action:article | category:SPORTS21 | adString:SPORTS21 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » High School Sports

January 25. 2014 7:38PM

780 compete in X-C skiing event

SANDWICH - The second largest high school Nordic ski race east of the Mississippi was held on the Sandwich Fairgrounds on Saturday, when 780 middle and high school ski team members hit the 4.8-kilometer race trail for the first of two New Hampshire Nordic Coaches Association series races.

The event attracted a total crowd of about 2,000 skiers, parents, coaches volunteers and spectators, nearly doubling the historic town's population of 1,326. Saturday's race was co-directed by Steve Olafsen, Nordic coach at the Inter-Lakes School District and Leo Greene, director of the Sandwich Parks and Recreation Department.

Olafsen, a member of the New Hampshire Nordic Coaches Association site committee, said conditions were ideal, thanks to many volunteers who shoveled snow over the ice on the race trail this week. "We spent a lot of time getting it ready," he said, adding the venue was changed from Lebanon, due to lack of snow.

"About a week ago, I was grooming mush and water, then it froze up. We had a great group of volunteers throwing snow on the ice this week and everything worked very well. I lost sleep over it though, but conditions held up," said Olafsen

In the 15 years he and his wife, Tracey, have hosted middle school Nordic races, he has seen the sport grow with the number of students on a team tripling to about 200. He said the appeal is that kids want to get outdoors and enjoy the winter. Olafsen spends a lot of time teaching his skiers how to dress for the weather, a key to enjoying winter sports.

Olafsen thanked the town of Sandwich and all of the Inter-Lakes volunteers who supported the race.

"For myself, just to look out today and see high school and junior high school skiers out there enjoying themselves is very heartwarming," he said.

On the sidelines during races on Saturday, many students said they enjoy the sport because it's more relaxed than competitive downhill skiing. Drew Hodson, a Holderness School sophomore from Connecticut, said he shifted from Alpine racing to Nordic racing partly due to the significant time commitment required as a member of the school's Alpine team and hour and a half round-trip commute to and from the ski mountain. Drew said Nordic skiing is a friendlier, more relaxed sport.

His parents, Marybeth and Tom Hodson, volunteered at the race finish line.

"The size of this event is unbelievable," said Tom Hodson. "It's just amazing. I can't believe all these kids are here."

Parent volunteer Jen Hall, whose daughter Audrey is part of the Plymouth High School co-ed team, said Nordic skiing is great conditioning for other sports. She said the different teams also support one another, and cheer each other on. "There's just this real good sportsmanship," she added.

Fall Mountain High School student racers Sonja Hansson and Jordan Hewes of Langdon were all smiles after the High School Girl's A category races. Both girls said they have raced for several years now.

What attracts them to the sport? "It's fun. It's a good environment. .. and we have cow suits," said Hansson, as the girls posed for a photo in the school's cow-themed (black and white spots) ski suits. They, too, were grateful for the relatively mild weather conditions and for the terrain.

"The snow is wicked nice," said Hewes.

The second race in the series will be held on Sat., Feb. 8 at White Mountain Regional High School.

Results of Saturday's race are expected to be posted on the New Hampshire Nordic Coaches Association web site, www.nhnordiccoaches.org.


  • Do you support minimizing risk of injury in high school ice hockey by making the penalty for boarding or checking from behind an automatic major?
  • Yes
  • 67%
  • No
  • 33%
  • Total Votes: 937
 NH Sports Angle ╗ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

State sells Windham golf course site for $3.06M

Ex-minor leaguers sue MLB over low salaries

$14M to beaten Giants fan returns security focus

Matt Bonner and brother bring rock show back to Redhook

GM: Twin State Speedway progressing with revival

Foot golf arrives on Seacoast

New Hampshire's Burns gets more than he could ever ask for

Pro runner's yoga class will raise money for clean Kenyan water

Menard wrecks as New Hampshire testing concludes

Lawyers try to bar Patriots from paying Hernandez $3.2M bonus

Pease Golf Course celebrates opening of lower nine holes

NFL rule could signal end of Justin Tuck signature facemask and that's a good thing according to UNH findings

NH man almost wins first $500k winner-takes-all open basketball tournament

Blue Jays move Dalton Pompey up to New Hampshire

Field set for 110th anniversary ĹClimb to the Clouds' car race

Contractors volunteer to complete renovations for 5th Annual Jericho ATV Festival

Dartmouth dismisses menĺs lacrosse coach

Jay Perrin looks to take his MMA career to the next level at Combat Zone 49

Dartmouth runner poised for long-term success on pro circuit

'Great Race' makes pit stop in Rochester

CHIP KELLY

Chip Kelly: Last practice not Fred Flintstone leaving work

Traffic jams expected with 30,000 fans at Epping dragway

Calgary Stampsĺ St. Pierre, complete with tattoos and plenty of brawn, not your typical NH wedding planner

Laconia man wins grueling 500-mile race in 9 days

NH native, famed NASCAR engine building, dead at 98

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   ╗ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   ╗ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!