Nordic skiing: Stillwater girls, boys prevail

 

LAKE ELMO — After competing against their Suburban East Conference peers on Wednesday, the Stillwater girls’ and boys’ Nordic ski teams collected victories over Henry Sibley in a dual meet on Thursday at Green Acres.

The Ponies prevailed in both events by identical scores of 490-465.

“It’s great to get these first couple races under our belts,” said Ponies co-coach Torry Kraftson, whose boys’ team tied rival Roseville in a conference race at Como Park on Wednesday.

The Stillwater girls swept each of the top 11 places in the classical race, led by Megan Weaver with a winning time of 15:27. Vessa Pearsall (15:55), Shelby Ahrendt (16:06), Haley Beech (16:13) and Cecelia Peterson (16:14) completed the top five.

The next wave of Ponies started with Sammi Potts (17:18) in sixth place and continued with Sofie Wicklund (17:38), Clara Wicklund (17:57), Morgan McBride (18:29) and Anya Nelson (18:55) finishing through 11th place.

“The classical race (Thursday) allowed a different group of skiers to shine,” Kraftson said. “The waxing was difficult as temperatures hovered just above freezing. This meant that skiers had to rely on strength when the wax didn’t provide optimum kick.”

Paul Larson set the pace for the Stillwater boys, crossing the finish line in 13:51 to lead a line of Ponies occupying the top eight spots. Kellen Wessels was the runner-up in 14:18 and Sean Bjork followed in third at 14:41.

“Paul’s offseason training enabled him to power through the course and win convincingly. Kellen also looked strong and moved up throughout the race. Sean was smooth and fluid.”

Luke Richie followed in fourth place at 14:57 while teammates Mike Gilleo (15:20), Seth Cattanach (15:46), Davis Gray 16:05 and Matt Trumper (16:22) finished fifth through eighth.

“Luke has been working on his strength and it showed in a great performance as he was right behind our big three,” Kraftson said. “Mike strides well and kept his poise nicely throughout the undulating course. Seth’s classical skiing has improved tremendously in the past year and he’s providing great depth for us. Davis provided another top-seven team finish, with Matt Trumper close behind.”

Combined with Wednesday’s season-opening performance, Kraftson is optimistic about this year’s team, despite graduating several top performers from a year ago.

“Our boys’ team has been more committed to off-season training than I have seen in previous years,” the coach said. “This has been evident in these two early season races. The boys have built a solid platform to improve upon.”

 

Girls

Stillwater 490, Henry Sibley 465

Stillwater results

1. Megan Weaver 15:27; 2. Vessa Pearsall 15:55; 3. Shelby Ahrendt 16:06; 4. Haley Beech 16:13; 5. Cecelia Peterson 16:14; 6. Sammi Potts 17:18; 7. Sammi Potts 17:18; 8. Sofie Wicklund 17:38; 9. Clara Wicklund 17:57; 10. Morgan McBride 18:29; 11. Anya Nelson 18:55; 13. Hannah Beech 20:09; 14. Maria Kalambokidis 20:16; 15. Kristen Diederichs 20:28; 16. Siri Bohacek 21:06; 17. Paige Aschenbrener 21:10; 18. Abby Johnson 21:30; 19. Emma Rettner 21:33; 20. Katherine LeClair 22:05; 21. Ellen Kneeskern 22:34; 24. Sierra Lammi 23:00; 27. Rose Stoebner 24:23; 28. Anna Nelson 24:30; 29. Carly Johnson 25:12; 30. Rana Kraftson 25:12; 32. Jill Strodthoff 25:25; 33. Megan Mezera 25:25; 34. Leah Edwards 25:26; 39. Amy Crea 26:43; 42. Emma Lundgren 27:24; 44. Megan Brandt 28:03; 45. Lisa Downie 29:34; 48. Emily Hughes 31:30.

 

Boys

Stillwater 490, Henry Sibley 465

Stillwater results

1. Paul Larson 13:51; 2. Kellen Wessels 14:18; 3. Sean Bjork 14:41; 4. Luke Richie 14:57; 5. Mike Gilleo 15:20; 6. Seth Cattanach 15:46; 7. Davis Gray 16:05; 8. Matt Trumper 16:22; 10. Sam Hanson 16:37; 11. David Ross 16:41; 12. Ries Jones 16:52; 13. Stefan Nelson 16:54; 14. Matt Fronczak 17:07; 15. Shad Kraftson 17:16; 16. Graham Krumpelmann 17:24; 17. David Holmes 19:05; 19. Ben Olson 19:15; 20. Josh Daum 19:23; 21. Noah Kneeskern 19:32; 22. Quayd Korman 19:48; 25. Erik Jones 20:15; 26. Erik Nelson 20:19; 27. Ben Wicklund 20:20; 28. Jack Gilleo 20:41; 29. John LeClair 20:42; 31. Nolan Noer 21:13; 32. Collin Gray 21:16; 34. Alex Mezera 21:37; 35. Ethan Christenson 23:01; 36. Tim Kromer 25:13; 37. Andrew Peterson 25:30; 38. Alden Zeller 25:30; 39. Chris Gilleo 29:25.

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