Nordic Sports Winter Sports

Andover Varsity Nordic Races Against Proctor In Artificial Snow

Sprinting downhill against Proctor Academy, Sam Gallaudet ’23 broke one of his poles, yet still managed to finish the race. This past Wednesday, Andover Nordic traveled to Proctor Academy to compete in a 5.2 kilometer classic nordic race. There were 10 competing boys teams and 8 competing girls teams. The results have not yet been released.

Although Andover had competed on the Proctor course earlier in the season, the race proved to be challenging due to the artificial snow and the fierce competition from the other schools racing, according to Gallaudet and Co-Captain Eli Newell ’20.

“The competition is tough because we race some schools in New Hampshire and Vermont that get on snow much more than we do. Our best skiers aren’t as good as the other schools best skiers. PA is at a disadvantage in these races because we ski much less than other schools… There weren’t any difficult uphills in the course but doing 4 laps is taxing even if it only adds up to about 5k in the end,” said Gallaudet.

Newell added,“There were a couple of technically challenging downhill turns, which became increasingly challenging over the course of the race as the soft snow was swept aside, creating deep, soft areas, and revealing the ice beneath. The lack of snow around Andover has been a challenge for working on technique, but the team rose beyond this challenge well today, drawing from our recent dryland training… ”

According to Newell, the new people on the team demonstrated Andover Nordic’s depth as they finished strong despite unfavorable weather conditions.

“On the boys’ side, Sam Gallaudet ’23 and Remy de Saint Phalle ’23, both freshman phenoms, scored as Andover’s second and third finishers, racing well right in with the upper echelon of skiers in the league. On the girls’ side, Hannah Justicz ’22, in her first classic race and first season on the team, skied beautifully, nailing the technique and performing really well, emerging as Andover’s fifth finisher,” said Newell.

Going forward, the team seeks to improve its ability to adapt to different terrains, according to Gallaudet.
Gallaudet said,“For the team, I would say we all just need to familiarize ourselves with classic skiing because it’s kind of new and can be very difficult. We also need to find ways to ski different terrain other than just flats.”

The team will next face Dublin away on Wednesday.