Skiing: Ice Age Nordic undergoes rebuilding project
After graduating 10 seniors from the ski team last season, Ice Age Nordic is looking to rebuild on the strength of some talented underclassmen. The girls’ team lost veterans Norah Lee and Amelia Heider while the boys lost their leading skier Todd Niles. The girls finished 10th at state last year and the boys were 15th.
The girls will be led by freshman Emily Berger, who was the Middle School Classical State Champion and sixth overall last year. She will be joined by veteran Emily Whyte, who has had 20th place finishes at state and top marathon finishes at the Korteloppet and Great Bear Chase. Carla Schwitters returns for her second year with the potential to be a Top 30 finisher at state. Alexi Walker, Audrey Bakken and Willa Campbell all have the experience to perform well this year. Coach Fanney explains, ”This group of girls could easily place higher than last year’s team at state and other races. Like always, it will depend on adequate snow for training, team leadership and improving ski technique.”
The boys’ team is very young with no seniors. Junior Sam Clepper, who is currently in Thailand on a Lodi High School Foreign Exchange Program, is team captain and has the most potential for improvements this year. Cross-country running teammate Jonah Barden hopes to improve in his second year as a skier. Sophomore Troy Niles and freshman Andrew Berger also look to improve significantly.
The ski teams enjoyed some early snow in Mid-November and head up to Northern Michigan for their annual training camp and season opener race at ABR in Ironwood this weekend. Despite the warm-up in the weather, they have had over 4 feet of snow in Ironwood. There is an early season race in Lodi on Dec. 17 and the Ski Season begins in earnest on Jan. 3 in Madison.