King-Nakaoka ’14 Finishes 11th Overall

Liam Fortin ’14 captured 17th place, marking his best finish of the season and the best finish amongst the Andover Boys Nordic team at Grafton Pond, NH last Wednesday, January 30. The boys took sixth place in the race hosted by Vermont Academy. Fortin completed the 5k course in 15:32. After him came Co-Captain Sean Burkitt ’14, Aaron Finder’ 13 and Greer Sallick ’14. The trio finished within mere seconds of each other, seizing 22nd, 23rd and 24th place respectively with times of 16:11, 16:12,and 16:15. Coach Keith Robinson said, “The boys are really coming together well and the race this week highlighted their depth.” “[Fortin] had a great race and continues to improve, and Greer [Sallick ‘14] had a great race to keep up with [Finder],” he added. “Having all of them working together and pushing each other to improve is leading to some nice results.” Andover Girls Nordic fared slightly better, coming in 5th place overall. Co-Captain Elana King-Nakaoka ’14 again finished first out of all Andover girls. Nakaoka finished in 16:30, which earned her an 11th place finish overall. “[King-Nakaoka] had a great race, moving up the field quite well after getting caught in the traffic at the start,” said Robinson. Piper Curtis ’13 came in 18th place with a time of 17:23 and Olivia LaMarche ’16 finished in 29th place with a time of 18:49. As in past races, Andover had to look past the elements and focus on the course. “The conditions were not ideal, with rain at some points and pretty warm temperatures,” said Finder. “The entire track was pretty slow,” added Burkitt. This race marked the halfway point in the Andover Nordic season. “The season has been improving steadily with our continued conditioning and technique work,” said Finder. “Though we are still in the middle of the pack in terms of schools.” “There is a very technical aspect of the sport that takes awhile to master, but right now the new skiers are picking it up very well and really moving up the field,” said Coach Robinson. “My race times are improving each week as my technique gets better and I learn new racing strategies,” said LaMarche, who has moved up the ranks to become third skier overall for the girls. “I am new to the sport, but my teammates and coaches have been very helpful. It’s great to be part of such an encouraging team, and I have a lot of fun,” she added. Andover Nordic also competed at Kimball Union Academy on Wednesday, February 6. Because results were not available as of press time, look for coverage in next week’s issue.