Freshman qualifies for Junior Olympics in nordic skiing


photo courtesy of Amanda Kautzer

Kautzer, a freshman, has now qualified for the Junior Olympic team in nordic skiing after beginning the sport as a seventh grader.

Stephen Jacobs, Staff Writer

After beginning nordic skiing as a seventh grader, freshman Amanda Kautzer plans to compete at the Junior Nationals 2013 on March 7-17 in Fairbanks, Alaska on the midwest region team.

In order to qualify for the Midwest team, Kautzer had to compete in a series of six races, spanning from short sprints to a 6K race. In late January, she found that she placed in the top eight out of the 60 competitors also aspiring to be on the team. “Now that I’m on the team, I will have to practice every day, including Saturdays and Sundays, after the State tournament until March 7,” Kautzer said.

Kautzer originally joined skiing on accident, intending to go to the Alpine, not Nordic, skiing winter sports meeting. After still deciding to join, she has found nordic skiing to be a relaxing break from her otherwise busy life. “I feel so happy after I ski. Although my body may seem sore, everything else seems so pure and amazing,” Kautzer said.

Kautzer’s teammates have enjoyed watching her grow from an inexperienced seventh grade skier to now practicing with multiple teams for the Junior Nationals. “When Amanda joined the team, I told her that she could be faster than me, purely to just encourage her. She got really fast, really quickly, and it was amazing to see how fast she progressed,” senior Captain Elizabeth Vertina said.