Sections are in the books and the dance card is fully punched for the State Meet, so we take one last pass at the weekly rankings.
First off, as has been the case all season, this week's rankings are not solely based on how the team or individual will finish at the State Meet. With only eight teams selected for State, you can't drop a team from the rankings simply because they were beat by the number 1 or 2 ranked team at sections. These rankings have always been meant to reflect the best overall, without any of the "preliminary rounds" (a.k.a. sections) factored in.
Tempo. That's what two of the biggest shockers out of section have - tempo. MPA's Kris Bourne finally beat Forest Lake's Rocci Wohlk, in large part due to her hummingbird-like classical tempo (but give credit, Wohlk did post the faster skate time). Perhaps even bigger, Amy Bianco, Ely, used her rapid-fire tempo to upstage the return of Anna Kubek, Duluth East, from her world tour (and perhaps still recovering). Bianco and Bourne have been on a hot streak lately, and along with Burnsville's Vivian Hett, appear to be streaking upward in the results. Roseville's Niki Reker looks to be dialing it up for State, making a strong statement at sections against Irondale's Mattie Watts. While the shuffling of girls ranking may appear a bit chaotic, the top eight girls names could easily be throw in a hat and drawn out -- they really are that close.
Tyler Gilbert, Irondale, collected another name in his hit list as he continues to ski very strongly, taking out Lucas Mason, Roseville, at sections. Unfortunately, Mason was ill and didn't put up much of a battle, just getting by to advance to State. Gilbert has knocked off nearly every top opponent this season, and moves up to number 3. Mason gets a free pass - we still believe a healthy Mason to be on top of the pile. Harris Dirnberger, Hopkins, once again showed his talent of coming out on top in a fight, and Tom Bye, Eden Prairie, seems to have shaken off some of the mid-season rust and appears to be peaking. Another skier shooting upward is Nick Gardner, MPA, with his latest trophy being the section 4 title.
We toss a little shakeup in the team rankings in the final set as well. Wayzata girls look just too darn strong to be denied the top spot any longer. Eden Prairie boys continue to leave no doubts about their top ranking, but we bump down Irondale in favor of a hot Forest Lake crew (and were not talking about those pink suits). Osseo showed at sections they had been under-ranked, nearly upsetting Irondale's chance at the State Meet. Roseville and Burnsville girls are coming on strong, and Ely boys appear to on form again (and probably under-ranked as well).
Watch for our State Meet Preview (and picks) in a few days... we promise a few surprises.
Finally, thanks to all the folks that helped provide some suggestions, or simply their gratitude, along with the way this season. And perhaps thanks to those that avoided sending that late night nasty-gram -- its really been a relatively positive year, and all much appreciated!
On the cusp: Eden Prairie, Armstrong, Andover, Little Falls, Hopkins, Ely, Osseo
St. Cloud Tech
On the cusp: Eagan, Duluth East, Hopkins, Osseo, Elk River, Stillwater
Kris Bourne, MPA
Amy Bianco, Ely
Anna Kubek, Duluth East
Niki Reker, Roseville
Mattie Watts, Irondale
Alayna Sonnesyn, Wayzata
Rocci Wohlk, Forest Lake
Vivian Hett, Burnsville
Allison Ternes, White Bear Lake
Anna French, Wayzata
On the cusp: Sonja Hedblom, Eagan; Sophie Schuder, Duluth East; Sarah Benton, Hopkins; Caroline Brisbois, Roseville; Kaley Shagen, Osseo; Hannah Rudd, Armstrong; Eryn Stewart, Eden Prairie; Nicole Schneider, Wayzata
Lucas Mason, Roseville
Harris Dirnberger, Hopkins
Tyler Gilbert, Irondale
Tom Bye, Eden Prairie
Luke Brown, Minnehaha Academy
Scott Harrison, Mound-Westonka
Jakob Ellingson, Hopkins
Zak Ketterson, Bloomington Jefferson
Nick Acton, Eagan
Steve Hokanson, Mounds View
On the cusp: Nick Gardner, MPA; Sean Cork, St. Louis Park; Jake Jankowski, Forest Lake; Jon Delaney; Armstrong; Sean Bjork, Stillwater; Cory Rouw, St. Cloud Tech; Jesse Olson, Ely
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