Andover’s Training on Snow Proves Important at St. Paul’s

Andover Nordic raced at St. Paul’s on Wednesday. There were three events: a preliminary, semifinal, and final. This shorter course started began going uphill to the highest part of the course, which quickly changed to a sharp downhill and then a short hill to finish. The results of the race have not been released yet.

According to Co-Captain Eli Newell ’20 and Co-Captain Neil Thorley ’19, the team gained valuable experience training on snow recently, which helped it work on speed.

Newell said, “We actually got on snow for the first time yesterday and we practiced speeds. As we were skiing yesterday we did short bursts of race pace to get ready to go fast today… It’s just about being comfortable on skis and it helped ensure that everyone knew how to handle their skis today.”

Thorley added, “Some people had only been on snow once or twice before, so every day we can [get on snow] gets them more comfortable and more confident and readier to race.”

The soft snow on the course slowed the racers down on an otherwise faster course, according to Thorley.

“I think sprints are a bit of a weird format since you can’t finish your race and then you’re done for the day and can just hang out and watch. You have to think, okay I finished, but I need to do this right now and start warming up again and be prepared for the next race. It’s a lot more time management, a lot more thinking,” said Thorley.

According to Thorley, Aki Charland ’19 was particularly impressive on Wednesday as he came back from an early equipment malfunction to win the finals of his race later in the day.

Thorley said, “He’s been a real leader on the team for the past couple years and in his preliminary race he had an equipment malfunction where his skies came off, but he really turned it around and didn’t let that get him down and ended up winning his final later in the day.”

Andover races against the same teams every week, which creates a good bond between all the different schools and makes the races fun, according to Newell.

“We are generally really friendly with each other and it’s an honor to race with folks from the other schools. I’ve been on various other teams with some of them being a great group of people to see every Wednesday,” he said.

According to Newell and Thorley, with the upcoming rain, the team won’t have snow much longer, but it looks forward to running in order to train for the rest of the season.

Next Wednesday, the team will travel to Rivers and Belmont Hill.