Nordic skiers compete at CathedralThe Alexandria boys were third and the girls were fourth
The Alexandria Nordic ski team made it through the snow that caused Alexandria schools to be canceled last Tuesday to compete at the St. Cloud Cathedral Invite at the Riverside Park in St. Cloud.
The fresh snow made for some soft and slow conditions, but the Cardinals adjusted and came away with top-five finishes for both the boys’ and girls’ teams.
The boys’ varsity squad finished with four skiers in the top 20 individually on its way to a third-place team finish with 61 points. Sarah Pepers also led the Cardinal girls to a fourth-place finish.
The top four finishers on the boys’ team finished within 30 seconds of each other. Mike Erickson came in 10th overall in a time of 20:22. Aaron Frederick, Jeremy Rapp and Austin McCoy were not far behind, finishing 14th, 15th and 16th, respectively, to help the Cardinals to their top-three finish.
“We had a lot of fun watching the senior high boys finish so close to each other,” head coach Steve Devereaux said. “Mike Erickson skied a nice race to crack into the top 10 overall, but our top four times were within 30 seconds of each other. Our top six were within a minute and a half. It shows that this is really a team effort, without relying on any one individual skier to keep the team in it.”
Peper led the girls’ team with a 15th-place finish in a time of 24:20. Amanda Schmitz has been struggling with a hip injury all season and decided to rest in hopes of getting healthier by the end of the season.
“Sarah Peper really pulled hard in this race for the senior high girls,” Devereaux said. “We also had Lauren Allen and Melissa Gromatka jockeying hard for position throughout the race. Annie Trebelhorn, a first-year skier but strong athlete, rounded out the top four at just [more than] 30 minutes.”
Allen finished in a time of 27:43, while Gromatka and Trebelhorn came across in times of 27:51 and 30:06, respectively.
The Cardinal skiers have a week and a half to rest between meets. Alexandria travels to the Northland Arboretum near Baxter on January 2 to battle with Brainerd.
“Everyone is skiing very well right now,” Devereaux said. “We’re happy to have this holiday break to beef up our endurance for the longer races that are coming up soon in the second half of the season. The experienced skiers are doing their part to keep us in a good position at the meets, and our younger and less experienced skiers have been improving steadily throughout the season.”
BOYS’ TEAM 5K RESULTS – 1. St. Cloud Tech – 14; 2. Little Falls – 32; 3. Alexandria – 61; 4. St. Cloud Apollo – 81; 5. Willmar – 88; 6. St. Cloud Cathedral – 165; 7. St. John’s Prep
GIRLS’ TEAM 5K RESULTS – 1. Little Falls – 18; 2. St. Cloud Cathedral – 20; 3. St. Cloud Apollo – 59; 4. Alexandria – 98; 5. Willmar – 121; St. Cloud Tech – N/A; St. John’s Prep – N/A
ALEXANDRIA BOYS’ 5K LEADERS – 10. Mike Erickson – 20:22; 14. Aaron Frederick – 20:31; 15. Jeremy Rapp – 20:40; 16. Austin McCoy – 20:46; 21. Mitch Evink – 21:42; 22. Peter Olson – 21:46; 43. Sam Olson – 27:44
ALEXANDRIA GIRLS’ 5K LEADERS – 15. Sarah Peper – 24:20; 25. Lauren Allen – 27:43; 26. Melissa Gromatka – 27:51; 32. Annie Trebelhorn – 30:06
JUNIOR HIGH BOYS’ 2.5K RESULTS – 5. Jimmy Lovrien – 12:30; 10. Cody Call – 13:48; 18. Pat Flynn – 16:43; 20. Will Reed – 18:06
JUNIOR HIGH GIRLS’ 2.5 K REULTS – 10. Tessa Sundseth – 17:15; 21. Lauren Haugen – 22:00