Mounds View duo headed to Nordic state meet

When the Nordic ski racing state meet takes place later this week, the boys’ competition will include a pair of Mustangs. This is the fifth consecutive year in which the Mounds View High School boys team is sending a representative to state.

Senior Jack Christianson and junior Mark Ousdigian will join the rest of the field on Thursday at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. They finished in the top five at last week’s Section 4 state qualifying meet.

Christianson left nothing to chance in terms of his state berth as he won the section individual championship. His pursuit time of 28 minutes, 11 seconds was six seconds faster than that of runner-up Sam Hanson of Stillwater.

Following the classic race, Chrstianson had some work to do. His classic time of 15 minutes, 11 seconds left him in third place and trailing Forest Lake’s Ryan Mead by seven seconds and Hanson by five.

None of that mattered after the skate, however, as Christianson, who completed the event in 13 minutes flat, beat Mead by 17 seconds and Hanson by 11.

It turned out that Ousdigian didn’t have much to worry about either. In order to compete at state, a skier needs to either be a member of one of the top two teams at the section meet or be among the top six individuals not on one of those teams. Ousdigian finished fifth overall and was the second non-team qualifier, behind only Christianson.

Ousdigian finished sixth in the classic race and posted the third-fastest time in the skate race. His pursuit time ended up being 28 minutes, 34 seconds.

As a team, Mounds View finished fourth at sections with 332 points. Forest Lake won the section title via a tie-breaker over Stillwater as both teams finished with 375 points. Roseville ended up third with 348 points.

For Christianson, the title was his second in as many weeks. He started the streak by claiming the Suburban East Conference individual crown on Jan. 28.

Ousdigian finished third at the SEC championships.

Mounds View’s girls team landed in eighth place in the standings. Stillwater won the team championship with 376 points while Forest Lake was next with 363 points.

Irondale

The Knights entered the Section 4 meet last week looking to earn dual team state berths like they did last season but found keeping up with the Suburban East Conference to be too much. Irondale s girls squad finished fourth and the boys team ended up in fifth place.

Irondale also got left out in terms of individual state berths. 

The Knights came up one place shy of a state berth for the boys. Senior Joey Jankowski finished 15th overall and seventh among skiers not from one of the top two teams. His pursuit time of 30 minutes, 30 seconds left him eight seconds out of a state berth.

For the girls, junior Liz Axberg came the closest. She was 14th overall and was eighth in the individual standings.

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

 

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