by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Three Elk River skiers — Mitch Nordahl, Jane Kallemeyn and Nicole Thorndal, all seniors — have qualified for the state meet.
Nordahl placed ninth in the Section 2 boys meet Thursday at Camp Ripley while Thordahl was 12th and Kallemeyn 13th in the girls meet.
Nordahl and Kallemeyn will make their second state appearance at Giants Ridge in Biwabik on Thursday, Feb. 17. It’s the first trip for Thorndal, who started skiing only last year.
“Mitch has been looking stronger every week. He just attacks each race,” said coach Kirsten Anderson. “Nicole has worked hard to learn techniques and she is just a very good all-around athlete with a great attitude. Nicole and Jane worked together really well today.”
Thorndal and Kallemeyn led a pack of four skiers hurtling toward the finish together, and just made the cutoff which was 14th place.
Both Elk teams placed fourth among 10 schools.
“We were really happy with that,” said Anderson. “The girls really made a huge run to come back in the skate race, and they were only five points out of second place.”
Wayzata won both titles and had both medalists in Josh Blankenship and Alayna Sonnesyn.
Boys top four teams — (1) Wayzata 387 (2) St. Cloud Tech 379 (3) Maple Grove 347 (4) Elk River 320 … 10 teams
Girls top four teams — (1) Wayzata 388 (2) Maple Grove 343 (3) St. Cloud Cathedral 339 (4) Elk River 338
State qualifiers times — Nordahl 17:25 classic, 15:55 skate, 33:20 total … Thorndal 21:20 classic, 18:48 skate, 40:08 total … Kallemeyn 21:51 classic, 19:18 skate, 40:09 total
Elk boys — (9) Nordahl (19) Max Riebel (24) Jake Schroeder (26) Kyle Kolles (32) Brett Hickman (34) Nate Webster (38) Collin Krane (39) Max Peterson (47) Tommy Como
Elk girls — (12) Thorndal (13) Kallemeyn (18) Katie Turnacliss (23) Anna Haugen (27) Mallory Adams (28) Abby Turnacliss (30) Brittani Ellefson