Andover Nordic paired up to compete in a relay ski race last week at Proctor Academy on Wednesday, January 21. In its third race of the season, the boys finished eighth out of 11 teams with a total of 55 points, and the girls finished fifth out of eight teams with 31 points. “[Proctor] was the same course as our first race, and I think we just all wanted to put that behind us. I think every one of the racers left yesterday feeling much better and knowing that they all had a pretty good race,” said Head Coach Keith Robinson. This time around, conditions were only slightly better. With higher temperatures, the team came into the race loose and warmed up. The course, however, remained very icy, again causing many spills and collisions across all teams. The little snow present on the course was grainy and soft, creating difficult conditions for classic skiing. Although the conditions were not ideal, the team felt more comfortable with the course the second time around. Captain Paxton Hyde ’15 said, “We knew how to pace ourselves fairly well and how to navigate the turns and hills. Knowing how to measure my effort on the hilly section versus the flat section was useful, and on both laps I was able to make up a lot of time by double poling hard on the flat sections.” In the classic relay skate, Andover entered two pairs of boys and four pairs of girls. Each skier in a pair raced twice around the 1.4-kilometer course, alternating laps. For Boys, Hyde competed with Rex Noble ’18. They placed 17th out of 46 pairs with a final time of 19:12. The other pair for Boys Nordic, Isaac Newell ’18 and Tevis Vitale ’16, placed 38th with a final time of 23:57. Newell said, “I didn’t really have a concrete goal before the race. I just wanted to do my best.” For Girls, Olivia LaMarche ’16 and Carmen Bango ’16 raced as a pair. Bango won the entire race for the girls race at Holderness on January 14. Their time of 19:01 landed them fourth out of 38. The pair of Uppers, Claire Glover ’16 and Parker Tope ’16, placed 27th with a final time of 27:06. Thea Rossman ’15 and Claudia Leopold ’18 placed 29th with a final time of 29:16. They were closely followed by Andover’s last pair of Abby Czito ’15 and Margot Steiner ’17, who placed 31st with a final time of 29:56. Leopold said, “During the race I just focused on the pointers [Robinson] gave me during the warm-up lap, particularly about staying balanced and pushing off after each step.” The race at St. Paul’s, scheduled to take place on Saturday, January 24, was canceled, as well as the team’s next meet on Wednesday, January 28, at St. Paul’s. Nordic’s long awaited snow arrived this past week as snow fell Monday through Tuesday. The team will finally be able to practice its skiing technique and endurance. Endurance, in particular, will be stressed, as Snowstorm Juno dumped over two feet of snow around campus. Andover skiers will have to learn how to deal with deep and powdery snow on its track. Andover’s next meet is away at Vermont Academy on Wednesday, February 4.