Max Block ’12 and Cal Brooks ’11 shared an impressive fifth place finish last Saturday in a pairs relay race at NMH despite a fall midway through the race by Block. In the midst of the fierce New England snowstorm, Andover’s top two duos were able to fight through the 3.5 kilometer course, both finishing in the top ten out of 21 competing pairs. The Andover Girls also faced off against sixteen strong competitors, and had two teams finish in the top ten as well. Newcomer Piper Curtis ’13 displayed her athleticism with an especially fast leg in the race. Both the Andover Girls and Boys captured third place overall. Girls Captain Mimi Tanksi ’11 said, “NMH was a great first race for us. It was a pretty low-key race, but it was also somewhat difficult because of our lack of experience in class-style skiing.” Kendall Goodyear ’12, a returner to the team, said, “All of the newcomers did really well, especially considering that they had only been able to practice a couple of times before the race.” On Wednesday, the team travelled to St. Paul’s for a skate race. “It was an exciting race, and our team was much more prepared for it,” Tanski said. “The race was made up of several sprints, and everyone raced at least twice which was good to see.” The nasty weather made for an unusually slippery course which caused several falls. Tanski slipped and fell in both the semi-finals and finals, but still managed to earn 10th place overall. The Andover Boys placed third overall with several impressive individual finishes. Aaron Finder ’13 slid into first place in his very last heat. “Finishing first in the last heat was great because the first heat didn’t go so well,” Finder said. “My ski got stuck in the powder in the first heat, so it felt good to have a comeback.” Brooks powered through the race to earn eighth place overall, and Block pushed through a difficult race but fell to an eleventh place finish. Coach Robinson is already looking to prepare for the next race against Cardigan in a five kilometer, classic style race. “Our upcoming training will include double-poling practices and skiing in the sanctuary to practice more classic style skiing, which we haven’t done much of this year,” Robinson said. Although the team is not used to the classic style yet, Andover hopes to continue its success against Cardigan next Wednesday.