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Simmonds = Top PL Finisher at State Nordic Meet

By Tom Schardin, 03/03/24, 9:15PM CST


Tommy Simmonds finished his stellar career on the Prior Lake/ New Prague Nordic boys ski team on the state medal stand.

The senior led the team at the state competition Feb. 14-15 at Giants Ridge in Biwabik with a seventh-place finish in pursuit, which is a combination of times from both the 5,000-meter freestyle and classical races.

It was the second straight season Simmonds finished in the top eight as he was fourth last winter. He was 19th as a sophomore and 82nd as a ninth grader.

As a team, Prior Lake was making its eighth straight state appearance. The team ended up 12th with 274 points with Wayzata winning the title (368).

Duluth East finished second (362), followed by Hopkins (344), Brainerd (341), Stillwater (316), Minneapolis South/Roosevelt (299), Jefferson-Kennedy (297), Ely (291), Edina (289), St. Paul Central (286), and Rogers (276).

Mounds View ended up 13th (267), followed by Fergus Falls (257), Blaine (247), and Winona Cotter (231).

Prior Lake’s best state team finish over the last eight seasons was sixth back in 2021. The team was ninth last year.

On the girls side, Prior Lake had four individuals competing at state, senior Hannah Cole and junior Brooke Marquardt in pursuit, and juniors Morgan Richardson and Eliana Reckmeyer in the sprint relay.

Richardson and Reckmeyer ended up 19th in the relay with a time of 17:11.73. Marquardt finished 68th in pursuit with a combined time of 32:09.0, while Cole ended up 71st (32:15.1).

Simmonds finished the boys pursuit with a time of 24.50.6. He was in sixth place after the classical portion (13:03.9), but fell back in the freestyle with the 18th-best time (11:47.4).

Logan Drevlow of Hopkins had the winning time (23:36.2).

Behind Simmonds, the Lakers’ next-best finisher in pursuit was sophomore Zach Fisher in 47th place (26:45.6). He was followed by senior Alex Krawza in 80th (28:45.2), sophomore Bjorn Olson in 97th (30:11.2), and junior Teagan Moore in 101st (30:25.0).

Junior Ledger Sears and senior Aidan Rosemeier teamed up in the sprint relay for the Laker boys and finished 23rd (15:14.38).

In the girls team competition, Duluth East won the title, while Minneapolis Washburn took second and St. Paul Highland Park finished third. Linnea Ousdigian of Mounds View won the girls pursuit title.