Nordic skiing: McKeefry fourth at Mesabi East Invite

Andover senior Maddie McKeefry looks to be fully healed from running injuries sustained during the fall cross country season after a fourth-place finish in the 5k classic race at the Mesabi East Invite Jan. 11.

The largest high school Nordic ski meet in the nation brought 1,238 skiers from Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin to Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik, which will be the site of the February state meet.

McKeefry was 50 seconds back of White Bear Lake’s Allison Ternes’ winning time to help the Huskies place 13th in the team standings.

Alexis Pearson was 40th and Madeline Walker was 109th in the classic. Katie Brueckman was 52nd, Ashley Cofrin 74th and Kylie Rischer was 135th in the freestyle.

A team comprises three skiers for each style (classic and freestyle) with the top two scores counting.

Anoka placed 24th and was led by Lindsey Gast, who was 57th in the classic. Lexi Fritz and Isabella Brezinka were 105th and 136th in the classic, respectively. Heather Jensen was 51st in the freestyle and Destiny Schultz was 10 seconds back in 57th place. Marta Larson was 159th.

Coon Rapids placed 26th and was led by Kaitlyn Benson, who was 29th in freestyle. Teammates Olivia Ellenbecker and Allysa Hyde were 133rd and 134th, respectively. Susan Porter finished 59th in the classic followed by teammates Sam Benson (65th) and Jessica Swanson (167th).

Spring Lake Park placed 55th as a team, highlighted by Erin Guse’s 89th place finish in the classic, while Melissa Marsh led the freestylers in 126th place.

Boys

Spring Lake Park senior Jake Ajax continued to solidify his place among the state’s best Nordic skiers with a fifth-place finish in the 5k classic race in 16:38.5. The Panthers finished 51st as a team.

Andover also highlighted the boys’ side, placing 11th among the 73 teams and led by four skiers among the top 64 places individually. Lucas Heib was 18th in the freestyle, 28 seconds ahead of teammate Ian Mead, who was 30th, and David Keller was 112th. Eric Larson guided the classic skiers with a 36th place finish followed by teammates Sam Anderson and John Pahr in 64th and 127th, respectively.

Coon Rapids was 44th, led by Micah Johnson’s 73rd-place finish in freestyle. Teammates Kyle Mehrhof were 87th and Josiah Kohlmeyer 142nd, respectively. Dan Mathews led the Cardinals’ classic efforts with an 89th-place finish followed by Larson Kronstad (143rd) and Mike Koch (160th).

Anoka was 57th as a team, led by Cory Mecl, who was 67th in the classic and Logan Bergevin 170th.

Jeff Barstow paced the Tornadoes in the freestyle portion with a 92nd-place finish. Zach Schuh placed 132nd to score team points.

Jason Olson is at
jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

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