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Orono nordic skiing is training hard, unable to have meets yet with no other local teams

Orono is the only nordic ski team in Penobscot county.
Orono nordic skiing is training hard, unable to have meets yet with no other local teams
Orono nordic skiing is training hard, unable to have meets yet with no other local teams
Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 9:26 PM EST
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - Orono high nordic ski team has been blessed with a community that supports their sport. Trails, a groomer, and raising kids eager to ski. Now they need someone to race against.

“They enjoy each other so much, they work together so much,” says Orono head coach Cid Dyjak, “they work so hard, even though we will have limited meets due to COVID.”

Orono is the only nordic ski team in Penobscot county.

“Sort of encourage people in this part of the state to grasp nordic skiing more,” says Dyjak.

There are a few teams in Aroostook County, but no other team closer than an hour and a half away from the Riots. So they have yet to have a team meet.

“Kind of a bummer so far,” says Orono senior Tommaso Wheeler, “We have had kind of a time trial here to get in the groove.”

The kids love the sport, it falls under lower risk in the state’s guidance, and it has offered the kids a chance to be social during the pandemic.

“It’s been really, really great. I’m at home most of the day,” says Wheeler, “Then I can get out and go. Especially do sports because, at home, I don’t get much exercise. That social aspect has been amazing.”

They have a great group.

“Maybe 20 people,” says Wheeler, “and we got some great kids of all levels.”

Which has ushered in a number of freshmen skiers.

“Really inclusive and it made for an easy transition into high school,” says Orono freshman Ruth White, “A lot of the kids skied on my middle school team too. So that’s good to know some people.”

They have continued to work hard at practice to be ready if they can race.

“I really like the racing part,” says White, “I love the intensity of it.”

“I’m really excited to get back and start racing,” says Wheeler, “Get to see all the other schools too.”

While there is no state meet this year according to the MPA. There is hope for a regional meet at the end of the season. The kids deserve one.

“People who race are totally appreciative of what everyone else does,” says Dyjak, “Even if you are on another team, you go to a big meet, kids will cheer for just about everyone. Which makes it a lot of fun and exciting.”

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