Who likes the cold? Nordic skiiers make the most of New England

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    The Nordic ski team. Photo: Nat Woodruff
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    Nordic skiiers make the most out of winter. Photo: Nat Woodruff
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    Skiiers getting ready. Photo: Nat Woodruff

For the majority of ARHS students, winter and its harsh temperatures are dreaded. But there was one group of students who looked forward to this season all year: the ARHS Nordic ski team.

They have trained every day after school since December for their races in Vermont.

The captains of the team this year were Stella Wenczel, Violetta Foster, Nor Young, and Jessie Barker-Plotkin. Their responsibilities included taking attendance at practices, leading all the workouts and stretches, and being mentors and role models to the middle schoolers.

Anyone can join the team, even if you don’t know how to ski. This was the first year the team invited middle schoolers to join. “You can join Nordic not knowing how to ski, but you can learn, and have an amazing experience,”  said Wenczel.

The coaches of the team were Nathaniel Woodruff and Steve Bruner. Coach Woodruff said their coaching method was to get on the snow whenever possible, and if there was no snow, to strengthen in the weightroom at practices. This winter was bitterly cold but didn’t break snowfall records.“Nordic is the sport that embraces winter,” said Coach Woodruff.

The team met in the weight room at 3:15 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, to begin their training. For training they ran, roller-skied on the road, or did a track workout outside.   

This was a season of growth for the team, with the addition of the middle schoolers. Captains saw a lot of potential in the team moving forward. “Our record this season wasn’t great but the future looks good for our team,” said Wenczel.

Although winters in New England can be hard, there’s no sport that gives you the same rush that Nordic skiing does. “You feel strong and fast, and the gear we wear looks like Frozones suit,” said Young.

And nothing compares to the feelings the skiers experienced after a race. “The feeling right after you race is what I love, I feel accomplished, strong, and hard working,” said Wenczel.

Coach Woodruff thinks that skiers are some of the best athletes because they can’t be weak in any way.Since skiing can only happen in the winter it is important that skiers train in other ways in the other seasons. “Good skiers are made in the summer,” said Woodruff.

In early March, the varsity teams traveled to Notchview for a big States race where they raced 4.5 miles. The team had goals for finishing off the season strong. “We wanted  to have fun for the last few days in the season,” said Wenczel.

The team was sad to see their season ending as it turned to spring. But they were satisfied with the hard work put into this season. “We just wanted to carry some positive energy into the last meet of our season,” said Young.