Nordic Captures FourthPlace at Championship

Despite some setbacks, Andover Nordic captured strong positions at the Lake Region Championship on Wednesday, February 20, with the girls placing fourth out of 10 teams. The Andover Girls were aided by spectacular finishes of Co-Captain Elana King-Nakaoka ’14 and Piper Curtis ’13. Andover Boys Nordic did not fare well and finished seventh out of 10 teams. “The boys had a rough day of bad luck. A broken ski, lots of falls and trip-ups from other skiers, and things just didn’t go their way,” said Coach Keith Robinson. Co-Captain Sean Burkitt ’14 finished in 17th place overall with a time of 19:58 after racing with a broken ski. “I looked down at my ski and I could see some big cracks right in the middle, but it was the final race, and I wanted to catch up to the kid who jumped on my ski. My kick was very weird because of my ski… But I ended up catching the guys who pushed me over,” said Burkitt. “Pre-race I was pretty jittery, more so than other races, possibly because of the brutal cold, but also because I knew I wanted to do well,” said Burkitt. Unfortunately, Burkitt was on the receiving end of some gamesmanship when he was “jostled” by another skier trying to take an inside line on the first corner. Burkitt was followed by Liam Fortin ’14 in 29th with a time of 21:59. Then came Will Bloxham ’13 in 38th place with a time of 23:39. Greer Sallick ’14 finished in 43rd at 24:30. Logan Blaine ’14 rounded out the team in 60th with 28:51. “[The boys] battled back and did really well, Sean Burkitt finishing 17th… was a really good result,” said Robinson. The girls’ race also featured some phenomenal performances. King-Nakaoka finished in eighth place with a time of 20:16, three minutes behind the leader. “I was very determined going into this race,” said King-Nakaoka. “I was happy with my result, although I didn’t feel very strong while skiing.” After King-Nakaoka came Piper Curtis ’13 in 11th place with a time of 20:24. Robinson said, “[The] best performance of the day was Piper Curtis who ended her Senior season with her best place ever in 11th and was really in contention for the top 10 the whole race.” “In my last race at Andover, I wanted to enjoy every moment of it because I knew I was not going to do something like it again,” said Curtis. “The ride back to Andover in the rally wagons was definitely emotional because it really was my last rally wagon ride ever,” she added. Olivia LaMarche ’16 came in at 22:45 in 21st place. Hallina Bletzer ’15 and Ziggy Chesley ’13 finished 27th and 28th, coming in at 24:22 and 24:25 respectively. “This season, compared to last year, was great. Also, I have to say congrats to all the new skiers this year,” said Burkitt. “Many started off never having cross country skied or skied at all, and a few ended up racing for us through the season, so thanks [to them] for sticking through the mindless technique drills and making this a great season for all of us on the team.”