by Jason Olson
Area nordic ski teams took to the trails at Elm Creek for a 5 kilometer Northwest Suburban Conference Classic race Jan. 3.
Coon Rapids senior Calvin Merhof was sandwiched between two Osseo skiers including senior Anders Evenson who finished 25 seconds ahead of Merhof to win the race. Fellow Orioles senior David Johnson followed 28 seconds later for third place.
Andover skiers took the next three spots as Kyle Hellmann and Mitch Fisher placed fourth and fifth in 14:44 and 14:49, respectively. Huskies sophomore Lucas Hieb finished sixth overall in 14:51 and senior Kurt Hellmann was ninth in 15:01.
Anoka’s top racer as junior Thomas Hagerty who placed 58th in 17:40. Blaine’s Ben Ziebol garnered 82nd place in 18:47.
The girls 5k race title also went to an Osseo skier as Kaley Shagen posted a winning time of 15:57 followed by Andover sophomore Maddie McKeefry, 28 seconds back for second place in 16:25. Huskies teammates Maria McQuillan and Haley Bell were sixth and seventh places in 17:58 and 18:01, respectively.
Coon Rapids’ Anna Nelson was fourth place in 17:40 to lead her team while teammates Sam Benson finished eighth in 18:29 and Katie Heikkila was 13th in 18:49.