Nordic Sports Winter Sports

Andover Overcomes Unfamiliar Race Format

Carmen Bango ’16 flew toward the end of the course, edging out the girl behind her to capture first place by a mere ten meters. Andover Nordic competed at Proctor Academy against multiple schools, with the girls securing a fifth-place finish and the boys clinching an eighth-place finish. The girls finished with 76 points and the boys finished with 153 points.

The race, which happened last Wednesday, February 10, was conducted in a unique format that most of the team’s racers had never encountered beforehand.

Head Coach Keith Robinson wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “The race format was a sprint tournament on a 1.4-K course. First heat was to get seedings and then there were semis and finals. So, unlike our other races, nothing was timed: It simply had to do with your finish order in the heats.”

Robinson added, “This can be a complicated race and since we weren’t able to go last year because of the blizzard, our skiers weren’t as familiar with the format so, for a lot of them, it was about gaining experience and skiing in close quarters with lots of other competitors.”

The new format did not phase Bango, however, as she finished first overall in the girls competition.
Coach Robinson wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Carmen had a great race, winning her first two heats by a huge margin. Her final – [which was between] the top 6 kids – was very close and competitive and came down to the final meters as she edged a St. Paul’s girl by ten feet or so.”

After Bango, Claudia Leopold ’18 was Andover’s second fastest female competitor, finishing 27th place overall in the girls’ division.

Leopold said, “I did not have a great first round because I was more focused on conserving energy for the following rounds. In retrospect, I think that I could have pushed harder and gotten third [place], which would have placed me in a higher bracket for the next round. I’m happy with my second round, however, as I was pretty close to the girl in second and I may have been able to catch her and move to a higher bracket.”

Evelyn Mesler ’17 was the third fastest girl for Andover following Leopold, coming in 39th place overall among females.

Rex Noble ’18 finished first for the team in the race’s boys division, placing in 22nd place in the male division.

“Rex had an unfortunate event in his qualifier: He was poised to move into the top bracket, but got tangled on the hill with another skier and lost his position. Still, he shook it off and rallied well for a good finish,” said Coach Robinson.

Noble said, “The best moment for me was when I tucked past a guy on last downhill with the inside cut.”
He was followed by Aditya Krishnamachar ’17, who came in 47th place overall, and Isaac Newell ’18, who came in 55th place.

The team has been preparing to race at a course Dublin, New Hampshire, in its second to last race before the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (Nepsac) Championship.

Editor’s Note: This article is covering last week’s Nordic race, as the results were released after the paper went to print.