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Peterson places 86th at state, sets sights on return trip

Hastings High School freshman Rachel Peterson placed 86th at the state Nordic ski meet Thursday at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.

"I thought Rachel skied very well," coach John Dewall said. "For a ninth-grader to get to the state meet, that's great. We told her, there was no stress on her. No pressure.

"She went out and, in both the races, she raced as hard as she possibly could. I thought she did very well. She has some experience for upcoming years."

The season was a challenging one due to poor conditions in the metro area. Peterson didn't let that stop here, though.

"It was a hard day -- you're climbing all those mountains at Giants Ridge," Dewall said. "When she was done, she was totally spent. Hats off to her. We don't see many ninth-graders going to the state meet. I give her credit."

Peterson had a time of 19 minutes and 3 seconds in the 5K freestyle leg of the race. She had a time of 21:07.4 in the classic leg for a combined time of 40:10.4.

The winner was Nora Gilbertson of Stillwater, who had a time of 33:54.3.

There were 118 athletes competing in the meet.