State skiers make the most of the conditions

by Jason Olson
Sports Editor

Last week the state’s top alpine and Nordic skiers converged on Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik for the annual MSHSL state tournaments Feb. 15-16.

Coon Rapids' Calvin Merhof takes a stride on the state course. Photo courtesy of Jeff McKeefry

The alpine skiers took to the slopes Feb. 15 as Minnetonka captured the boys’ team title and Minnehaha Academy’s Bjorn Halvorson won the individual championship by .11 of a second over Eden Prairie’s Jack Post.

Coon Rapids’ Trevor Pinewski finished in 59th place in 1:27.02 with a second-run time of 38.03 seconds. Blaine’s Brad Weitenant finished 63rd with a two-run total of 1:30.70 and Andover’s Brandon Rosen finished 77th after falling on his first run. He regained his composure during his second run to clock in at 40.09 seconds.

The girls’ race was won by Hermantown which edged Minnetonka by three team points to win its state title. Hermantown’s Megan Danelski also captured the individual state championship by more than one second.

Andover sent a pair to race and both turned in finishes near the top quarter of finishers. Courtney Schwartz finished 25th place in 1:21.87 and Jenna Zigler was 26th in 1:22.31.

State Nordic
Coon Rapids senior Calvin Merhof guided the area cross country skiers around the state pursuit course with a time of 30:26.3 to finish 12th place. Anoka junior Chris Hecker placed 32nd in 31:48.2 and Andover senior Kyle Hellmann finished in 39th place, 10.6 seconds behind Hecker in 31:58.8.

On the girls’ side it was Andover sophomore Maddie McKeefry leading the way with an 11th place finish in 35:30.1 for the pursuit race. Huskies junior teammates Maria McQuillan and Amanda Jensen placed 61st and 62nd, respectively.

Anoka junior Kayla Billett finished 44th place in 37:54.1.