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Nordic Skiing: St. Paul Highland Park's Molly Moening chasing a three-peat

Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2022 - 9:41 PM

St. Paul Highland Park senior Molly Moening is chasing a piece of history when the Minnesota State High School League’s Nordic Skiing State Meet is held Feb. 16-17 at Giants Ridge near Biwabik.

Moening, a three-sport standout for the Scots, has qualified for the Nordic Skiing State Meet for the sixth time in her prep career after wining the Section 3 crown for the fourth time. She has a chance to win her third consecutive state title, a feat that would match just two other skiers. Cloquet’s St. Paul Patrice Jankowski won the first three championships that were hosted by the Minnesota State High School League in 1976-78. Central’s Barb Jones won three in a row from 1993-95.

The last skier to win three girls individual championships was Stillwater’s Jessie Diggins in 2010, but they weren’t consecutive. The present Olympian won in 2007 and 2008, but missed the meet in 2009. That season, her friend and future Olympic teammate Annie Hart of St. Paul Academy won the individual crown. In 2010, Hart and Diggins staged a duel for the ages with a breathtaking race that required Diggins to dig deep with a ferocious rally in the finishing chute.

Forest Lake is the defending state champion and qualified for what it hopes will be a successful title defense by winning the Section 4 crown. St. Paul Highland Park was the state champion in 2020.

Minneapolis Southwest, the defending boys champion, won the Section 2 title in their pursuit of a successful repeat. Senior Cooper Camp leads the Lakers. He finished third in 2021 and is the highest returning individual from the pursuit race. Other individuals to watch include Forest Lake senior Noah Erickson, Bloomington Jefferson senior Jon Clarke, Blaine junior Ben Lewis and Eden Prairie junior Benon Brattebo.

Schedule Alert

Because of predicted cold weather on Thursday, the start times have been delayed until noon. With the schedule adjustment, the Team Sprint Race will be conducted in a Timed Finals Format. There will not be qualifying preliminaries leading into a finals race.

The later start will ensure that temperatures reach safe levels that meet Nordic Skiing requirements.   

Wednesday, Feb. 16

·       Boys 5K Classic 2 p.m.

·       Girls 5K Classic 3 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 17

·       Boys Sprint (Qualification No. 1 --Timed Finals), Noon

·       Boys Sprint (Qualification No. 2 --Timed Finals),12:30 p.m.

·       Boys Sprint (Qualification No. 3 --Timed Finals), 1 p.m.

·       Girls Sprint (Qualification No. 1 --Timed Finals), 1:30 p.m.

·       Girls Sprint (Qualification No. 2 --Timed Finals), 2 p.m.

·       Girls Sprint (Qualification No. 3 --Timed Finals), 2:30 p.m.

·       Break, 3 p.m.

·       Boys 5K Freestyle Pursuit, 3:40 p.m.

·       Girls 5K Freestyle Pursuit, 4:10 p.m.

An awards ceremony will follow the final race

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