The Hastings Raiders boys' and girls' alpine ski team competed in the state meet last week in Biwabik, Minn., and both placed very respectably. The boys finished fourth and could have done even better, according to head coach Jim Peine, who said they had a few second runs go awry.
"We were probably sitting close to first after the first run but then Jack Caturia straddled a gate and Sam Molitor lost a ski, so that brought us down a bit," he said.
The boys finished with 134 points, just two points behind third-place Edina. Lakeville South finished second with 147 points and champion Minnetonka had 157 points. Amongst the skiers participating in the team competition, Jacob Peine finished second with a combined time of one minute and 14.53 seconds. Hayden Niebur was 12th in 1:18.76, Jacob Molitor took 21st with a 1:22.00 and Jack Caturia was 27th (1:24.63). Josh McKinney finished 32nd with a time of 1:28.02 and Sam Molitor was 38th in 1:35.29.
When you put their times in with the rest of the individual racers, Peine finished sixth to qualify for all-state, Niebur was 27th, Jacob Molitor finished 44th, Caturia took 53rd, McKinney placed 59th and Sam Molitor was 65th.
Meanwhile, the girls took sixth and Peine said they skied well.
"The girls team actually did pretty good, it was tough competition for them and they skied well," he said.
The Raiders took sixth with 116 points, 13 points behind fifth-place Lakeville North. For the team portion, Kayla Boogren took 10th with a time of 1:20.98, Shannon O'Connor was 13th in 1:21.61, Josie Pechous placed 22nd with a 1:23.96 and Alexa Kimmes placed 35th (1:29.51). Logan Doty took 42nd in 1:38.60 while Victoria McGrath was 44th with a 1:49.02. Amongst the entire field, Boogren was 21st and O'Connor 25th, which earned them all-state honorable mention recognition. Pechous finished 37th, Kimmes was 63rd, Doty placed 73rd and McGrath 79th.
Peine said that next year will be very different for him as a coach and for the teams.
"Both sides, I only get to keep one (skier) from each team," he said. "Alexa Kimmes will be the only girl who's going to stay and Sam Molitor is the only boy, the rest all graduate. So it's going to be real different next year. It's going to be sad to see these kids go, we'll graduate 13 kids this year. It's a big change that's for sure."
Peine has been with the seniors on the team for a long time.
"Most of them have been on the team since seventh grade," he said. "So it was a lot of fun to coach them, they all worked hard. We made it to state and we did what we could up there."