CAMDEN, N.Y. (WKTV) - With snow falling and the wind whipping, the Camden Nordic Ski team hosted a relay event for Section III teams. It showcased a sport which doesn't get a lot of publicity. But the athletes train hard and they love the atmosphere.
"We're all a big ski family," says Holland Patent's Nolan Amos. "There's a lot of rivalries within the teams, but however after the race is done, we're all big team cheering for each other."
"You always have to be thinking about your next turn of the next stretch, when you've got to push it, when you can slow it down and take a break," adds Camden's Jonathan Doane. "It's hard to think about it when you're going so fast."
Every winter teams compete in eight to ten meets, not including the post-season. So they have to start training early.
"If they're going for sectionals or state titles, they're going to start training August 1st," says Camden head coach Jeff Moore. "Our team starts in November and we practice five days a week."
Depending on whom you ask, Wednesday's weather is either the best or worst, with the snow falling and the bitter winds beating down. But that's what the sport is all about, being able to adapt to any condition.
"The wind and the weather makes it memorable," says Amos. "Battling against the wind as well as the other people. You just got to fight through it, because everybody's doing the same thing."
"I don't really like all the snow getting in your eyes, especially since this is a sprint," says Doane. "I usually like it when it's a little calmer and a little warmer, but if it's too warm, that's not good either."
Nottingham's Adam Luban had the fastest two lap run during Wednesday's co-ed mixed team meet, with a time of 6:31. Amos was second at 6:40. His Holland Patent teammates, Evan Smith and Erran Gates, took third and fifth respectively, at 6:46 and 6:56. Doane was seventh, at 7:01.
Madeleine Phaneuf from Old Forge had the fastest girls time, at 7:37, with HP's Leah Rice, Jennifer MacMillan and Marie Mueller taking second, third and fifth at 8:05, 8:20 and 8:23.