Nordic skis in Loppet Invite

Relay race increases levels of energy, competition

Sofie Geretz

More stories from Sofie Geretz


Carissa Prestholdt

Sophomore Tait Myers races downhill in a classic ski race Jan. 4 at the Loppet High School Invite at Theodore Wirth Park. Myers and his relay partner senior Rakesh Plantz placed ninth in the boys’ classic relay competition and the boys’ team placed eighth overall.

After cheering on her teammates, senior and captain Maggie Klein said the race was different than usual because the team competed in relays.

“This meet is unique because there were relays, (which) we’ve never done before,” Klein said. “Normally, we stick with one style for an entire meet, so there is a lot (happening) in the race.”

According to coach Patrick Hartman, the meet began with a team sprint followed by an individual 5 kilometer ski loop, with two girls’ and boys’ teams for relays, three classic skiers and three skate skiers. Hartman said the relays added another level of strategy.

“This has a different dynamic because we have the skating classic and then we have a relay piece to it, so you have to be a little more strategic about which skiers you place where,” Hartman said.

Klein said the relays helped the team with niche skills.

“(The relays) helped us prepare for harder parts of the race,” Klein said. “It was probably a unique opportunity for them to train in sprinting.”

According to senior and captain Rakesh Plantz, the team was more competitive even against strong teams.

“There’s so many more teams in the race. It is a whole new level because we (were) competing against the best teams in the metro area,” Plantz said. “It was so different and so much more competitive, which gave us so much more to push for.”

Sophomore Tait Myers said the extra spectators at the meet helped the team perform better.

“A lot of people (were) watching, which is not usually how Nordic meets are, but the environment (was) much better,” Myers said.

Hartman said the team did a good job acting as a community throughout the meet.

“The energy on the team is really great. (They are a) really great group of kids, tons of fun to work with. They’re all super supportive of each other,” Hartman said.

According to Klein, the extra fans that showed up increased optimism at the meet.

“Since the meet was on the weekend, there’s a lot of people who were able to come,” Klein said. “The energy (was) really good, all the parents (were) out in the neon orange scarves and a lot of the team decided to come.”

The next meet will take place 3:45 p.m. Jan. 7 at Theodore Wirth Park.