Beyond the Playbook: Cloquet-Esko-Carlton making best of winter weather
Winter temperatures and snow were almost non-existent up until this past week. However, for the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Nordic ski team, they’re trying their best to work through it, with the thick of their season on the horizon.
The weather in the Northland hasn’t been kind to winter sports athletes this year, especially those that ski.
“The last few years we’ve been kind of spoiled,” said Aspen Berg, a junior captain of the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Nordic ski team. “We’ve gotten snow right in November, so we’re not really used to this. It’s been a lot of dry land training and man made snow, which it makes you appreciate the actual snow a lot more.”
For skiers on the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Nordic team, its been an interesting season. With two meets at Spirit Mountain this year in the man made snow, the season has gotten off to a very quick start.
“It feels like the season hasn’t started even though we’re already a few weeks away from sections, which is kind of weird,” added Berg. “I think that just trying to get as many workouts in. It’s been a lot of running, a lot of lifting and that kind of thing to try to make up for what we’re missing in skiing.”
The result of the season feeling so short has impacted CEC, specifically in practice.
“This is the part of the year we really try to increase our training intensity and getting kids out skiing on more intervals,” said Tim Stark, CEC’s head coach. “Just more, I guess, shorter, harder efforts to really get ready for their biggest races of the season.”
The lack of snow has not only changed the dynamic of the season, but the fundamentals of how the skiers are actually racing.
“You might not notice it right away, but when you go from artificial snow to natural snow, there’s just a difference in how it skis and how it glides. The whole skiing process just feels better,” said Michael Kruse, a junior captain.
The ski season ramps up quickly, with the state meet coming in the middle of February.
Luckily for skiers, the snow has begun to fall, giving them to opportunity to practice. However, head coach Tim Stark thinks maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world for his skiers as people, not just athletes.
“Anytime in life when you have big goals in mind, you’re going to encounter a hurdle is there, and there are challenges along the way that you need to overcome,” said Stark. “So this season certainly has presented a lot of that, and a lot of that is just trying to maintain a positive attitude towards the things we can control and not getting too obsessed over things we can’t. We can’t control the weather and the snow that comes down, but we can certainly make the best of what we have.”