The Student News Site of Ithaca College

Ithaca Week

Ithaca Week

Ithaca Week

Thriving on Creativity

The Cornell University Club Nordic Ski team prepares for its season in a variety of ways, with no snow to ski on

On Dec. 5, in the quiet back roads of Etna, NY,  the Cornell University Nordic (or cross country) Ski team participated in its  annual roller ski time trial in the morning. The course was roughly a 15 kilometer loop, starting and ending in the same place. This fall, like most in Ithaca, NY, has had an absence in snow precipitation, forcing the team to improvise with its training.

Co-president of the team Peter Jordan said the team does a variety of exercises in the fall in order to prepare for the season.

“Our primary training is running, and that’s pretty standard for a lot of nordic teams,” Jordan said. “But we also try to get out on roller skis once or twice a week, so that gives us a chance to do a little bit of technique work or focusing on some specific strength stuff. We’ll also incorporate a little bit of biking and pole bounding.”

Jordan also explained that the team will also run stadium stairs for hill repeat workouts.

The team’s  ski equipment room, located in Cornell’s Schoellkopf stadium, has enough space for the gear the whole team needs. The room is filled with roller skis, helmets (for roller skiing), ski boots, poles, and more. Jordan explained that Cornell gives them a multi-budget to loan out equipment for members who do not own any. The team has records going back to the 80s, when it was once a varsity team for the school for several years, before turning into a club sport.

The team ski room, located in Cornell’s Schoellkopf stadium, has roller skis and many other equipment for the team. Photo by: Willy Wright

The group also goes on a team trip over winter break to train at Mont Sainte Anne, a ski resort in Quebec, Canada, where it is frequently the first time the team gets on snow in their season. Jordan said that on many occasions, when a newcomer comes onto the team with no prior experience, they will have to roller ski, before they have ever skied on snow.

“Because we don’t really have snow in Ithaca until fairly late, oftentimes the first time they have a chance to get on snow is during our 10 day training camp up in Mont Sainte Anne,” Jordan said. “They actually do start roller skiing before they get on snow. That’s not something that’s ideal, but that’s how it is. They do a good job at making the best of it. “

Jordan said that the aim of the time trial was not supposed to be competitive, but as a way to gauge  their  personal fitness.

“It’s not supposed to be super competitive or everyone going super hard,” Jordan said. “It’s basically a good place to set a personal benchmark or personal goal for the season to see how roughly good of shape you feel.”

The team is a member of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA), with their specific league including a mix of competitive club teams and varsity teams. Once the spring semester hits, and after their training trip to Mont Sainte Anne in Canada, the team travels to various locations in New England, competing in weekend races for 5-6 weeks. The season concludes with the National Championships, located either in Lake Placid, NY, or out west.

The team participated in a team time trial on roller skis the first weekend in December, in Etna, NY. Photo by: Willy Wright

Last year, the men’s squad placed ninth overall as a team, while the women finished seventh overall. Jordan said that because it is defined as a club sport at Cornell, this has allowed their team to have a wide range of skill.

“We have kids that have been racing for over ten years and we have kids that this is their first season trying; they’ve never been on skis in their life,” Jordan said. “That really allows us to bring a group together and understand that we are here to race, but we’re also here to learn how to ski and everyone can play a role in that. I think that’s a really fun unique thing we have as a team that not many in our USCSA league have.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to Ithaca Week

Your donation will support the student journalists of Ithaca College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Ithaca Week

Comments (0)

All Ithaca Week Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *