One of Vermont’s top high school nordic skiers isn’t going far next year -- at least for classes. He will, however, be travelling a little further on the weekends to compete for his school.
Recent Essex High School (EHS) graduate Charles Martell will be racing for the Saint Michael’s College (SMC) men’s nordic team in the winter as detailed by head coach Molly Peters’ recent incoming-class announcement.
“I'm so happy that Charles will be on the nordic team next year,” said Peters. “I've been watching him ski for the last two years at high school and Eastern Cup races. He was very successful in high school, and I am really excited to see what he can do skiing for St. Mike's. It is always so fun to have local athletes on the team, as they usually bring with them a big cheering family.”
Martell says he was considering skiing at the College of St. Scholastica -- a DIII program in Minnesota -- but he never had the chance to fully explore the school and visit the campus. He also thought about attending the University of Vermont, but the chances of him skiing there would have been slim. Ultimately, he decided to go down Route 15 and participate with DII’s Purple Knights.
“Compared to the other schools, I loved that Saint Mike’s is much smaller,” said Martell. “The community really attracted me, and I knew some of the guys on the ski team. Also, it seemed like there's a lot of potential, and I think that we can do a lot as a team together next season.”
Martell capped his high school career this past February by earning the silver medal in the boys’ classic and then taking the bronze in the freestyle event of the 2020 Vermont State Championship.
“Essex Nordic is incredibly proud of Charles Martell and all his accomplishments during his high school racing years,” said EHS head coach Melissa Brott. “We are thrilled that he will be continuing to race at the college level and excited that he will be racing for a local Vermont institution. We look forward to following his continued success!”
Martell has family ties to the Purple Knight program as his cousin, Sam, and his uncle, Lary, were members of it from 2010-12. Sam was a student-athlete, being a team captain in both her junior and senior seasons, while Lary was an assistant coach; Lary was also the SMC men’s cross country head coach in 1988.
“I'm so happy to have someone in the Martell family back at St. Mike’s!” added Peters.
Martell intends to major in business and minor in pre-law at SMC.