MANCHESTER - Going into this season, Burr and Burton Academy has seen the size of its Nordic Skiing team increase significantly.

Having only lost one student to graduation last year - Eric Kittross - head coach Ian Black is returning the other five members of last year's Nordic Ski squad and has seen nine new students join the team this year as well.

While Black expects one of the returning students for the varsity boys team to turn in strong performances this year, it is a newcomer he believes will have the biggest impact for the girls.

"Helena Bigelow. She's a freshman. She has skied for West River for a number of years. She's skied for Stratton Mountain School last winter. So, I'm expecting her to have a strong year," Black said. "And for boys I think Thomas Kittross will be the strongest boy. He's a junior actually. He's returning from last year."

In addition to Kittross, junior Kevin Pollio and senior Minhao He will be returning for the boys. Senior Abby Lord and junior Marika Mayberry are returning for the girls.

New to the boys team are junior Simon Aborn, sophomores Nikolai Sands and Noah Wetherald and freshmen Patron Marion, Anders Proft and Max Mackson. In addition to Bigelow, freshmen Ali Leiter and Raili Utiger are new to the girls team.

With a young team, Black indicated he is not sure what to expect as far as performances from some of the members of the team.

"We've got a lot of young skiers. A lot of freshman and sophomores.


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It's a mixed bag as far as experience goes," Black said. "Everyone's got a good attitude. They like to have fun. So, we're looking forward to a good quality year."

It is expected that the team could could compete in up to 13 races depending on the health of the students and the snow, Black said.

The team's first meet is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15 and will be hosted by Mount Anthony Union High School at Prospect Ski Mountain beginning at 10 a.m.