While Newton North finished a distant third behind C-C and Mt. Greylock in last year’s state meet, North senior captain Jacob Jampel is the hands-down favorite to repeat as individual state champion.
As a junior, Jampel finished 34 seconds ahead of second place with a time of (23:00.1) to win the boys’ 5K at the state finals in Woodford, Vt.
Yet he never would’ve picked up the sport if not for some friendly exhortations from local families.
“We were always a running family, and me and my sister [Sonya] only did indoor track,” Jacob said. “Some of the other families said we should try skiing, and we’ve loved it ever since. It’s great because it’s really family-based, community-based sport.”
Racing for North, Sonya Jampel won individual state titles in 2013 and 2015. She’s currently skiing at Williams College.
Jacob’s younger sister, Serena, is a sophomore on the North girls’ Nordic team, and the three siblings are looking to use their status within the community to make a difference.
The Jampels are sponsoring a charity “Race for Snow” at the Weston Ski Track the morning of Sunday, Feb. 25 with all proceeds going towards the global grassroots climate movement for clean energy solutions organized by 350.org.
“As Nordic skiers, it’s very evident that our season is getting shorter,” said Jacob. “Skiers should be hyper-aware of the effects of global warming and that we need to do our part.”
High temperatures in Massachusetts could push the state meet into March, highlighting the need for heightened awareness on the subject. Those who can’t attend the Race for Snow can still visit 350.org to learn more about the cause.Nate Weitzer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.