While many athletes look forward to the final weeks of their seasons, Kaitlynn Miller '14 can barely imagine life without the Nordic ski team. She has skied her way to the top, posting the team's top women's finish at every carnival this season.
She continued her dominance last weekend in Craftsbury, Vt., where she posted a 19th-place finish in the women's 10K classic (33:27.8).
Miller, who hails from Elmore, Vt., started skiing early in her childhood at the Trapp Family Lodge in nearby Stowe, Vt.
"I think I was two and a half when I started," she said. "My parents skied, so they just took me out with them on tiny skis and I would ski around them."
At age eight, Miller was pulled from her youth ski league to participate in a relay team at Trapp Lodge that needed just one more member.
"I don't even remember how I did," she laughed. "All I remember is that I started, and I'd forgot to put my pole straps on. So I stopped for a little, put them on, and finally started skiing."
Miller started racing for a club team a few years later. Though she was homeschooled, Miller also raced for her local high school in her freshman and sophomore years, but decided to focus on her club team as a junior and senior.
When it came time to apply to Bowdoin, Miller knew that she wanted to ski on the Nordic team. Thus far, she has not been disappointed.
"I've really loved being on a team," she said. "At carnivals, your race matters more than just for your own individual satisfaction—it's also points for the team. I would say I've also improved as a skier because of this. There's people to train with on a regular basis."
She also attributes her improvement to Head Coach Nathan Alsobrook.
"Before and after season we have a meeting to discuss my goals," she said. "We discuss what's worked [and] what hasn't."
Miller has finished in the top 30 or 40 for skating races, while finishing in the top 20 in classic races this season.
She will ski again this weekend at regionals at the Middlebury Carnival, where she hopes to improve her classic results and place in top 30 in the 5K skate.
Although the regional championship marks the end of her season, Miller plans to keep skiing as long as she can.
"I'm going to try to do a few ski marathons and another series not related to the collegiate team after season" she said. "It's just something I love to do. I'm not sure if I'll keep racing after college, but I'll definitely keep skiing."
The sports editor of the Orient chooses the Athlete of the Week based on exemplary performance.