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Busy Lakers Starting To Eye Section Race

By Tom Schardin, 01/20/20, 10:00PM CST


The Prior Lake Nordic ski teams were a busy bunch competing in three South Suburban Conference meets in six days.

Not a bad way to prepare for the Section 1 meet, which is right around the corner. The competition is set for Feb. 4 at Hyland Park Reserve in Bloomington. The Laker boys are looking to win their third straight crown.

Prior Lake is No. 7 in the latest state rankings at, the only team ranked in the section. Eighth-ranked Eastview is the lone team ranked in the girls field.

The top two teams make the state field, so the Prior Lake girls should be in the hunt for a berth.

Both Prior Lake teams are in a league competition Jan. 21 at Valleywood Golf Course in Apple Valley at 3:30 p.m. The SSC Championships are Jan. 27 at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis starting at 9 a.m.

The Laker boys have finished first in the last three conference events, the 5000-meter freestyle and classical races Jan. 9 and Jan. 14 at Hyland Park and a sprint freestyle competition Jan. 11 at Valleywood.

The girls team was fourth in the freestyle race, third in classical and fifth in the sprints.

Juniors Magnus O'Connor and Thomas Beyer and senior Liam Schatzlein have led the boys squad all season long. O'Connor won the freestyle race with a time of 11:47, while Beyer was second (12:26) and Schatzlein was fifth (12:49).

Ninth-grader Evan O'Connor was also in the top 10, tying for eighth (13:05), while junior Leo Kampen was 18th (14:07). Juniors Connor Young (14:27), Gabe Smit (14:28) and Eric Orham (14:32) were 21st, 22nd and 23rd, respectively.

Other finishers were junior Kyle Nordling (26th, 14:41) and junior Blake VanderWeide (29th, 14:58).

In the sprints, Magnus O'Connor (4:26), Beyer (4:42) and Schatzlein (4:45) finished one-two-three, respectively. Evan O'Connor ended up 12th (5:01).

Other finishes included Smit (21st, 5:27), Orham (23rd, 5:29), senior Marco Valdivia (24th, 5:33), Kampen (25th, 5:35), Young (27th, 5:35) and eighth-grader Hootie Hage (32nd, 5:43).

Individual results for the classical race Jan. 14 for both the boys and girls have not made available.

For the Laker girls, ninth-grader Sophia Jacobson led in the sprint race, taking ninth with a time of 5:56. Senior Kelly Kero was 11th (6:01).

Other finishes for the girls included junior Laura Murr (23rd, 6:15), junior Katie Nollette (24th, 6:17), junior Maddie Reckmeyer (27th, 6:28) and sophomore Kendra Gilbertson (32nd, 6:38).

In the freestyle race, Kero earned a top-10 finish taking 10th with a time of 15:00. Jacobson tied for 11th (15:09), while Murr took 15th (15:31).

Nollette ended up 27th (16:21) for Prior Lake, ahead of senior Bryanne Pinkowski in 34th (17:18) and Reckmeyer in 44th (21:19).

This year's state competition is set for Feb. 13 up at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. The Laker boys were 11th in the state team standings last year and 13th the year before.