Dec 6, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe Tigers finally got to practice on snow for the first time this week. Lander started practice last month for the ski season.
Lander Valley High School Nordic ski coach Emily Tilden is working with nearly 30 skiers this year.
The Tigers have been getting in shape for three weeks. Practice started Nov. 18.
The season was slated to start on Friday in Casper, but the meet was postponed doe to cold temperatures.
"The numbers are a little lower than we've had in the past, but having fewer athletes enables us to spend a little more time with each one to really work on technique and fitness," Tilden said.
The Tigers have been weightlifting twice a week in the mornings before school and doing ski-spcific drills, interval training, and long, slow distance runs in the afternoons.
On Tuesday, Lander skied on snow for the first time.
"It wasn't perfect, but you could glide on the soccer field, so we took advantage of it," Tilden said.
Leaders on the boys side are Nick Merritt and Tristan Herr.
"Nick is very strong this year," Tilden said. "Despite Tristan's lack of ski-specific experience he should do good things for us."
Tilden said Martin Baur is also in great shape this year.
On the girls side, Louisa Austin and Emily Schimelpfenig should lead the pack for Lander.
Tilden likes the way a number of young skiers are getting used to the Nordic ski team.
"The first race of the season is meant to get the jitters out and to remember your pace," Tilden said.
The races are broken down into a relay event and an individual race.
"The first event is a relay, so you share some of the pressure with your teammates," Tilden said. "It's exciting to watch and has a lot of opportunity for kids to really shine."
The second day is for a 5k classic race.
"The race is a great chance for kids to really sort out where they stand in the field and set some season goals," Tilden said.
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