A current and former Laker will be competing on the national ski trails.
Gus Schatzlein, a 2018 Prior Lake High School graduate, and current Laker sophomore Magnus O'Connor are part of the Midwest division, which includes the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
O'Connor will be competing in a Central Cross Country Skiing event, the New England Nordic Ski Association U16 Eastern Championships, in Bethel, Maine March 8-10. He will be representing Loppet Nordic Racing.
Schatzlein, a first-year skier this past winter at The College of St. Scholastica, qualified for the Midwest Junior National Team that will race in the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Cross Country Junior National Championships in Anchorage, Alaska's Kincaid Park March 10-16.
That event will showcase the future of cross country ski racing with the best athletes under the age of 20 competing. It’s the highest level championship event in America for junior ski racers.
The CXC Championships, which began in 1992, are a focal point for top U16 athletes from around America and Canada.
Back in February, O'Connor led the Prior Lake boys Nordic team to the Section 1 title. The Lakers were 11th in the state team standings with O'Connor leading the team in pursuit, finishing 30th overall with a time of 32:26.6.
Pursuit is a combination of times from the both the 5,000-meter freestyle and classical races.
In the 2018 state competition, Schatzlein and O'Connor were the Lakers' top-two finishers, helping the team finish 13th.
Schatzlein was 12th overall in pursuit in his last high school race with a time of 29.58. As a junior, Schatzlein ended up 48th at state.
O'Connor was 75th in pursuit last year in his first-ever state competition.