Five questions with men’s Nordic skier Andrew Egger ’18 (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Andrew Egger has had a whirlwind month for the Colby College Nordic ski team. He skied at the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships in Anchorage, Alaska, and qualified in the sprint event for the Under-23 World Championships in Switzerland. He finished as the second American and 47th overall in the sprint qualifier on Monday. Egger is finishing up his trip to Switzerland with two more races this week. He took the time to answer five questions:
1. Was making the Under-23 Cross Country World Championships a long-time goal or did everything come together for you in Alaska?
Egger: To be honest, making the U-23 World Championship team wasn’t really on my radar when I decided to go to Alaska. I went to nationals in Alaska simply because I wanted to see how I measured up against the best in America and because I thought it would be beautiful. That said, my goal standing on the start line of the sprints was to win. Most would say this is unrealistic, but I like the saying, “aim small, miss small.” Things definitely came together for me in the races there. Thanks to great coaching and incredibly fast skis (thanks coaches Tracey Cote and Jackson Bloch), teammates who have pushed me extremely hard, family and friends' support, I was able to have a good few days.
2. As a sprinter, do you constantly train for sprinting or are you training for the 10K and 20K as well since those are the more frequent Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) races?
Egger: Some people laugh when I say this, but I don’t consider myself a “sprinter.” Yes, it’s what I’m best at, but I also really like the longer races. The tactics are different, and they take a whole lot of guts. Regarding my training, it is similar to that of my teammates at Colby. The majority of our training is long, slow distance, and we develop our speed through interval sessions, strength sessions, and agility. I think my sprinting ability was developed in my years playing soccer, and the benefits have stuck with me.
3. What are your skiing goals after this world event?
Egger: I want to do everything I can to help the success of my team. This year we’ve already had our men’s team finish in the top three of Eastern teams overall on carnival days. We’ve trained incredibly hard and smart, we’re focused, and we have the potential to do even bigger things in the coming races. On a personal level, it would be awesome to get a top 10 in a distance race on the carnival circuit. At the end of the season, if I think I have it both mentally and physically, I may take a shot at the next level. This would require delaying my commission in the Marine Corps and taking a year to pursue skiing after college.
4. You spent 12 weeks in Virginia this past summer going to the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School. What was that experience like for you?
Egger: Character building.
5. What is it like skiing in Switzerland at the end of January? I'm sure it would be a dream come true to an avid skier.
Egger: In terms of skiing, it is definitely a dream come true for Nordic skiers. Ski trails connect small mountain towns, and many people can be seen taking advantage of them and enjoying the outdoors. I wish that I could spend a few months here training and exploring.