Minnesota Sections PreviewFebruary 3, 2018
For the first time in many seasons, we will have almost half the sections racing on natural snow! And the weather looks good for sections, with temperatures running close to, or a little colder than average (and we'll post all updates we receive in our Racing Outlook). Races occur over four days, but there are three races piled up on Tuesday and Thursday.
A couple of notes for coaches and skiers:
Here's our spectating guide for sections ...
- Section 1 Tue Feb 6 at Hyland Lake (Bloomington)
Burnsville's Kelly Koch would have been the favorite, but with her competition in Finland last month, she was unable to secure the required races to qualify for sections. Instead, look for a tight battle between Violet Tessier and Brianne Brewster, both of Lakeville, and Tess Grunklee, Rosemont. Gus Schatzlein, Prior Lake, should lead the boys field with Eastview's Byrant Ruff his closest competition. Eastview and Winona are the likely girls teams advancing, with Burnsville and Prior Lake the probable choices for boys teams.
- Section 2 Thu Feb 8 at Theodore Wirth (Minneapolis)
Torsten Brinkema is expected to take the boys title as he heads section favorites Minneapolis Southwest. Brinkema's will get a little push from his own teammate, Henry Hall. On the girls side, Minneapolis Southwest is also favored for the team title, with Edina's Triana Willmert hoping hold off Minneapolis Southwest's Kasia Bednarski and Sudie Hall for the individual title. The second advancing teams will have a good fight between Edina and Eden Prairie boys, with the Edina girls having a little easier job.
- Section 3 Tue Feb 6 at Theodore Wirth (Minneapolis)
St. Paul Highland Park should be booking rooms in Biwabik as both boys and girls teams are State Meet ready. Youngsters Celeste Alden and Molly Moening of Highland Park will give SPA senior Val Hart some serious competition for the overall title. SPA's Peter Moore is the easy favorite in the boys field. SPA girls and Minnehaha Academy boys the likely second place teams.
- Section 4 Thu Feb 8 at Battle Creek (St. Paul)
Expect yet another epic battle between Forest Lake and Stillwater. Stillwater was the favorite earlier in the season, but Forest Lake has been storming back to the top and this one will could go either way -- expect both boys and girls teams from both schools to have a rematch at the State Meet. MPA's boys team, a top ten ranked group, is hoping to change that plan. Forest Lake's Ryan Mead looks solid on paper for the boys title, but his own teammates might press him on that. The girls title should be one of the best races all week with Forest Lake's Regan Duffy and Jenna Parent going up against Stillwater's Libby Tuttle and Siri Bohacek, as White Bear Lake's Olivia Schwintek will be hoping to sneak past them all.
- Section 5 Wed Feb 7 at Theodore Wirth (Minneapolis)
Denied the boys title by a single point last season, expect the Mora boys to take it this February with the Blaine crew their closest competition. The race for first in the boys division should come down to Blaine's Ben Olson and Mora's Cooper Lennox, perhaps decided by a boot throw? Sarah Olson, Blaine, should repeat as section champ. Mora and Andover girls will have a close contest with the expectation both teams advance to State.
- Section 6 Mon Feb 5 at Theodore Wirth (Minneapolis)
A large number of the best skiers in the state will be racing in this section. Wayzata boys will put on a great show, with Anders Sonnesyn, Luc Golin and James Schneider racing for the top spot on the podium as they ensure their team takes the section title. Mara McCollor, Wayzata, is the top ranked girl, but may have to contend with some pressure from Luci Anderson, Armstrong. The Armstrong girls should be returning to State again with Wayzata and possibly Hopkins in the mix for second place. Armstrong boys hope to follow suit, runners up to Wayzata.
- Section 7 Thu Feb 8 at Giants Ridge (Biwabik)
As it seems every year, the Northern powers are lined up for another colossal battle. Hannah Bettendorf, Proctor/Hermantown, is the front runner for the girls title, but she'll have stiff competition from Emma Stertz, Grand Rapids, and perhaps Duluth East's Gretchen Haggenmiller. The boys title could see Grand Rapid's Garrett Beckrich back in action and racing to stay ahead of fellow teammate Alex Kelling and C-E-C's Aidan Ripp. Expect the Grand Rapids boys to take the team title, with Ely runners up. The girls teams should come down to Ely vs. Duluth East, with very few points separating the winner - and both teams advancing.
- Section 8 Tue Feb 6 at Maplelag Resort (Callaway)
St. Cloud Cathedral-Sartell's Alex Nemeth hopes to flip last year's section result, overtaking Little Falls Hunter Zupko for the boys title. Gabby Hennes, St. Cloud Tech, Alexandria's Kaisa Bosek, and Bemidji's Sadie Hamrin, could provide an interesting race for the girls crown. Team advancing appear to be Little Falls and Brainerd for the boys, Alexandria and Bemidji for the girls.
* Team tie-breakers use the total time of the top four skiers. If a tie remains, they go to the fifth, etc. up to seventh.
* View the full High School Racing Calendar for more event details, plus access race updates, trail reports, and eventually results.
Watch for same day results and hopefully coverage from all the sectionals!