Ski Teams Faced Challenging Conditions…March 2, 2016
By Cyndy Bremer
Even the efforts of snowmaking machines couldn’t keep up with the warm temperatures this winter, putting a bit of a damper on the seasons for the Nashoba alpine and cross country ski teams.
Alpine (or downhill) Ski team coach Mike Gormley described the season as “probably the most difficult season a team has endured with the warm December and lack of snow.” The first race of the season in January was postponed, Gormley explained, and the team’s early training was limited by the lack of adequate terrain at the ski area.
Despite the conditions, Gormley took a lot of positives away from the season.
“All the kids did an amazing job once gate training commenced.” Two team members, Michelle Frasch and Charlotte Hatcher, qualified for States and finished in the top third. Freshman Anders Fish was the top male skier, qualifying as an alternate for States with his 19th place league finish, Gormley said.
Looking to the future, the team will lose four seniors this year, including captains Lexi Traverse and Avery Colby. But Gormley is encouraged by what he sees in the younger team members. “Freshman Katherine Defranseco developed over the season as did Will Gerecke, and there are many younger racers due to enter NRHS in the next couple years.”
The team records for the season were: Girls 13-29; Boys 1-41.
Nordic (or cross country) Ski team coach Margaretha Burr Nyberg echoed Coach Gormley’s take on the conditions this year. “It has been a very challenging winter to say the very least. We have only one time been able to practice on snow behind the High School!”
Burr Nyberg said the preseason conditioning went very well with dry land training, running and rollerblading, but to get on to some real snow, the team ended up traveling to Jackson, NH for a weekend of practice time.
The team races and practices at the Weston Ski track in Weston. The facility has snowmaking machines, but even so, the first race in January was postponed as the temperatures were too warm to make snow, Burr Nyberg reported.
Once the temperatures dropped, the coach said, the team was able to get in their five league races and compete in the State Championship, held, for the first time, in Weston due to a lack of snow at the usual site in western Mass.
Giving a rundown of the team standings, Burr Nyberg explained this year’s team was comprised of seven girls and six boys. Two of the boys, Isaac Bleeker and Maxwell Mitchell, were new to the team this year. The seniors were Jessie Duggan, April Mishley, Cameron Donahue, Michael Fulciniti and Zachary Hill.
“Jessie had a very good season and finished 13th in the league ( over 120 girls competed) and 38th at the MIAA State Championship. Cameron finished 30th in the league,” Burr Nyberg said.
Other team members included Sophia Greszczuk, Erin Brooks, Riley Seith, Margo Coppes, Hannah Gaffney and Jack Gaffney.
“It was a really nice group of kids. They always encouraged and cheered everyone on,” Burr Nyberg said.
Next year, they will likely be cheering on the snow.