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Alpine skiing: Pechous earns All-State honors

Kelly Pechous' goal entering the state meet was an All-State finish. And that's exactly what she got.

The Hastings High School junior finished eighth overall at the Minnesota State Meet for girls Alpine skiing last Thursday at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.

Pechous finished with a combined time of 1:22.55. Her first run was 40.89 seconds, and the second was 41.66.

She missed a top-five finish by just 3.27 seconds.

Paula Moltzan of Lakeville South won the state championship with a combined time of 1:15.68.

Pechous' first run time of 40.89 seconds was the 16th fastest run time at the state meet out of more than 160 runs.

For Pechous, it was her second top-20 finish at the state meet.

Last season as a sophomore, Pechous finished 19th overall with a combined time of 1:29.97.

She was more than six seconds faster this year.

Pechous went last year with senior Devon Erickson, who finished seventh overall.

But Pechous' time this year was faster; Erickson finished with a 1:23.31.

The state meet capped off an impressive season for Pechous and the girls team.

Hastings finished the year 7-2 overall. Pechous finished first in eight of the nine meets. She also finished third in the Suburban East Conference Meet.

This year marked the second consecutive season the Raiders girls Alpine ski team sent a pair of skiers to the state meet.

Pechous was the leader of the team this year, and was presented with a similar situation as sophomore teammate Lane Manke also qualified for the state meet.

Manke was competing in her first state meet, and finished 40th overall out of more than 85 skiers.

Manke finished with a combined time of 1:30.65. Her first run was 45.79 seconds, and the second was slightly faster at 44.86.

Manke also capped off an impressive year, taking home four second-place finishes on the season. She also finished fourth overall at the SEC Meet.