Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Week 1December 16, 2013
Conference racing has been ramping up since the start of December, and along with the big Holiday Relays meet last weekend, there is finally enough data to crank out the first week of rankings.
First off, congrats again to the Wayzata girls - three of the Nordic girls were scoring members of their cross-country running team as they won the Nike Cross Nationals just over a week ago! The Wayzata team hit the snow right where they left off, taking the skate team title with a strong performance from Alayna Sonnesyn to seal the victory at Holiday Relays. Sonnesyn posted the only sub eight minute girls time on the day. Combined with their third place classical race, Wayzata won the overall title.
The Forest Lake boys have been backing up their top ranking on the trails so far this season. While Mounds View has given them some pressure, the top quad for Forest Lake is proving to be a formidable combination, usually finishing within a very tight grouping near the top.
Number one ranked Mattie Watts has been on a tear, and making our preseason rankings look pretty good! Watts started things off in November posting some of the top Midwest junior times at the Yellowstone SuperTour races. In her first conference race, she didn't just win the girls race, she beat all the boys as well. Saturday at Holiday Relays, Watts anchored the Irondale team to victory in posting the top classical time on the day, edging out friend Caroline Brisbois by 17 seconds. With her classical title, Watts capped a pretty darn good run at Holiday Relays, giving her an unbroken string of four individual titles, including both disciplines, as well as a pair of matching team titles, over her career. In recent years, only Jessie Diggins has had a stronger showing (incredibly, Diggins won skate or classic individual and team titles every year, for five straight years!).
Some other notables: Sarah Bezdicek moves up into the rankings, posting some strong performances in conference and the Holiday Relay skate. Steve Hokanson moves up to second, fending off tough conference challengers and making his classical victory at Holiday Relays look easy. A number of conferences still haven't raced yet, and some top candidates have had other commitments early in the season.
Looking way ahead: While they aren't ready to pop into the rankings, there is an impressive squad of eight graders entering the competitive field this season. Just a few of the stars to keep your eye on: Ben Olson, Blaine; Torsten Brinkema, Mpls Southwest; Hannah Beech, Rana Kraftson, and Siri Bohacek of Stillwater; and a pair of siblings with great lineage - Leah Rudd (7th grade!), Robbinsdale-Armstrong and Anders Sonnesyn, Wayzata.
Late Update - Siena Ellingson will not be competing in the Minnesota high school Nordic racing scene this season, but will instead be focusing on her biathlon competitions. We'll correct this in the rankings next week - Ed.
The first Junior National Qualifier is this weekend in Wausau, and should help shake the numbers straighter before the holiday break...
- Duluth East
On the cusp: Mesabi East, Irondale, Burnsville, Eden Prairie
- Forest Lake
- Duluth East
- Minneapolis Southwest
- Mounds View
On the cusp: St. Louis Park, Osseo, Stillwater
- Mattie Watts, Irondale
- Vivian Hett, Burnsville
- Alayna Sonnesyn, Wayzata
- Caroline Brisbois, Roseville
- Sarah Bezdicek, Osseo
- Siena Ellingson, Hopkins
- Hannah Rudd, Robbinsdale-Armstrong
- Rocci Wolhk, Forest Lake
- Anna French, Wayzata
- Maria Hauer, Little Falls
On the cusp: Elowyn Pfeiffer, Highland Park; Allison Ternes, White Bear Lake; Anna Johnson, Mesabi East; Erin Bianco, Ely; Megan Weaver, Stillwater; Briana Paulsen, Eden Prairie; Eryn Stewart, Eden Prairie; Sophie Schuder, Duluth East
- Zak Ketterson, Bloomington Jefferson
- Steve Hokanson, Mounds View
- Sam Johnson, Mesabi East
- Sean Cork, St. Louis Park
- Scott Harrison, Mound-Westonka
- Nick Gardner, MPA
- Sam Sinkler, Minneapolis Southwest
- Cory Rouw, St. Cloud Tech
- Jake Ajax, SLP/St.Anthony
- Seth Prigge, Ely
On the cusp: Leo Hipp, Forest Lake; Jon Delaney, Robbinsdale-Armstrong; Tamer Mische-Richter, Bloomington Kennedy; Sam Boardman, Park-Woodbury-East Ridge; Thomas Norman, Robbinsdale-Armstrong; Quinn Duffy, Forest Lake; Andrew Egger, Benilde-St. Margaret
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