In its second meet of the season, Andover Nordic visited Proctor Academy on Wednesday. The team did not place. With only three individuals on the team having raced in regular league races previously, Andover looks to foster a transformative season.
While Nordic did not practice much with snow this season, this race marked a demanding return to racing on snowy hills. The team maintained an optimistic attitude, Zoe von Echartsberg ’26 highlighted such a moment.
Von Eckartsberg said, “Luke Williamson raced very well. He didn’t put his poles on right at the start of the race because the start was not very well announced. On the first downhill, he came down, holding one pole in his mouth and trying to put on his other pole with both hands. He had to come to a complete stop to put his poles all the way on. A lot of people got ahead of him, but at the end, he made a huge comeback and passed a lot of people.”
Luke Williamson ’25 shared his perspective on overcoming the setback during the race. He reflected on his mindset following a tumultuous start, determined not to let a minor setback overshadow the potential for a turnaround in the 5-k race.
“I only had one pole on as the race started. The other pole was in my hand, but they blew the whistle anyway. I’m just thinking that, ‘I’ve got to get off the line quickly.’ I go up the first hill, only one pole, go up the second hill, only one pole… I put one pole in my mouth and tried to use both hands to fix my pole. Anyway, it didn’t work, so I stopped by the side for a minute. I got my poles sorted out and then I hit the gas. I caught some heads that passed me already and it was a good race from there,” said Williamson.
Anna Korczak ’24 praised Jonas Giannoni ’25 for his outstanding display of sportsmanship. His role in rallying the team before the events was appreciated, bringing much-needed energy and warmth to the snowy hilltops.
Korczak said, “I would like to highlight Jonas for being a great team member and cheering all of us on even during the girls’ races and having a great attitude overall. Jonas was a positive influence to the culture of the meet as a whole and actively worked towards creating an inclusive and high energy environment.”
Williamson recalled how the cold weather impacted his performance. He found the cold relentless and unforgiving as the racers skied each lap.
Williamson said, “It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. It was pretty cold though, probably around 19 degrees out there. For the race, we did three laps and by the end of the first lap, my hands were completely numb… I know a lot of the team [were] cold but it was great to be surrounded by all the energy of spectators despite the temperatures.”
The cold temperatures fostered a sense of camaraderie among competing teams. Von Eckartsberg noted how teams pooled around each other to spectate and cheer, all while sharing warm drinks.
Von Eckartsberg said, “Even though it was freezing outside, it was really fun to be around that many people. There was warm hot chocolate as well as a fire. Unfortunately, I couldn’t race because I’m injured, but it still felt nice to be around everyone. I felt like an important part of the team and part of the Nordic community and although I was pretty cold, I enjoyed cheering on the team.”
Although the team did not place, Williamson emphasized the importance of team spirit and companionship. He noted that the welcoming community makes Nordic skiing enjoyable.
“My favorite part is the team camaraderie. Those guys out there are really some great people. I know that we’re racing and we certainly joke about it but those are my guys and if they weren’t there I would have much less fun competing. The community makes Nordic fun since I compete for my team, but also for all my teammates,” said Williamson.