Nordic perseveres through the heat

Warmer weather affects performance


Colin Canaday

Senior Brady Truett skis near the finish line at the Metro West-Mpls conference Jan. 18. Park placed within the top five for all four races

Colin Canaday and Harris Keekley

Competing in Metro West-Mpls conference at Theodore Wirth Jan. 18, facing ten separate schools, Nordic placed within the top five for all four races. Senior Tait Myers said his only goals for the meet were to continue performing well even given the more difficult competition.

“My goals were to do well. We raced a lot of tougher competition today — with the combined conferences, there were teams that were a lot better than what we normally race,” Myers said. “We wanted to come out here and have a good performance in spite of that.”

According to head coach Doug Peterson, the energy from spectators and other teammates can play a role into the performance of the skiers.

“Everyone likes to be cheered for,” Peterson said. “A lot of times coaches are stuck on the waxing tables getting skis ready, so when we get out there we see that kids — when you yell at them — they respond a little bit.”

Assistant coach Brian Houts, while agreeing that fans and spectators can leave a big impact, said there is also a component which comes from the co-ed nature of Nordic.

“The energy makes a big difference for kids — it really encourages them. It creates a great team spirit, and it’s guys and girls, so you see the guys cheering on the girls, and the girls cheering on the guys,” Houts said. “It’s a great environment. It is a more individual sport, but it is also a great team sport.”

Myers said, looking forward to future meets, he would like to have more time to get ready before starting to race, something particularly important in classic races. 

“Something we would like to work on in the future is having a little bit more preparation — coming out a little earlier,” Myers said. “We showed up and then right away had to race, and it’s hard with the classic with the wax having to go immediately.”

Reaching above freezing temperatures on the day of the race, nearly 24℉ above the average, eighth-grader Kaylee Crump said that the weather and temperature can affect racing abilities.

“You definitely have to dress differently (in warmer weather). Also the weather can make a big difference on speed — going faster or slower,” Crump said.

Additionally, according to Myers, warmer temperatures can create added difficulty in gaining traction in classic races.

“Warmer weather makes it harder to get kick, for a classic race, but it is nice when you don’t have to wear as many layers,” Myers said. “The warmer weather also does make it a lot more difficult to go up hills.”

Park will have its Nordic conference championship 10 a.m. Jan. 25 at Hyland Park Reserve.