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Despite brown earth, skiers under way

While there's no snow on the ground in this unusual winter, the Hastings Nordic ski teams have been able to get a few meets in at Green Acres in Lake Elmo. The snow-tubing facility can make snow and spread it out for a Nordic ski course. It's not perfect, but at least it is snow, coach John Dewall said.

"This has been the weirdest winter I've ever seen," Dewall said. "I've never seen anything like it.

"We've been training on dry land since November. We run. We roller ski, and we had a week on the golf course back in November. Beyond that, we're having a race a week at this snow tubing place. It has definitely been a challenge."

Hastings has a meet planned for Monday at Trollhaugen.

In a Suburban East Conference race Jan. 3, the Hastings boys placed seventh out of nine teams. Roseville won the meet and Stillwater was second.

Hastings was led by Joe Rabaey, who finished 34th in 16 minutes and 28 seconds.

James Harper was 68th for Hastings with a time of 20:44 and Jonah Schill was 66th in 21:19.

Forrest Close and Nick Johnson also competed on varsity for the Raiders.

The Hastings girls finished ninth out of nine teams. Roseville won the meet and Forest Lake was second.

Rachel Peterson led the girls with a 45th-place finish. She had a time of 21:18. She was the lone varsity competitor for Hastings.

Junior varsity

The junior varsity boys were well represented. Josh Calkins placed 10th with a time of 16:30.

Michael Perra, Devin Lee, Dylan Chamberlain, Sawyer Karas, Tate Gahnz, Daniel Eggert and Thomas Knutson all competed, too.

For the girls junior varsity, competing were Enni Jantti, Kailee Harrington and Amelia Strauss.