Nordic prospers at first meet of the year

COVID-19 delays create unprecedented circumstances


Ayelet Prottas

Senior co-captain Mimi Kniser crosses the finish line during the first race of the season Jan. 14. Kniser placed first in the girls’ varsity race.

Ben Sanford

Park proved to be successful at its first Nordic meet of the season, winning three out of its four races Jan. 15. Assistant coach Patrick Hartman said he was anxious to see how the meet turned out but said that it was overall successful.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect because it’s our first COVID(-19) meet. But that aside I would say things went pretty smoothly,” Hartman said.

According to senior captain Olivia Etz, the team didn’t have much time to practice before its first meet but everyone worked hard with the time they had.

“We just started practice two weeks ago, so we have been working together as a team on technique tips from the coaches and workouts to improve for the meet,” Etz said.

Hartman said the team has been working on specific skills to prepare for the meet.

“We’ve been mainly just getting physically ready, but a lot of the kids had been skiing before our late season started, so they’ve been doing a lot of the physical stuff,” Hartman said. “We’ve been doing some light training, we’ve done some sprinting and then just trying to refine the kids’ skiing form a little bit.”

According to freshman Tommy Walsh, COVID-19 has made the Nordic season tricky so far, making the team not feel as connected.

“We weren’t able to meet together for captains practices. We did do game night and bonding but that’s not the same as skiing and being with everyone else,” Walsh said.

Etz said the team has done what it can to accommodate for the changes going on this season by having virtual bonding events.

“It’s definitely been a challenge but the virtual core and game nights we’ve been having have brought us closer together as a team,” Etz said. “It’s harder that we weren’t able to practice together as much leading up to the races but everyone did an okay job training on their own.”

According to Hartman, the team has adapted extremely well to new regulations and circumstances which brought the team success at its first meet of the season.

“The captains did a great job organizing some of the preseason stuff,” Hartman said. “I don’t think we’ve been affected negatively because there are trails around and Nordic is a sport that kids can practice for on their own.”

Park will have its next Nordic meet 1 p.m. Jan. 21 at Highland Park Reserve.