Nordic competes in large, joint meet

Size increases adrenaline, competition


Carissa Prestholdt

Sophomore Ryan Fitzpatrick double poles at the start of the five kilometer race Jan. 7 at Theodore Wirth Park. At the Metro West Classic Dual meet, the girls placed third out of nine teams and the boys placed sixth out of nine teams.

Sofie Geretz

After racing in a Nordic race with significantly more competition than usual, junior and captain Danny Walsh said the stakes were much higher than average meets.

“This was the joint meet with Minneapolis, so a lot more people were in each heat and it was kind of hectic the first half of the race, but the second half it spaced out enough,” Walsh said. “It added to the stress level, but it also bumped up the adrenaline, so it helped and hurt.”

Sophomore Victoria Schmelzle said despite the extra competition, the Nordic team skied well overall.

“It was nerve-wracking to be knowing that you’re racing against a lot more people, but I feel like we all skied really fast,” Schmelzle said. “I saw everybody skiing and we looked really good as a team.”

According to coach Doug Peterson, the Nordic athletes are very driven and committed to improving their skiing.

“We have 50-60 kids out of 80 that are really focused and skiing a lot. That helps our overall feel of the team,” Peterson said. 

Schmelzle said the weather and equipment preparation positively impacted how well the team skied.

“The snow conditions were really good and our coaches wax (our skis) pretty well this race, so I felt strong when I was skiing,”  Schmelzle said.

Walsh said he is excited for Sections and seeing the Nordic team continue its success. 

“The second half of the season is going to be really interesting. We are skiing really well and it’s going to be fun to see how we do at Sections,” Walsh said.

According to Peterson, the Nordic team’s main focus is the upcoming conference championships.

 “They’re excited. They’ve had some good races in the conference. The focus right now is our conference championships coming up at the end of the month,” Peterson said.

The next meet will take place 3:45 p.m. Jan. 16 at Carver Park Reserve.