Girls nordic tops results, rivals Trojans


Jim Arneson

Ellie Munger, seventh grade, races out of the start chute in the 2015 sections race.

In the weeks leading up to their sections race, the girls nordic ski team has been looking to prove itself as a contender for the state meet.

In the Skinnyski high school state rankings, the Royals girls team is currently ranked eighth in state, the same as they placed in the 2015 state meet. However, with the addition of sisters Kaelin Jackson, freshman, and Kyra Jackson, sophomore, the girls team has been climbing the results to rival Wayzata.

The Wayzata girls team is ranked third in state by Skinnyski, led by Michaela Keller-Miller, ranked second individual in the state.

In the Lake Conference Classic five kilometer race on Jan. 12, the Royals’ own Renae Anderson, junior, took first place, just seconds in front of Keller-Miller in second and teammate Claire Benton, senior, in third. All of Hopkins’ top five girls finished in the top 15 of 65 total racers. Anderson, however, is not ranked within the top ten in state.

In the team results, the girls team beat Wayzata by one point at Hyland, with a score of 553, winning the race among all other Lake Conference teams.

Three days later, the nordic team was back on a bus to Theodore Wirth Park for a skate race. However, with a Junior National Qualifier race the next day, Wayzata was without their top two girls and Hopkins without four of their top seven. The Royals took third, finishing 57 points behind Wayzata in second place.

In their final race before Conference Championships, the Lake Conference gathered at Elm Creek Park Reserve for the annual Lake Conference Sprints on Jan. 19. Five Hopkins girls qualified for the heats with top-16 times including Benton, Anderson, Kaelin, Ellie Munger, eighth grader, and Anna Giesting, junior.

Benton and Anderson qualified in first and second with respective times of 3:16.23 and 3:22.94. The third qualifying time came from Edina sophomore, Triana Willmert, who timed out at 3:24.39.

In the A-final heat, Benton took first and Anderson finished fourth. Keller-Miller, not in the A-final, finished sixth overall.

The next race for the nordic team is the pursuit style back-to-back five kilometer races of the Lake Conference Championships, which will take place on Jan. 28 at Theodore Wirth Park.