Cal Brooks ’11 powered through the wet, heavy snow at Proctor Academy last Saturday, skating to a phenomenal eighth place finish in the League Championships. Brooks’ vital finish in the duathalon style race earned him ninth place overall in the league, and cemented Andover’s 4th place ranking in the league standings. The championship race-course consisted of two 2.7 kilometer loops, one of classic-style skiing and one of skate-style skiing. As the race progressed, a heavy wet snow began to fall and blanket the racecourse with a slushy sticky snow that made skiing difficult, especially during the skate leg of the race. The boys’ team entered the race fourth in the Lakes Region Standings, and needed a strong finish to overcome second place Holderness and third place Proctor. Despite Brooks’ solid finish, Andover struggled in the sloppy conditions, and failed to beat either team. “The conditions were awful. We put the wrong wax on before the race, and that made both classic skiing and skate skiing extremely difficult,” said Block. Due to the boys’ opportunity to win second place overall and the girls’ low position in the standings, Coaches Keith Robinson and Mika Latva-Kokko sent six boys and one girl to the race instead of the normal 14- man team. Co-Captain Mimi Tanski ’11 took the remaining spot, as she looked to finish in the top ten individually for the season. Tanski held third place for the first half of the race, but in the difficult skate leg she fell back into eighth position. “I did really well in the classic leg. Two other girls and I were all very close together, but I finished the first half ahead of them, in third place. After we switched to skate skiing, though, I did poorly, because the conditions made skiing extremely difficult,” said Tanski. Latva-Kokko said, “Mimi had a very impressive classic leg, but she had a hard time negotiating the tough skating conditions, falling to eighth in the freestyle leg. However, she had solid top ten performances in all of the league races, making her our strongest skier of the season.” Due to the terrible skating conditions, all of Andover’s racers skied better during the classic leg, and struggled during the skate leg. Brooks, Max Block ’12 and Scotty Fleming ’10 all held prime positions after the classic leg, as they all were in the top 15 at the halfway point. Brooks gained on his competition to finish 8th, but Block and Fleming lost ground in the mucky conditions and finished 15th and 19th, respectively. Behind them, Ben Ho ’11 finished 23rd, Yuto Watanabe ’11; 27th and Julien Blouin ’12; 30th.