’12 said, “It was a good race for me, especially since I think the hills are fun: you get a nice rest on the downhill, even though skiing uphill can be really hard. The race was longer than normal, however, the distance was an advantage for me.” She continued, “I like the skate style a lot better because it is much more efficient. I don’t have as much experience with classic style skiing, so when we did the relay, I had to relearn how to classic during the race.” Despite a gauntlet of a skate race in the morning, the Classic relay proved to be more of a challenge for the Andover racers. Due to a lack of snow this season, the team practiced skating much more than classic. Cal Brooks ’11, Max Block ’12, Yuto Watanabe ’11 and Scotty Fleming ’10 made up the boys relay team, while Co-Captain Mimi Tanski ’11, Co-Captain Brenna Liponis ‘10, Kelsey Jamieson ’12 and Goody Gibbons ’11 formed the girls’ team.