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East Ridge junior Sam Boardman took 17th place in the Suburban East Conference championship meet to earn all-conference - which goes to the top 20 finishers.

Nordic skiing: Boardman leads way with all-conference performance

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Sam Boardman led the way as the East Ridge, Park and Woodbury Nordic skiing teams competed in the Suburban East Conference championship meet on Friday, Feb. 1, at Troll Hollow.

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Boardman, a junior at East Ridge, took 17th place in the SEC boys race to earn all-conference - which goes to the top 20 finishers.

In the pursuit-style race, the meet is broken into two parts - a classic race in the morning and a freestyle race later in the day. Starting points for the second race are based on each individual skier's finish from that first race. The person who finishes with the best time in the first race is the first one on the course in the second - freestyle - race, earning a "head start" of the amount of time they won the first race by, meaning everyone else has to physically catch him or her to beat them.

Boardman raced to a total time 27 minutes, 32 seconds. Boardman had a classic time of 14:26 and a freestyle time of 13:06. Roseville's Lucas Mason won the meet in 23:38.

Boardman has had an exceptional season so far, finishing in the top 10 in most races. He also took 39th overall in the nation's largest high school ski race (the Mesabi East Invite) and has been competing in Junior Olympic Qualifiers on the weekends.

"He had trained very hard in the offseason and it has been paying off big time this ski season," head coach Joe Wacker said.

Overall, out of nine teams, the East Ridge boys earned seventh place with 309 points, the Woodbury boys took eighth with 296 points and the Park boys were ninth with 252 points. In the girls meet, East Ridge was sixth with 314 points, Woodbury earned seventh with 296 points and Park took ninth with 122 points.

In addition to Boardman, Park junior Evan Bonneson earned all-conference honorable mention in the race, taking 27th place with a time of 28:46. Grant Davis had Woodbury's top finish, taking 32nd place with a time of 29:32. Other top times included: Woodbury's Paul Henning (33:53, 49th place), East Ridge's Jeff Clinton (34:55, 52nd place), East Ridge's Nathon Strom (35:32, 53rd place), East Ridge's Jake Fabro (36:26, 54th place), Woodbury's Peter Buttery (36:44, 56th place), Woodbury's Bear Buckeye (37:06, 57th place), Woodbury's Scott Addington (37:09, 58th place) and Park's Conner Gabbert (37:18, 59th place).

In the girls race, East Ridge senior Therese Besser had the top time of the District 833 skiers, earning 31st place with a time of 35:44, including an 18:31 in the classic and a 17:13 in the freestyle.

Woodbury's Kathleen Danielson was just behind Besser, taking 34th place with a time of 36:33. Also, East Ridge's Megan Schiferl earned 41st place with a time of 37:19. Park's top time was turned in by Cameron Anderson, who took 43rd with a time of 37:31. Other time times included: Woodbury's Pauline Aamodt (37:53, 44th place), East Ridge's Olivia Hummel (38:36, 46th place) and Park's Molly Haus (40:33, 51st place).

With the conference meet in the bag, the skiers now race for a shot to go to the state meet.

Park competed in the Section 3 championship meet on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at Valleywood in Apple Valley, after the Bulletin went to print. East Ridge and Woodbury race in the Section 4 championship meet on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at Green Acres in Lake Elmo.

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