Block ’12: High Hopes

After the team’s strong finish last season, Andover Nordic Skiing is working hard to improve upon its success, but the team faces the loss of eight talented Seniors who anchored last year’s team.

Boys Nordic placed second in the league last year, but graduated four Seniors.

Despite the odds, the team is undeterred and has high hopes for this year. Coach Keith Robinson said, “Yes, we graduated a lot of racers, especially on the boys side. We still have some strong skiers returning, though, so getting some newcomers up and racing quickly to help them out is important.”

Christian Zhang ’12 and Will Bloxham ’13 are second-year skiers and “are ready to round the team out when we [Andover] start,” according to Coach Robinson.

Captain Max Block ’12 said, “This year has a very different feel because we have very few returners, but a lot of young kids trying out. So this is going to be very much a building year.”

Fortunately for Andover, several talented boys will be returning to the team including Block, Sean Burkitt ’14 and Aaron Finder ’13.

Girls Nordic also has its share of talented returners in Piper Curtis ’13, Kendall Goodyear ’12 and Eve Simister ’12.

As for new members of the girls’ team, Elana King-Nakaoka ’14 will bring experience and depth to the team.

For its preseason, both Boys and Girls Nordic have been dry land training with a focus on technique and fitness in order to prepare the team for racing.

Finder said, “In terms of conditioning, we’ve run intensely and had a variety of different practices, low intensity, high intensity, interval training. Running is a really good way to prepare you, to a certain point. Then again, you can only train for a certain level outside of the sport itself, but you really want to get on skis and try to work toward the season.”

Though the team has more than a month before it races, Andover eagerly awaits its first official race of the season at Holderness on January 11.