Well it's been too long since the last rankings... The postponement of the Mesabi East meet, and then some tough racing at US Nationals, caused us to forego rankings last week. And while there still hasn't been a lot of solid head-to-head comparisons, it's time to take a crack at round 2 of the rankings.
We start with a bit of a downer: Two top skiers drop from the rankings - Erin Moening, St. Paul Highland Park, and Anja Maijala, Cloquet-Esko-Carlton. Both basically move to our "injured-reserve" list, as they work through some tough injuries. Considering both of these girls are top five when firing on all cylinders, we wish them the best for a speedy and healthy recovery.
The girls field is very tight. Kelly Koch, Burnsville, takes over the top spot with Lucy Anderson, Armstrong, right on her heels. Both girls are skiing well, with perhaps Lucy edging toward that top spot as she earned herself a ticket to Norway representing the United States at the Junior Nordic Countries Competition later this month. Within striking distance of that top spot is a number of northern girls, led by Hannah Bettendorf, Proctor-Hermantown. A big mover this round is Forest Lake's Jenna Parent, scoring some solid victories against tough Stillwater competition in recent weeks.
Xavier Mansfield, Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony, holds the top spot for the boys, looking good out at US Nationals as the best of the Midwest juniors. The competition behind Mansfield is fierce, with Patrick Acton, Eagan, perhaps just a bit ahead of the next half dozen contenders. Peter Moore, SPA, cracks the top 10 as a rising sophomore with his second place finish (top Minnesotan) at Mesabi East last weekend. We hold Ryan Mead, Forest Lake, in the top 10 as he recovers from illness.
Not very solid team data to work with... Many of the top teams haven't been able to race their full squad in conference meets because of JNQ and US Nationals competition and recovery. Wayzata boys are looking particularly strong, so they get a bump in the standings. Minnetonka boys are showing some potential, moving into the top 10 this week. The Mesabi East girls earn a spot in the top ten, and probably not in the best position, but again there just hasn't been enough head-to-head action with contenders Duluth East and Ely. Both the Ely and Stillwater girls climb a little higher.
This weekend's Junior National Qualifier racing at the new Birkie start area in Cable should provide some of the best head-to-head comparisons of the season.
Xavier Mansfield, Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony, 12
Patrick Acton, Eagan, 12
William Kerker, Mpls Southwest, 12
Anders Sonnesyn, Wayzata, 11
Shad Kraftson, Stillwater, 12
Luc Golin, Wayzata, 11
Ryan Steger, Eagan, 12
Hunter Zupko, Little Falls, 11
Peter Moore, SPA, 10
Ryan Mead, Forest Lake, 11
Cusp: Torsten Brinkema, Mpls Southwest, 11; Nate Blichfeldt, Burnsville, 12; Josh Albrecht, Stillwater, 12; Harrison Pretel, St. Paul Highland Park, 12; Mark Ousdigian, Mounds View, 12; Ian Ivens, Champlin Park, 12; Adlai Sinker, Mpls Southwest, 12; James Schneider, Wayzata, 9; George Jarvinen, Edina, 12; Luke Crandall, Champlin Park, 12; Nathan Bich, Proctor-Hermantown, 12; Declan Dahlberg, Mounds Park Academy, 11
Kelly Koch, Burnsville, 11
Lucy Anderson, Robbinsdale-Armstrong, 10
Hannah Bettendorf, Proctor-Hermantown, 11
Renae Anderson, Hopkins, 12
Anna Johnson, Mesabi East, 12
Jenna Parent, Forest Lake, 11
Regan Duffy, Forest Lake, 10
Emma Stertz, Grand Rapids, 11
Dorothy Anderson, Robbinsdale-Armstrong, 12
Libby Tuttle, Stillwater, 9
Cusp: Rana Kraftson, Stillwater, 11; Mara McCollor, Wayzata, 10; Siri Bohacek, Stillwater, 11; Erika Fox, Cloquet-Esko-Carlton, 12; Erin Bianco, Ely, 12; Kasia Bednarski, Mpls Southwest, 10; Sarah Olson, Blaine, 10; Krista Holmstrom, Burnsville, 12; Triana Willmert, Edina, 11; Nora Vos, Duluth East, 11; Samantha Kurkowski, Roseville, 11; Mae Barnes, Robbinsdale-Armstrong, 10; Anja Maijala, Cloquet-Esko-Carlton, 12; Erin Moening, St. Paul Highland Park, 12
Boys Team Rankings
Cusp: Eden Prairie, Burnsville, Brainerd, Cloquet-Esko-Carlton, Duluth East, Robbinsdale-Armstrong
Girls Team Rankings
St. Paul Highland Park
Cusp: Roseville, Edina, Wayzata, Burnsville, Champlin Park, Little Falls, Maple Grove
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