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The regular season is in the books for the Essex High School (EHS) boys’ and girls’ Nordic skiing teams after they went up against Burlington High at Sleepy Hollow Tuesday afternoon.

Unlike traditional seasons where the participants go off with a mass start, racers began the course with intervaled pairs to increase physical separation.

Not only was the race challenging from a landscape perspective -- including a daunting, steep uphill climb towards the end -- but the temperatures that hovered around freezing point made for an extra challenge beforehand as the skiers worked to figure out which type of wax would be best to apply.

While the Hornets were racing directly against Burlington, that was part of a day-long, eight-team event. The EHS boys' varsity squad finished fourth overall while the girls' placed eighth.

The only events left on the schedule for the Hornets now are the state finals at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, the boys' race taking place on March 8 with the girls' following on the 10th.

Thoughts from Essex High Assistant Coach Adam Meyer

“I haven't looked at the results overall yet, but the kids seemed pretty exhausted at the finish line. So I was happy with them leaving all that energy they had out on the course and giving it their all.

“Today, with temperatures hovering around 32 degrees Fahrenheit is one of the hardest temperatures to wax, because the snow is melting. So you want to choose between hard wax -- which we use on colder snow -- or klister -- which we use on wet, watery blop like we have today. Fortunately, it turned out to be a hard wax day for us, so the skis can stay a little bit nicer and we don't have to cover them with a klister -- which is kind of like tar. So more fun for the skiers to be able to use hard wax; we're still able to get a good kick and make our way around the course in a speedy manner.

“I'm really grateful we've been able to have a competition season -- knowing that other sports haven't been as lucky -- and really happy with the excitement that kids bring whether we have really cold days or really warm days like today. I love the enthusiasm that the kids have for Nordic skiing.”

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