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Nordic Skiing State Meet: 2024 Girls Sprint Relay Recap

Posted: Thursday, February 15, 2024 - 7:09 PM

GSKI Sprint Relay

Duluth East's Gretta Hendrickson, left, and Anna-Britta Helmer captured the Girls Nordic Skiing Sprint Relay Championship on Thursday, Feb. 15 at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.

Medals and trophies didn’t stray far from a traditional resting spot following the Minnesota State High School League’s Girls Nordic Skiing Sprint Relay Championships on Thursday, Feb. 15 at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.

For the third consecutive season, in as many years as the event has been run, Duluth East again captured Sprint Relay crown behind an impressive showing from senior Gretta Hendrickson and junior Anna-Britta Helmer. Their victory powered the Greyhounds to a team championship for the second consecutive season and an eighth time overall.

Hendrickson and Helmer traveled the four laps of the 1.2-kilometer in a combined time of 13 minutes, 43.60 seconds. That was 21 seconds faster than runner-up Eleanor Mody and Inga Wing of St. Paul Academy. Minneapolis Washburn’s Eve Gardner and Poppy Lowenthal Walsh were third in 14:29.42.

It was Hendrickson’s second Sprint Relay State Championship. In 2023, she teamed with Liesl Cope-Schaeffer to win the crown. This season, Cope-Schaeffer competed in the Pursuit races.

“It feels really good, super awesome to go out with a bang,” Hendrickson said. "These are all of my friends. We have so many friends on our team.”

Hendrickson and Helmer held the lead throughout the race and fought off some mini challenges along the way, especially staying focused during inclines on the course.

“It’s amazing,” Helmer said. “This team has worked so hard. Every single person on this team won this for us today.”

Duluth East compiled 371 points in the team chase, finishing with 12 more than runner-up, Minneapolis Washburn. St. Paul Highland Park, the team champion in 2022, was third at 346. Scoring for the Greyhounds in their championship run were Lydia Kraker, Cope-Schaeffer, Rowan Bixler and the duo of Helmer and Hendrickson.


GSKI Team Duluth East 2024

Duluth East won the Minnesota State High School League's Girls Nordic Skiing State Championship for the second consecutive season on Thursday, Feb. 15 at Giants Ridge near Biwabik.

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