LaMarche Earns All-New England Honors

Olivia LaMarche ’16 showed her tremendous mental and physical endurance during the girls 6K event by breezing past opponents, placing seventh overall in New England and earning All-New England honors. Andover Boys and Girls Nordic teams competed at the NEPSAC championships this past Wednesday. In a two part race consisting of a 6K skate event and a classic style relay race, Andover may not have turned out on the top of the scoreboard, but it thrived in team spirit. The boys placed eighth out of eight teams, while the girls came in fifth of six teams overall. A demanding course under challenging conditions made for less than ideal times for most racers, but there were still some strong individual finishes. “Although challenging, this was probably one of the nicer race courses we’ve been on all year, if not the best one,” said Co-Captain Sean Burkitt ’14. “It was really fun.” Co-Captain Elana King-Nakaoka ’14 added, “The course was very challenging: lots of hills, which we aren’t really used to, but also lots of trails. Lots of big uphills and downhills. The downhills were really fun and fast but also kind of scary because they had some tight corners.” Burkitt finished first for Andover in the 6K event with a time of 19:08, earning 17th place overall. The top three finishers for each team count as scoring for the team, as Paxton Hyde ’15 and Liam Fortin ’14 finished second and third for Andover with times of 20:59 and 21:47, respectively. LaMarche lead the charge for the girls’ 6K event with her seventh overall placing, and a time of 22:32. King-Nakaoka finished second for Andover and 13th overall, while Charlotte Berry ’15 finished third for Andover at 27th overall with recorded times 23:36 and 28:10, respectively. “It was a pretty big day. We left at 7 a.m. It was cold to start the day, so cold that the snow was slow early in the morning and as it warmed up it got faster and a little easier to ski on, so that was good,” said King-Nakaoka. Burkitt added, “We didn’t do great in the standings, but we had a pretty good race. We didn’t do badly, but it was a challenging race, especially as some of us are coming off of sickness.” In the relay race, four members compete for each relay team and individually skate a 2.5K loop of the course. Burkitt raced the first leg in a time of 8:34, followed by Logan Blaine ’14 with a time of 10:44, Fortin with a time of 10:35 and Hyde with a time of 9:59. King-Nakaoka finished first for the girls in a time of 10:43, followed by Hallie Bletzer ’15 in 12:06, Harshita Gaba ’14 in 13:22 and LaMarche in 10:56. The team finishes its season at The Lakes Regional Championship next Wednesday.