Andover Nordic opened its season at Proctor Academy with a 5k classic skate against ten other schools on January 7. The team was eager to strap on its skis after the race was rescheduled from December 10 due to a lack of snowfall.
Andover’s racers agreed that the team as a whole raced well, given the very poor racing conditions. Girls Nordic placed fifth among the eight schools that raced. Boys Nordic placed eighth among ten schools.
Despite having to practice on less than an inch of snow, Andover Nordic continued to train through the cold temperatures and brutal wind chills.
These tough conditions did not improve by the time of the race. The freezing temperature, ice and low snow on the course made skiing a challenge.
Head Coach Keith Robinson said, “It was very cold and very windy. Mostly, that made it extremely difficult for us to get the skis prepared quickly, so the kids were left with very little prep time.”
The race saw multiple weather-related crashes, wipeouts and collisions for all teams. Despite these setbacks, individuals prevailed.
Newcomer Carmen Bango ’16 exceeded early expectations, leading the girls and finishing third among the 61 other skiers. She completed the course with a time of 19:24.
Olivia LaMarche ’16 followed behind Bango, finishing 14th with a time of 21:45. Parker Tope ’16 placed as the third highest for Andover Girls, finishing 44th overall at 29:09.
Paxton Hyde ’15 led the Boys, finishing 26th among the 72 other skiers. He completed the course in 20:14.
Rex Noble ’18 crossed the finish line shortly after Hyde, placing 39th with a time of 21:31.
Sick and nearly without wax, Isaac Newell ’18 recovered from a crash during the race and finished third highest for Andover Boys, placing 59th with a time of 24:48.
Newell said, “I’m going to continue to improve on my technique and work on not going too hard at the start.”
Many on the team had not raced in a while. Most thought they could have done better and are looking to improve in the coming weeks.
Two-year team member Sophie Smith ’17 said, “I hadn’t skied in a really long time. I just focused on doing my best and didn’t worry about what the turnout would be. [This week] I’m just going to try to get back into the swing of things.”
Meanwhile, the team will continue to focus on team bonding and integration. As snowfall increases, the racers will shift to working on their technique.
Before the break, Nordic had focused on strength and conditioning when it was unable to practice outside. After battling the cold temperatures of Wednesday, however, the team would like to get some more experience outdoors.
On Wednesday, January 21, Nordic will travel to Dublin School for its third race of the year. The skiers hope that New England will receive the snow they have long awaited for.