Andover placed three boys skiers among the top six spots to help secure the Section 5 title in the 10-kilometer pursuit race at Theodore Wirth Park Feb. 5.
Senior Lucas Hieb led the Huskies with a second-place finish, 33 seconds behind Mounds View’s Steve Hokanson for the title. Hieb put together the fourth quickest time in the classic race but was just nine seconds off the quickest freestyle time.
Junior Ian Mead was fifth overall and senior Erik Larson was sixth, separated by 11 seconds and sophomore Sam Anderson was 14th.
Andover assistant coach Scott Clark said as the season progressed, it looked like his squad was narrowing the gap on Mounds View.
“More recently the team started talking that they could ski with Mounds View, which Drew [head coach] and I smiling because when you start to believe you can accomplish a great deal,” Clark said.
Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony senior Jake Ajax placed fourth in the pursuit, 1:02 behind the winning time. He was 17 seconds off the pace in third place after the classic race. The Panthers placed sixth, Coon Rapids was 21 points back in seventh place, Anoka was ninth and Blaine 12th.
Anoka was led by senior Cory Mecl who placed 17th, 45 seconds outside of qualifying for state.
Coon Rapids’ Micah Johnson was 25th and Blaine’s Ben Olson was 47th.
Roseville won the girls section title over Irondale by 12 points and 29 points clear of third-place Andover. Anoka and Coon Rapids tied for fourth place with 327 points each but Anoka won the tie-breaker when times were added together by 40 seconds.
Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony was ninth and Blaine was 10th.
Andover senior Maddie McKeefry qualified with a fourth-place finish, 1:13 behind pursuit champion Mattie Watts of Irondale. Anoka senior Lindsey Gast placed ninth in 39:52; Andover junior Alexis Pearson placed 11th in 40:13 and Coon Rapids junior Kaitlyn Benson was 12th in 40:21.
The state Nordic ski meet at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik was Feb. 12.
Jason Olson is at