Nordic skiing: MLK race proves promisingIf last Monday’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Suburban East Conference pursuit race is any indication of what District 833 Nordic skiing fans can expect from its athletes, it could be a fun February.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, South Washington County Bulletin
If last Monday’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Suburban East Conference pursuit race is any indication of what District 833 Nordic skiing fans can expect from its athletes, it could be a fun February.
Because of its style, its distance and its course, the MLK SEC pursuit is generally thought of as a precursor to the conference, the section championships and the state meet — which are quickly approaching.
A top-20 finish at the MLK SEC pursuit would mean a skier would seemingly be on track for an all-conference finish at the SEC championships. In addition, at sections, the top team’s best seven finishers qualify for the state race. Along with those seven skiers, the next best eight individual finishers also qualify for state.
In the pursuit-style, the meet is broken into two races. A classic race takes part in the morning. 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 race, getting a “head start” of the amount of time they won the first race by and everyone else has to, then, physically catch them.
At the MLK race, out of 50 boys skiers, Woodbury senior Brock Eastlund finished in seventh place overall with a time of 28:01.8 for District 833’s top result.
East Ridge’s best finish was turned in by junior Tom Drtina, who finished in 16th place with a time of 28:47.0. Senior Andrew Lisson had Park’s best time on the boys side, with a 32:46.1, which was good for 32nd place.
For East Ridge, in addition to Drtina, East Ridge sophomore Erik Jorgenson finished in 35th place with a time of 33:42, sophomore Mike Pakala came in 44th with a time of 38:18.8 and sophomore Hieu Nguyen came in 46th place with a time of 39:27.9.
For Woodbury, in addition to Eastlund, sophomore Lars Espe had a time of 35:05.3 to turn in the Royals second-fastest time, which was good for 38th overall. Also, Tommy Danner came in 41st overall with a time of 36:52.5 and Jon Harder was 42nd overall with a time of 36:53.1.
In the girls race, Woodbury had the top two finishes out of District 833, with senior Natalie Lugg turning in the top time of 332:55.2 to finish 13th overall and senior Mara Stewart coming in 18th with a time of 33:36.4. Lugg and Stewart were followed by Park senior Amanda Snyder, who came in 24th place overall with a time of 35:27.9.
For Woodbury, in addition to Lugg and Stewart, seniors Hailey Clinton and Justine Pool finished in 25th and 26th with times of 35:28.2 and 35:34.1, respectively, while Chloe Ruud, Kathleen Burns and Kaila Anderson finished in 36th, 37th and 39th, respectively.
For Park, in addition to Snyder, senior Kelly Miles had the Wolfpack’s second-best finish, turning in a time of 37:34.3, which was good for 31st place. After Miles, senior Alex Newell came in 41st place, sophomore Sara Manship was 43rd, freshman Annie Lisson was 44th and sophomore Ali Filipovich was 49th.
For East Ridge, sophomore Katie Argo had the Raptors’ second-best time — a 47:12.0, which as good for 48th place overall.
This year, Park, Woodbury and East Ridge practice together, compete in identical races and are administrated by the same staff, but race as individual high schools.
Next up for Park, East Ridge and Woodbury are the SEC Championships on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at Battle Creek Regional Park in Maplewood.