Students looking for a winter workout program have begun to look past Special Exercise and swimming to the intense sport of Nordic skiing.
The team provides students who are serious athletes such as team captain Muriel Solberg ’12, newly recruited to Brown University for rowing, with the opportunity to train at an intense level in a relaxed environment. “I fall all the time, but I still love the sport,” Solberg exclaimed regarding Nordic skiing.
Former Associate Admissions Director and boys’ varsity crew coach Ben Hamilton, who rowed lightweight at Yale University, founded the Nordic team during the winter of 2009-2010. Mr. Hamilton now works at the Fessenden School in Boston.
English teacher Ada Fan runs the program and hopes that Deerfield will soon compete against the more established teams of Andover, Putney, and Northfield Mount Hermon. Ms. Fan stated, “It would be great for the team to have the opportunity to compete against schools like Andover, who have at least one ranked skier.”
Deerfield’s team consists of eleven students, more than half of whom use the demanding winter sport to train for crew in the spring. No members had previous competitive skiing experience before joining Deerfield’s team.
In order to limit the size of the team, only juniors and seniors are allowed to participate. Ms. Fan is an advocate for the small size and describes cross country skiing as a “responsible sport,” since she allows the team to divide themselves into groups based on talent and fitness. She trusts the team with their workouts and allows members to develop their own schedules.
The two captains, Brad Hakes ’12 and Solberg, were elected based on their abilities to develop training schedules.
The team meets three days a week for five or six hours of skiing, hiking, walking, exercising, or community service.
Hakes, who will row at Stanford University next fall, joined Nordic skiing last year. He said, “The team is very fun loving and messes around a lot, even though it is composed of dedicated athletes.”