Andover Nordic finished its season with a sixth place finish on an obstacle-ridden course at the Lakes Region Championship held in Grafton, VT.
Elana King-Nakaoka ’14 finished the season in ninth place in the girls league and was honored for her achievement at the awards ceremony after the race.
Boys Captain Max Block ’12 suffered an injury in the middle of the course but skied through it in order to finish in 20th place. Following Block was Aaron Finder ’13 in 34th.
Greer Sallick ’14, Will Bloxham ’13 and Christian Zhang ’12 skied to 50th, 51st and 52nd place finishes, respectively, out of 84 racers.
The team was faced with a 6K course divided into two parts: the first 3K for classic skiing and the last 3K for skate skiing. The skiers had to change poles and skis in between the two parts.
“It’s kind of hard in that sense because your brain has to push from one motor to another,” said Finder.
Additionally, the skiers were faced with obstacles they have seen all year: warm weather and slow, wet snow.
“Conditions were kind of slow today,” Finder said. “It made the race seem really long, even though I’ve been through the course so many times. I did a little better now that I’ve skied so much. We definitely made an improvement, and I definitely felt better about classic skis and got the wax technique down. I think we all pushed ourselves.”
Sallick, Bloxham and Zhang enjoyed motivating each other as they finished so near each other.
“It was a really close finish in the end, we all finished within 20, 30 feet of each other, so it was really exciting,” said Bloxham.
“The race was awesome. I think I did a lot better, and I think the whole team did a lot better, especially Anjali [Krisnamachar ’13]. It was her first time racing at all, and she did fabulously,” said Rachel Margolese ’12.
Coach Keith Robinson said, “Anjali essentially learned classic skiing today during warm-ups and hung in there for two laps of classic. After the switch to skate, she passed a lot of kids and moved her way up in the field to finish near Eve [Simister ’12] and Rachel [Margolese].”
For Margolese, 2012 marked her second and final year on the team.
“It’s been more of a team bonding season than anything, since we’ve been driving all over just to find snow. It’s been a lot of rally wagons, and everyone’s been really good about it,” said Margolese.
Coach Robinson had a tough and frustrating season as his team struggled through terrible conditions all year, yet he was proud with the results of the race and the overall season this year.
“Overall this season was extremely challenging and the worst I have ever had in terms of the ability to ski here. We had a promising team with a lot of young skiers who can really contribute in the coming years, but we didn’t really have much of a chance to get them on skis,” Robinson said.
He continued, “Most of the schools in our league were battling with the same issues too, but it really set it back. I think the best part of the season was how positive the team stayed despite the lack of snow. It could have devolved very quickly into a grumpy, unmotivated group, but they all stayed positive and worked hard and became very fit.”
Andover Nordic survived the warm weather successfully, with a positive attitude. The team looks forward to more snow and more skiing next winter.