Season ends for Hastings Nordic skiers
The season ended Tuesday afternoon in Apple Valley for the Hastings Nordic ski teams. The Raiders will not have a racer at the state meet next week, but they did have one racer come within two minutes of qualifying.
Sarah Peterson led the Hastings girls with a 16th-place finish. She had a time of 22 minutes, 20 seconds in the classic and a time of 20:08.51 in the freestyle. Her combined time was 42:28.6.
Peterson is a junior.
The meet was won by Sonja Hedblom, a sophomore from Eagan, who had a time of 36.12.9.
Makaila England, a freshman, finished 44th for the Raiders. She had a combined time of 51:11.3.
Eighth-grader Rachel Peterson finished 55th with a time of 56:24.8.
Niki Rabaey, a freshman, was 56th in 1:00.42.7.
Lakeville North won the meet with 389 points.
Lakeville South was second with 359.
Hastings finished eighth with 233 points. There were 11 teams in the meet.
Joe Rabaey led the Hastings boys with a 44th-place finish. He had a time of 21:09.00 in the classic leg and a time of 21:02.88 in the freestyle leg. His combined time was 42:11.9. He is a sophomore.
Senior captain Sean Eglington finished 48th. He had a combined time of 42:44.6.
Lukas Human took 51st in 45:14.4. Human is a junior.
Seventh-grader Jonah Schill had a time of 46:40.4, which placed him 52nd.
Sophomore Josh Swenson placed 53rd in 48:15.2.
Lukas Munter took 56th in 53:07.8. He is a freshman.
James Harper, a sophomore, was 57th in 54:06.3.
Hastings placed seventh overall with 209 points.
Eagan won the meet with 377 and Lakeville North was second with 372.
There were 12 teams in the meet.
The SEC race
Sarah Peterson led the Hastings contingent at the Suburban East Conference championships last week, earning All Conference Honorable Mention status.
"You have to give Sarah a lot of credit," coach John Dewall said. "She raced her guts out. It's a tough conference, and she had to work hard to get that honorable mention."
She wasn't the only one, though, who had a good day.
"Everybody throughout the whole meet had their best races of the year," Dewall said. "Watching the level of improvement from the beginning of the year to now is amazing. All those kids, they really performed well overall."
Makaila England, Sarah Peterson and Niki Rabaey were also skiing varsity for the Raiders and had strong meets, Dewall said.
"You take a kid like Niki -- she was never on skis before this season," Dewall said. "It's pretty cool to see her out there.
"Sarah and Rachel and Makaila, from where they were to now, they're a whole different group of skiers. It's really fun to see the learning curve and the improvement."
On the boys side, the top Hastings skier was Joe Rabaey. He hadn't skied before this season, either.
"He didn't miss honorable mention by very far," Dewall said. "For a brand new skier, that's just phenomenal. He's got an engine. The technique part of it for him will get better and better."
Eglington had a strong race, too, Dewall said.
"He's been a good leader all year," he said. "He put together a really nice race. James Harper, a brand new skier, again, he couldn't stand up on skis six weeks ago. Now he's out there blasting through six miles of skiing with two different techniques. Same thing with Lukas Human. It's awesome."
Seventh-grader Jonah Schill has Dewall excited about his future.
"He's never skied before, and now he's our third skier," Dewall said. "That kid, he's going to be a superstar. He's unbelievable. He's one of the best seventh-graders I've seen in a long time."
Josh Swenson had a strong race, too, Dewall said.
Dewall said that this season was about six to eight weeks long for his skiers. With all the snowfall that the area has received, he is encouraging his athletes to stay on their skis, even though the competitive season is over.
"I told them that if they ski for another six weeks here, it's like they've added another season. They'd double the length of their ski season."