Irondale Nordic chasing state berths this week

From left: McEwan Rodefeld, Joey Jankowski, Marcus Schultz, Tim Axberg, Spenser Brown, Josh Tillman.  (submitted photo)
From left: McEwan Rodefeld, Joey Jankowski, Marcus Schultz, Tim Axberg, Spenser Brown, Josh Tillman. (submitted photo)
From left: Elizabeth Axberg, Emily Manning, Alyssa Gahr, Claire Dubois, Lili Tapper, Holly Peterson. (submitted photo)
From left: Elizabeth Axberg, Emily Manning, Alyssa Gahr, Claire Dubois, Lili Tapper, Holly Peterson. (submitted photo)

Second place isn't always a reason to be disappointed. For last season's Irondale High School Nordic ski teams, runner-up was good enough to get them to state.

For the Knights, that might be their ticket to a return trip to the state meet. Irondale finds itself in a new section, Section 4, this season and the power in that new section lies with Stillwater.

The Ponies are ranked No. 1 in the state for boys and No. 2 for girls. It appears that the rest of the teams in the section are battling it out for second place.

This is the second year in which the top two teams from each section advance to the state meet. Prior to last season, only the section champion qualified for the team portion of the state meet. The change brought Nordic skiing in line with cross country, which for many years has sent the top two teams from each section to state.

Irondale enters Thursday's Section 4 meet at Hyland Lake ranked ninth in the state for boys. Forest Lake is also in Section 4 and is ranked fifth.

On the girls' side, Forest Lake was ranked 10th last week while Roseville and Irondale landed just outside the top 10.

The Knights enter the section competition fresh off matching third-place finishes at the Northwest Suburban Conference championships last week.

Irondale's boys team amassed 601 points and fell just two points shy of runner-up Elk River. Champlin Park claimed the team championship with 634 points.

Individually, junior McEwan Rodefeld led Irondale with a fifth-place finish while senior Joey Jankowski took 12th. The rest of the Knights' top six included senior Tim Axberg (19th), senior Marcus Schultz (25th), junior Josh Tillman (30th) and sophomore Spenser Brown (35th).

Irondale's girls team scored 600 points and finished third behind runner-up Andover. Top-ranked Robbinsdale Armstrong claimed the top five and eight of the top 11 individual places to score 702 points and run away with the team championship.

Sophomore Claire Dubois set the pace for Irondale and finished eighth overall while junior Elizabeth Axberg finished 12th. Sophomores Emily Manning and Alyssa Gahr were next for the Knights as they finished 17th and 18th, respectively. Juniors Lili Tapper (35th) and Holly Peterson (36th) rounded out Irondale's top six.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here