Anderson and Benton qualify for Junior Nationals

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Anderson and Benton qualify for Junior Nationals

Renae Anderson, sophomore, crosses the finish line.

Renae Anderson, sophomore, crosses the finish line.

Jim Arneson

Renae Anderson, sophomore, crosses the finish line.

Jim Arneson

Jim Arneson

Renae Anderson, sophomore, crosses the finish line.

Justice Feldman, Staff Reporter

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After a weekend of racing in sub zero temperatures, Renae Anderson, sophomore, and Claire Benton, junior, awaited the results in a makeshift tent in the parking lot of Theodore Wirth Park. After a season of anticipation, Anderson and Benton qualified for the Midwest Junior National team.
The points system scored the skiers’ best four races. Those with the most points from each region moved on to the next level of competition, Junior Nationals.
Anderson and Benton will be racing at the Junior Cross Country Skiing National Championship in Auburn, Calif. from March 8-13.
“I look forward to going Nationals because it should be a really good experience for me,” Anderson said.
To prepare for Junior Nationals, Anderson is training with the Loppet Nordic Racing club. After Junior Nationals last year, the Loppet Nationals Racing club won the overall club standings. Anderson has been training with the Loppet Nationals Racing club for three years now in addition to skiing with Hopkins.
“It’s really fun to train with a different team,” Anderson said.
Anderson and Benton are practicing both classic and skate techniques for Junior Nationals, where they will have to compete in four different races – skate sprints, classic individual start, skate mass start, and a classic team relay.
Anderson is a stronger classic skier. Whether it was in Lake Conference, Junior Nationals qualifiers, or state, she has consistently placed higher in classic races.
“Right now, [I] practice six days a week, which really helps me learn how to improve my skating technique,” Anderson said.
Anderson and Benton are not the first HHS skiers to have qualified for Junior Nationals. They are among nearly a dozen other alumni from the past thirty years to carry on the tradition.
“Since it’s my first year going to Nationals, I don’t have any goals. I plan on racing and just having fun,” Anderson said.

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