Despite the wet snow and changing temperatures, Andover Nordic skiers Co-Captain Eli Newell ’20, Sam Gallaudet ’23, and Co-Captain Posie Millett ’20 placed second, fifth, and sixth place, respectively, resulting in some of the best combined results of this year’s season.
Andover traveled to Proctor Academy on Wednesday to compete with over five teams in a 1.3-kilometer race, one of the shortest distance events. In the competition, Andover placed second in the girls race and placed fourth in the boys race.
According to Millett, the team adapted to the heavy conditions which slowed the pace of the race.
“It was really warm at the beginning of the day, so the snow was mushy, which is tough especially around one hill because you would go around a tight turn and then have to go up a hill, and there isn’t room to go faster, but everyone adapted pretty well. Although the snow was slow in that area, by going faster on the downhills it was easier because it got faster as the day got colder,” said Millett.
According to Newell, a possible source for the team’s exceptional times was a workshop run by Lani Silversides, Academic Skills Specialist.
“[Gallaudet, Millett, and I] produced Andover’s best collection of individual results that I can remember from my time on the team. I suspect part of why we did well was our good physical training and coaching, but also the mental training we gained in Coach Lani Silversides’s “Performance Under Pressure” workshop. The mental game is especially important in a sport like Nordic, as so much of good performance is about the ability to push oneself further than they think possible, into the deepest pits of the pain cave,” wrote Newell in an email to The Phillipian.
With the competition consisting of three different races, Andover’s coaches highlighted the importance of the first race because it dictated the following heats, according to Amelia Vinton ’22.
“In terms of the racing, our coaches told us to really get out in the first race because that determines what bracket you go into. If you didn’t have a good first race, it was hard because then you were stuck in a bracket that wasn’t at your level,” said Vinton.
According to Newell and Vinton, the recovery time between each race is crucial to performance later on in competitions.
Newell wrote, “We’ve done a lot of uphill intervals in practice lately, which is great training for high-cadence, high-power efforts with little time for recovery between heats like today’s sprint tournament.”
Vinton added, “We had to be sprinting and then recovering quickly and well. They were all 30 to 40 minutes apart which were basically all out, so it was pretty difficult in that sense.”
Andover will continue training on foot to improve its endurance until more snow arrives, according to Millett.
“We are going to keep doing hill work because we can’t ski in Andover because we don’t have any snow, but training on our feet… is really good to work on our endurance to help with our access to those bursts of energy. Next week, we have a longer race, so we will do more endurance this coming week,” said Millett.
Andover will travel to Vermont Academy on Wednesday to compete in its last race before the Lakes Region Championship.