BENSON – Shenendehowa Nordic skier senior Thomas Wiedmann is hoping to pass the baton to his younger teammates at the conclusion of this year’s winter ski season after taking it from two previous standouts.
“I started racing in high school in eighth grade, and there were two really big Shen guys, Owen [Putman] and Aaron [Huneck]. They were huge role models for me,” Wiedmann said after Friday's Mayfield Invitational. “They were always winning races, winning sectionals."
The Plainsmen captured the 2015-16 Section II title with Putman skiing to top honors followed by Huneck, then the pair finished fifth and seventh at the state championships. Then, the leadership mantle was passed to Wiedmann.
“It's taken some getting used to, having to be the leader, and making sure that what I do is right and show a good example for the . . . younger kids,” Wiedmann said.
A quiet leader, Wiedmann lets his actions during the week speak for themselves.
“I try to get my work in during practice, try to get out there, ski as hard as I can,” Wiedmann said. “In the weight room, I get all my reps in and try to show them the right way [to work out].
“I'll give them pointers on how to ski better and I talk to the coaches, trying to be a liaison between them and the team.”
Wiedmann finished 11th at last year’s Section II championships. The lone qualifier for Shenendehowa for the state championships, Wiedmann finished 32nd overall at his first state competition.
Wiedmann finished fifth Friday at the Mayfield Invitational at Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center. He covered the 10k course in 30:54.8. Queensbury's Nick Logan captured the race in 29:50.
The Plainsmen boys' team finished second with 33 points, behind Queensbury’s 12. Lake George and Glens Falls finished with 34 and 36 points, respectively.
Mayfield junior Madison Relyea won the girls' 7.5k course in 26:06.5.
Shenendehowa’s lone varsity female skier is Thomas Wiedmann’s sister, Iris Wiedmann, who finished in eighth place in her race at 30:31.1.