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HHS nordic ski teams end season at section tournament

Senior Sawyer Karas finished 61st for the ninth-place boys' team. (Photo courtesy of Shannon Caflisch)1 / 3
Eric Howd takes a turn at the section 1 nordic ski race in Hyldand Park. Howd finished in 50th. (Photo courtesy of Shannon Caflisch)2 / 3
Savannah Henderson finished in 57th at the section 1 nordic ski meet. The Hastings girls finished ninth out of 10 teams. (Photo courtesy of Shannon Caflisch)3 / 3

Nordic Skiing

The HHS nordic ski teams competed at the Section 1 championship Tuesday, Feb. 7, at Hyland Park. The competition was a combination of two races; the first, called classic, took place in the morning. In the afternoon was the pursuit race. The two events go hand in hand; if the first-place racer finished the classic race 10 seconds ahead of the second-place competitor, then they get to start the pursuit race 10 seconds ahead of everyone else. Every other racer then chases after the skier who started in first place. The times from both races are combined to figure out each competitor's final placement.

Head coach John Dewall said that it takes balance between the two races to be successful.

"You need balance overall and the classic sets you up for the skate (pursuit) race," Dewall said.

While neither the boys' or girls' teams, nor any individuals, qualified for state, Hastings did have some great finishes.

On the girls' team, Linnea Urban and Emma Bratvold finished back-to-back in 20th and 21st. Urban's combined time was 36 minutes and 31 seconds, while Bratvold's was 36:32. Dewall said the two girls have finished close together in almost every race this season and "it was crazy" how they did it again in both the classic and pursuit races Tuesday.

Savannah Henderson took 57th in 51:04, Alexandra Doughty took 58th in 51:11 and Julia Human finished 59th in 53:34. The Hastings girls as a team finished ninth out of 10 teams with a total score of 247.5.

The boys' team also finished ninth out of 10 teams with a score of 221. Trevor Caflisch was the Raiders' top finisher in 30th place with a time of 32:45. Dewall said that Caflisch had been their top boy racer all year and it was impressive how he improved from the classic race in the morning to the pursuit in the afternoon. Caflisch, a freshman, took 35th in the classic race but then came in 25th in the pursuit race, for an overall finish of 30th.

"To move up 10 slots is really good from classic to pursuit," Dewall said. "He's got a great future ahead of him."

Jacob Rabaey took 48th with a time of 36:49, Eric Howd finished in 50th with a time of 37:25, Garrett Rother took 55th in 39:57 and Ben Bratvold 56th in 40:45. Austin Weeks placed 58th with a time of 43:22 and Sawyer Karas took 61st in 44:56.

The Raiders graduate four seniors this year. They are Karas, Rabaey, Grace Human and Lexi Mosher.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.

(651) 319-4502
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