Nordic skiing: Season ends for area teams at section meets
The Nordic skiing season came to an end for the athletes at East Ridge, Park and Woodbury high schools and at Math and Science Academy.
During the regular season, the East Ridge, Park and Woodbury teams practice together, compete in identical races and are administrated by the same staff, but race as individual high schools.
However, in the postseason, East Ridge and Woodbury compete in Section 4, along with the Woodbury-based Math and Science Academy, and Park is in Section 1.
On Wednesday, Feb. 8, East Ridge, Math and Science Academy and Woodbury competed for state-tournament berths at the Section 4 Championship meet at Troll Hollow in Dresser, Wis.
In the girls race, East Ridge led the District 833 squads with a sixth-place finish out of 10 teams with 278 points. Math and Science took eighth place with 240 points and Woodbury was 10th with 178 points. Stillwater won the girls race with 381 points, edging Forest Lake's 373 points.
In the boys race, East Ridge earned seventh place out of 11 teams with 262 points to lead the way, while MSA earned eighth place with 246 points and Woodbury finished 10th with 73 points. The Forest Lake boys flipped the script on Stillwater as the Rangers edged the Ponies 385 to 382.
Individually, East Ridge senior Melanie Rabino narrowly missed a trip to the state meet taking 19th place with a time of 33 minutes, 56 seconds. The top seven individuals not on the championship team earn a state berth. Rabino was 11th not counting the champion team members. The final individual qualifier had a time of 31:36.
In addition to Rabino, East Ridge senior Hannah Strom followed with a 30th place finish in 36:21. Juniors Elizabeth Maata and Therese Besser crossed the finish line after the seniors with times of 37:01 and 39:21, respectively. In addition, for East Ridge, senior Emily Mueller placed 48th with a time of 41:09, senior Nicole Ethier took 50th with a time of 42:39 and sophomore Krystal Kleven placed 52nd with a time of 43:03.
Woodbury was led by sophomore Misa Adams, who turned in a time of 43:01 for 51st place. Also, for Woodbury, junior Anna McKeown placed 56th with a time of 44:28, freshman Christian Doherty earned 59th with a time of 47:02, senior Danielle Belisle was 60th with a time of 48:05 and junior Rachel Ingebretsen placed 62nd with a time of 49:12.
For MSA, freshman Greta Siekmeier led the way with a time of 36:04, which was good for 27th place. Also for MSA, a trio of freshmen - Ines Siepmann, Katie Baumann and Elise Lohmann took 44th, 46th and 47th, respectively with times of 39:53, 40:47 and 41:04, while sophomore Maddie Ames wasn't too far behind, taking 49th with a 41:36 time. Also, MSA seventh grader Ellie Haland placed 53rd with a time of 43:16 and MSA eighth grader Laura Irvine took 61st with a time of 48:30.
Forest Lake freshman Rocci Wohlk won the race with a time of 28:36.
In the boys race, East Ridge senior Erick Jorgensen suffered a similar fate as Rabino. Jorgensen had the top finish out of the District 833 teams, taking 23rd overall with a 30:04 time, but was 17th individually, not counting the championship team members. The top time of the last individual state-qualifying racer was 27:51. Forest Lake senior Joe Jackson won the race with a 25:11 time.
After Jorgensen, out of District 833, Woodbury senior Lars Espe was the next to cross the finish line, taking 28th place with a time of 30:38. He was the only Royals skier in the race. Additionally, for East Ridge, sophomore Sam Boardman took 34th place with a time of 31:51, senior Michael Pakkala took 37th with a time of 32:22, freshman Jeffrey Clinton, senior Heiu Nguyen and freshman Adrien Rabino placed 48th, 49th and 50th, respectively, in times of 36:47, 37:16 and 37:25 to round out the Raptors' racers.
Sophomore Peter Irvine led the way for MSA with a 31:02 time, which was good for 30th place overall. MSA junior Tim Siepmann wasn't too far back from Irvine, placing 39th in a 33:20 time. Also, for MSA, junior Han Yong Wunrow and eighth grader Max Haland placed 44th and 45th, respectively, with times of 34:36 and 35:31, while eighth graders Adam LeMay and William Poor rounded out the Dragons' finishers, taking 55th and 57th, respectively, with times of 39:53 and 46:15.
Meanwhile, at the Section 1 championships, on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at Trollhaugen, Park placed 10th with 126 points in the 12-team boys race and ninth in the 11-team girls race. Eagan won the boys race with 372 points and Winona, also with 372 points, won the girls race. Lakeville North senior, and top-ranked skier in the state, Ben Saxton won the race in a time of 24:47. Eagan junior Sonja Hedblom won the girls race with a time of 31:11.
For Park, in the boys race, senior Evan Bonneson led the way with a time of 35:02, which was good for 35th overall. Fellow senior Ethan Berube wasn't too far back of Bonneson, taking 41st place with a time of 36:27, rounding out the Wolfpack's finishers.
On the girls side of things, Park junior Annie Lisson and senior Sarah Manship placed 35th and 36th, respectively, with times of 41:43 and 41:56 and eighth grader Cameron Anderson took 45th overall with a time of 45:21.