Nordic Skiing Secures 5th and 6th Team Places, Gallaudet ’23 Takes 1st Individually

With Sam Gallaudet ’23 claiming a first-place overall finish, and Remy de Saint Phalle ’23,  Claire de Saint Phalle ’22, and Hannah Justicz ’22 coming in 5th, 7th, and 15th, respectively, Andover Nordic Skiing placed fifth as a team in the boys division and sixth in the girls division this Wednesday at Holderness.  

According to Head Coach Keith Robinson ’96, the lack of snow this season has been a challenge for the team to overcome. Coach Robinson explains that the team does a lot of dryland training in preparation for the meets and tries to accommodate experienced and inexperienced racers alike.

Coach Robinson said, “It has not been ideal. We’ve had the beginners out on the patches of snow on campus, there’s a couple of patches that are about 50 meters long that we use to work on technique, but for the more experienced group we’ve been doing running, core work, and things like that to keep fit.”

Remy de Saint Phalle shares a similar sentiment regarding the lack of snow. He acknowledges the dryland training that the team has been substituting in for the unfortunate weather.

de Saint Phalle said, “We haven’t really been able to practice because there’s no snow, so we just have been running and doing as much training without snow.”

Gallaudet notes how despite the inexperience on the team, he has seen tons of improvement among the team in terms of technique and familiarity with the sport as a whole.

“There were a couple people who were new to skiing and did very well, and their technique improved a lot from a week ago, so that was great to see. Everyone did well, we had a classic race last week, and I think most people placed better in this race than last race, so that was good,” said Gallaudet.

Coach Robinson believes that the amount of traveling the team has to do for each meet has impacted the team’s competition. According to Coach Robinson, the quick transition from academics to athletics can be difficult for many racers.

“We travel for pretty much every race. I think the biggest difference is our Friday night race just as opposed to our usual on Wednesdays. I feel like everyone, at the end of the week, that was probably the bigger difference. It’s hard on a Wednesday because we have to travel a long distance, run right out of class, and get on a bus and people still have work and things going on after they get back, so I think that potentially makes it really difficult to focus in on the race,” said Coach Robinson.

As it is scheduled to snow this weekend, the team is getting very excited for an opportunity to get out and experience it. Coach Robinson notes how the training has been getting somewhat monotonous so the snow will certainly up the energy levels.

Coach Robinson said, “We have kids in the sport who are doing it partially, they’re injured and can’t run a lot so it’s sort of boring time on the bike for them in the Fitness Center and the training room while we’re not on snow, but just in general, the team, they’ve done a great job managing what we could and we’ve skied when we could then the last week and a half has not been very good, but it would be great to come through that and actually get good snow and good time on snow to practice.”

Nordic Skiing looks to build upon the season as it competes at St. Paul’s next Wednesday.