Nordic skiing: Pearsall, Gray chosen MVPs for Ponies

Senior Vessa Pearsall was named the Most Valuable Athlete for the Stillwater conference and section champion Stillwater girls’ Nordic ski team at its postseason awards banquet. (Gazette file photos by Stuart Groskreutz)

Senior Vessa Pearsall was named the Most Valuable Athlete for the Stillwater conference and section champion Stillwater girls’ Nordic ski team at its postseason awards banquet. (Gazette file photos by Stuart Groskreutz)

Seniors Vessa Pearsall and Davis Gray were named the Most Valuable Athletes for the Stillwater girls’ and boys’ Nordic ski teams during their postseason awards banquet at Stillwater Junior High School on Feb. 25.

Pearsall, who along with Haley Beech were the only seniors in Stillwater’s seven-member state lineup, helped lead the Ponies to Suburban East Conference and Section 4 championships before placing fourth at the state meet. Megan Weaver and Pearsall finished 18th and 22nd at state to earn all-state honors for Stillwater.

Senior Davis Gray was chosen the Most Valuable Athlete for the conference champion Stillwater boys’ Nordic ski team.

Senior Davis Gray was chosen the Most Valuable Athlete for the conference champion Stillwater boys’ Nordic ski team.

Joining Pearsall in earning all-conference honors were Weaver, Siri Bohacek, Cela Peterson, Beech, Sofie Wicklund, Ellie Hill, Hannah Beech, Rana Kraftson and Anya Nelson.

Haley Beech received the Leadership Award for the Ponies while Bohacek and Hannah Brown were named the Most Improved Skier(s) for the girls. Greta Peterson was chosen the Best New Skier.

Also announced at the banquet is that Weaver, Wicklund, Hill and Peterson will serve as captains for the 2014-15 team.

Gray, meanwhile, was an all-conference honorable mention recipient for a young and talented Stillwater boys’ squad, which won the Suburban East Conference title before placing second behind eventual state champion Forest Lake in the Section 4 meet.

The only seniors among the team’s nine all-conference performers were Reis Jones and David Ross, who was joined on the All-SEC squad by teammates Sam Hanson, Linder Wendt, Quentin Ikuta, Nolan Noer, Matt Trumper, Seth Cattanach and Shad Kraftson. Jones and Ross were co-recipients of the Leadership Award.

Despite falling short against the Rangers in the section meet, Hanson, Ikuta, Wendt, Kraftson and Noer each qualified for the state meet as individuals.

Legendary Ponies coach Bill Simpson, left, shown with long-time volunteer Bob Hagstrom, was honored as the Section 4 Coach of the Year.

Legendary Ponies coach Bill Simpson, left, shown with long-time volunteer Bob Hagstrom, was honored as the Section 4 Coach of the Year.

Ikuta, who finished just one spot behind Hanson in 28th place at the state meet, was chosen the Most Improved Skier. Josh Albrecht received the Best New Skier Award for the Stillwater boys.

Hanson, Ikuta, Trumper and Wendt have been selected to serve as captains for next year’s team.

Hall of fame Stillwater coach Bill Simpson, who serves as co-head coach with Kris Hansen and Torry Kraftson, was named the Section 4 Coach of the Year. Stillwater’s Tim Martin was also honored as the Section 4 Volunteer of the Year from among the team’s large cast of volunteer coaches and support staff.

 

Girls Nordic skiing

All-Conference: Megan Weaver, Siri Bohacek, Vessa Pearsall, Cela Peterson, Haley Beech, Sofie Wicklund, Ellie Hill, Hannah Beech, Rana Kraftson and Anya Nelson; State qualifying team members: Megan Weaver, Cela Peterson, Vessa Pearsall, Haley Beech, Siri Bohacek, Ellie Hill and Sofie Wicklund; All-State: Megan Weaver and Vessa Pearsall; Leadership Award: Haley Beech; Most Improved Skier: Siri Bohacek and Hannah Brown; Best New Skier: Greta Peterson; Section 4 Volunteer of the Year: Tim Martin; Section 4 Coach of the Year: Bill Simpson; Most Valuable Athlete: Vessa Pearsall; Captains elect: Megan Weaver, Sofie Wicklund, Ellie Hill and Cela Peterson.

 

Boys Nordic skiing

All-Conference: Sam Hanson, Linder Wendt, Quentin Ikuta, Nolan Noer, Matt Trumper, Reis Jones, Seth Cattanach, David Ross and Shad Kraftson; All-Conference Honorable Mention: Davis Gray; Individual state qualifiers: Sam Hanson, Quentin Ikuta, Linder Wendt, Shad Kraftson and Nolan Noer; Leadership Award: Davis Ross and Reis Jones; Most Improved Skier: Quentin Ikuta; Best New Skier: Josh Albrecht; Section 4 Volunteer of the Year: Tim Martin; Section 4 Coach of the Year: Bill Simpson; Most Valuable Athlete: Davis Gray; Captains elect: Sam Hanson, Quentin Ikuta, Matt Trumper and Linder Wendt.

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