SAHS Athletes of the Week
Vessa Pearsall — Girls Nordic skiing
Graduation hit the always competitive Stillwater girls’ Nordic ski team hard after last season’s conference and section titles and fourth-place finish at state, but Vessa Pearsall helps lead a solid cast of returning athletes again this year.
The senior helped the fifth-ranked Ponies to a runner-up finish in Saturday’s Holiday Relays at Troll Hollow by posting the third fastest time (9:06) in the classic relay to lead off a foursome that placed third with help from teammates Cela Peterson, Sammi Potts and Haley Beech. Pearsall also placed second for the Ponies in a nonconference victory over Henry Sibley on Dec. 13.
The Ponies will compete in a classic race at LE Park Reserve on Wednesday.
Jake Allison — Boys alpine skiing
The Stillwater boys’ alpine ski team opened its season with an impressive victory at Friday’s Wild Mountain Invitational. The Ponies outscored runner-up Minnetonka 443.5-433 for the title, despite missing regulars Will Raedeke and Steig Peterson due to injury and illness.
Allison stepped up for the balanced Ponies with a seventh-place individual finish, turning in a two-run time of 1:03.63 that was less than five seconds behind winner Taylor Lindy of Centennial. Allison was followed by teammates Westin Anderson, Sam Skaret, Zach Raven, Matt Ludack and Nick Skaret in the top 26.
Stillwater is scheduled to compete at the Welch Invitational on Jan. 3.