Category Archives: Nordic Skiing

Highland Park girls win Minnesota’s nordic skiing state championship

By: Abby Altman

Winning is not a new thing for the Highland Park nordic ski teams. Earlier this season, the girls team won their 8th consecutive conference title, while the boys won their 6th. Both teams then won their respective section races, qualifying once again, for the state meet in Biwabik, MN. 

The girls team has had an incredible history at the state meet. In the 3 seasons prior to 2022, Highland’s girls took 2nd place, 1st place, and then 2nd place again. With recent year’s results in the back of their minds, the Highland girls were excited and ready to race. “The team energy was very high,” said junior skier Chloe Koch. 

The state meet is split over 2 days, with the classic pursuit race on day 1, and the relays, followed by the skate pursuit, on day 2. 

After day 1, with the classic races behind them, both teams were looking ahead to day 2. The boys team was sitting in 6th place, led by junior Davis Isom. Isom had a great race and was sitting in 5th place for individual results. 

The girls team was in 1st place, just 3 points ahead of Duluth East, perhaps the team’s biggest competition. “A few of us had less desirable races,” said Koch. She stated that, “The mood dimmed a little,” after day 1. The girl’s top racer, senior Molly Moening, finished her race in 3rd place. Moening had won the individual state championship 2 years in a row, in 2020 and 2021. 

The morning of day 2 started with the boys relay sprint. The boys relay team was made up of senior Alex Pfankuch and junior Max “Shaggy” Reemstma. The relay team took 6th overall, adding 147 points to the boys team’s total score. 

The girls relay consisted of 2 seniors, Rayna Axelson and Silja Earl Tornianian. The girls raced hard for a 4th place finish, behind both major competitors, Duluth East and Forest Lake.

After the relays, the girls team was in 2nd, 6 points behind Duluth East. The boys were in 6th. 

“Everyone was more nervous going into the second race because we knew that we were a few points behind,” said Koch. 

The skate race was pursuit style, meaning the entire race is a game of catch-up. Moening, starting 3rd, was unable to pass the top 2 finishers, finishing with a 3rd place finish in her senior year state championship. 

For scoring, the top 3 finishers point total is added to the team’s score. Moening finished 1st for the team, 3rd overall, followed by Hanna Koch in 12th and Chloe Koch in 20th. Duluth East’s top 3 scorers finished in 14th, 18th, and 23rd overall.

The end of the state meet came down to the wire for the Highland Park girls. “Everyone was cold and I think most people didn’t think we won,” Koch said of the team’s spirit immediately following the final race. “We went into the tent to warm up and that’s where Coach Moening told us we won.” Brad Moening is the Highland Park Nordic and Cross Country coach.

When it came down to it, Highland Park edged out Duluth East by a slim 3 points, claiming their 2nd state championship in 3 years. “We all started to cry and hug each other,” said freshman racer Alex Pundsack. “It was happiness, relief, tiredness, and plain joy.” 

The boys team finished in 5th place, meeting their goal of a top 5 finish. 

3 skiers on the girls state team will be graduating this spring, but Highland houses a strong, young varsity lineup, ready to fill those spots and try to bring home another state trophy next year. The boys team is losing just 1 senior to graduation, and hope to come back even stronger next season. 

Sports schedule for: Feb 14-19

ATHLETIC EVENTS SCHEDULE: FEBRUARY 14TH – FEBRUARY 19TH
MONDAYFEBRUARY 14TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
3:45pm2:20pm / 5:00pmBoys/Girls Nordic Ski MeetComo Park Picnic Pavilions
4:00pm / 6:00pm Girls Basketball vs. St. Paul AcademyHOME
TUESDAYFEBRUARY 15TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
7:00pm Boys Basketball vs. HumboldtHOME
8:00pm Boys Hockey vs. KennedyHOME
WEDNESDAYFEBRUARY 16TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
Boys – 2:00pm Girls – 3:00pm Boys / Girls Nordic Ski State MeetGiants Ridge
4:00pm / 5:30pm 7:00pmC/JV: 2:45pm/6:45pm V: 6:00pm / 8:15pmBoys Basketball vs. RooseveltMPLS Roosevelt High School
4:30pm / 6:00pm Girls Basketball vs. MPLS SouthHOME
5:00pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. SimleyHOME
THURSDAYFEBRUARY 17TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
Boys – 9:00am Girls – 10:30am Boys / Girls Nordic Ski State MeetGiants Ridge
FRIDAYFEBRUARY 18TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
4:00pm / 5:30pm 7:00pmC/JV: 3:15pm/6:45pm V: 6:00pm / 8:15pmBoys Basketball vs. HardingHarding High School
SATURDAYFEBRUARY 19TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION

Sports schedule for: Feb 7-15

ATHLETIC EVENTS SCHEDULE: FEBRUARY 7TH – FEBRUARY 15TH
MONDAYFEBRUARY 7TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
TBD Gymnastics SectionsTBD
5:00pm / 7:00pm2:30pm / 8:45pmBoys Hockey vs. SomersetSomerset Ice Arena
TUESDAYFEBRUARY 8TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
9:00am7:30am / 4:00pmBoys/Girls Nordic Ski SectionsTheodore Wirth Park
4:00pm / 5:30pm 7:00pmC/JV: 2:45pm/6:45pm V: 6:00pm / 8:15pmBoys Basketball vs. Como ParkComo Park High School
WEDNESDAYFEBRUARY 9TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
5:00pm4:00pm / 6:30pmBoys Swimming and Diving JV Conference MeetHumboldt High School
5:00pm Wrestling Quadrangular vs. Como / Johnson / RichfieldHOME
5:30pm / 7:00pmC/JV: 2:45pm/6:45pm V: 6:00pm / 8:15pmBoys Basketball vs. HumboldtHumboldt High School
THURSDAYFEBRUARY 10TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
4:45pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. TartanTartan Ice Arena
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. CentralCentral High School
FRIDAYFEBRUARY 11TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
5:00pm3:00pm / 9:00pmWrestling JV TournamentPatrick Henry High School
5:30pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. SPA/MPADrake Arena
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm Boys Basketball vs. JohnsonHOME
SATURDAYFEBRUARY 12TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
TBD Dance Team SectionsKennedy High School
TBD Gymnastics SectionsWhite Bear Lake High School
9:30am / 11:30am Girls Basketball  vs. Mound WestonkaMound Westonka High School
5:00pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. Coon RapidsCoon Rapids Ice Arena

Sports schedule for: Jan 13-Feb 5

ATHLETIC EVENTS SCHEDULE: JANUARY 31ST – FEBRUARY 5TH
MONDAYJANUARY 31ST
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
5:15pm / 7:00pm2:30pm / 8:45pmBoys Hockey vs. CambridgeIsanti Ice Arena
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm Boys Basketball vs. WashingtonHOME
TUESDAYFEBRUARY 1ST
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
3:45pm2:20pm / 5:15pmBoys/Girls JV Nordic Ski RelayComo Golf Course
WEDNESDAYFEBRUARY 2ND
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
TBD Boys/Girls Alpine Ski vs. St. Croix PrepAfton Alps
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. HopkinsWSP Ice Arena
5:00pm / 7:00pm JV Boys Hockey vs. Breck Varsity Boys Hockey vs. La CrescentHighland Ice Arena
5:00pm Wrestling Triangular vs. Benilde St. Margaret / MahtomediHOME
6:00pm Gymnastics Twin Cities MeetHOME
THURSDAYFEBRUARY 3RD
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. MPLS RooseveltMPLS Roosevelt High School
FRIDAYFEBRUARY 4TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. St. FrancisWSP Ice Arena
5:30pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. St. FrancisHighland Ice Arena
6:00pm Gymnastics  Meet vs. Johnson / Central / Como / OWLHOME
SATURDAYFEBRUARY 5TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
    

Sports schedule for: Jan 24-29

MONDAYJANUARY 24TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
TBD Boys/Girls Alpine Ski vs. St. Croix PrepAfton Alps
TUESDAYJANUARY 25TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
3:45pm2:20pm / 5:15pmBoys/Girls Nordic Ski RelayComo Picnic Pavilions
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. SimleyVeterans Memorial Community Center
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. HardingHarding High School
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm Boys Basketball vs. HardingHOME
WEDNESDAYJANUARY 26TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
5:00pm Wrestling Triangular vs. Washington and OgilvieHOME
6:00pm Gymnastics vs. Central/Como/OWLHOME
THURSDAYJANUARY 27TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
5:00pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. MinnehahaMinnehaha Academy
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. HardingHOME
FRIDAYJANUARY 28TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
TBD Boys/Girls Alpine Ski vs. StillwaterAfton Alps
TBD Boys/Girls JV Nordic SkiHyland Hills Ski Area
3:45pm7:30am / 4:00pmBoys/Girls Varsity Nordic Ski Conference MeetTheodore Wirth Park
4:00pm / 5:30pm 7:00pmC/JV: 2:45pm/6:45pm V: 6:00pm / 8:15pmBoys Basketball vs. CentralCentral High School
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. South St. PaulWSP Ice Arena
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. CentralHOME
6:00pm4:30pm / 8:00pmBoys Swimming and Diving Conference ChampionshipsHumboldt High School
7:00pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. MinnehahaHighland Ice Arena
SATURDAYJANUARY 29TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
10:00am6:00am / 5:00pmWrestling InvitationalRochester Century High School
12:00pm / 1:30pm 3:00pmC/JV: 9:00am/11:45am V: 11:00am / 1:15pmBoys Basketball vs. Saint ThomasSaint Thomas Acadmey
12:30pm JV Girls Hockey vs. HastingsWSP Ice Arena

Sports schedule for: Jan 17-22

ATHLETIC EVENTS SCHEDULE: JANUARY 17TH – JANUARY 22ND
MONDAYJANUARY 17TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
    
TUESDAYJANUARY 18TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. North/TartanWSP Ice Arena
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pmC/JV: 4:30pm/6:45pm V: 6:00pm / 8:15pmBoys Basketball vs. JohnsonJohnson High School
WEDNESDAYJANUARY 19TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
3:45pm2:20pm / 5:15pmBoys/Girls Nordic Ski Classic RaceHyland Hills Ski Area
5:00pm Wrestling vs. QuadrangularHOME
THURSDAYJANUARY 20TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
5:00pm2:45pm / 8:15pmBoys Swimming and Diving vs. CentralHumboldt High School
5:00pm3:30pm / 6:30pmWrestling vs. TriangularSt. Croix Lutheran Academy
FRIDAYJANUARY 21ST
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
5:00pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. Rochester LourdesHighland Ice Arena
5:30pm / 7:30pm Girls Hockey vs. Hill MurrayAldrich Arena
5:30pm / 7:00pm C-Squad / Varsity Boys Basketball vs. HumboldtHOME
6:00pm Girls Basketball vs. HumboldtHumboldt High School
SATURDAYJANUARY 22ND
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
11:00am Gymnastics InvitationalPark High School

Sports schedule for: Jan 3-8

MONDAYJANUARY 3RD
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
    
TUESDAYJANUARY 4TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
3:45pm2:20pm / 5:15pmBoys/Girls Nordic Ski Classic RaceTheodore Wirth Park
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. VisitationWSP Ice Arena
5:00pm / 7:00pm Boys JV Hockey vs. Simley  Boys Varsity Hockey vs. JohnsonTRIA Rink
WEDNESDAYJANUARY 5TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
5:00pm3:30pm / 7:30pmWrestling Quadrangular vs. Andover / Irondale / JohnsonJohnson High School
6:00pm Gymnastics vs. Central / Como / OWLHOME
7:00pm5:30pm / 9:00pmBoys Swimming and Diving vs. JohnsonHumboldt High School
THURSDAYJANUARY 6TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
5:00pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. MahtomediSt. Croix Rec Center
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pmC/JV: 4:30pm/6:45pm V: 6:00pm/8:15pmBoys Basketball vs. WashingtonWashington
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. WashingtonHOME
FRIDAYJANUARY 7TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. South St. PaulDoug Woog Arena
SATURDAYJANUARY 8TH
TIMEBUS TIMESEVENTLOCATION
 7:30am / 3:45pmDance Team CompetitionAnoka High School
9:00am5:30am / 3:00pmBoys/Girls Nordic Ski Classic RaceGiants Ridge
9:00am6:00am / 5:00pmWrestling InvitationalCannon Falls High School
10:00am9:00am / 2:30pmBoys Swimming and Diving InvitationalU of M Aquatic Center
11:00am Gymnastics InvitationalPark Center High School
1:00pm Boys Varsity Hockey vs. St. Francisat East Bethel Ice Arena
5:00pm Girls Varsity Hockey vs. MinnehahaNorth Dale Recreation Center

Sports schedule for: Dec 13-18

MONDAYDATE:  DECEMBER 13TH
TIMEBUS DEPART/RETURNEVENTDETAILS
    
TUESDAYDATE: DECEMBER 14TH
TIMEBUS DEPART/RETURNEVENTDETAILS
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. North/Tartanat WSP Ice Arena
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. Northat North St. Paul High School
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm Boys Basketball vs. River FallsHOME
WEDNESDAYDATE:  DECEMBER 15TH
TIMEBUS DEPART/RETURNEVENTDETAILS
3:45pm2:20pm / 5:15pmBoys/Girls Nordic Ski Skate Raceat Elm Creek Park Reserve
4:30pm2:45pm / 6:45pmBoys Swimming and Diving vs. Como Parkat Humboldt High School
5:00pm Wrestling Triangular vs. Humboldt / Minneapolis SouthwestHOME
6:00pm Gymnastics vs. Cretin-Derham HallHOME
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. Simleyat Simley High School
THURSDAYDATE:  DECEMBER 16TH
TIMEBUS DEPART/RETURNEVENTDETAILS
4:15pm / 4:15pm 6:00pm Boys Basketball vs. Patrick HenryHOME
FRIDAYDATE:  DECEMBER 17TH
TIMEBUS DEPART/RETURNEVENTDETAILS
4:00pm / 5:30pm 7:00pmC/JV: 2:45pm / 6:00pm V: 6:00pm / 8:15pmBoys Basketball vs. Two Riversat Two Rivers High School
4:00pm / 6:00pm Girls Basketball vs. Two RiversHOME
5:00pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. MoraHOME
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. Northern Lakesat Breezy Point Arena
SATURDAYDATE:  DECEMBER 18TH
TIMEBUS DEPART/RETURNEVENTDETAILS
9:00am7:00am / TBDWrestling Invitationalat Trinity School at River Ridge

Sports schedule for: Feb 10-15

MONDAY DATE:   February 10th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
5:00 / 7:00 p.m. 3:45 / 9:00 p.m. JV / Varsity Boys Hockey vs. Simley at VMCC  
TUESDAY DATE:  February 11th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
4:00  / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m. 3:15 / 8:15 p.m. C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Como Park at Como Park High School  
5:30 / 7:00 p.m.   JV / Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Como Park HOME  
WEDNESDAY DATE:   February 12th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
4:30 p.m.   Adapted Hockey PI vs. South Suburban at Bloomington Kennedy  
THURSDAY DATE:     February 13th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
10:00 a.m. 7:30 a.m. (Wednesday) Boys and Girls Nordic Ski:

STATE MEET

at Giants Ridge  
5:15 / 7:00 p.m. 3:15 / 9:00 p.m. JV/Varsity Boys Hockey vs.

St. Francis

at East Bethel Ice Arena  
5:30 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.   C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Johnson HOME  
5:30 p.m. 3:10 / 6:45p.m. Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Johnson at Johnson High School  
FRIDAY DATE:    February 14th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
4:30 / 6:00 p.m.   JV / Varsity Girls Basketball vs. SPA HOME  
SATURDAY DATE:    February 15th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
10:00 a.m.   Wrestling Sectional vs. Mahtomedi at Mahtomedi High School  
5:00 p.m.   Gymnastics Sectional at Stillwater High School  
5:00 / 7:00 p.m. 3:15 / 9:00 p.m. JV/Varsity Boys Hockey vs. Johnson (Como) at Phalen Arena  
SUNDAY  

Sports schedule for: Feb 3-8

MONDAY DATE:   February 3rd
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
5:00 / 7:00 p.m. 3:30 / 9:00 p.m. JV / Varsity Boys Hockey vs. Pine City at Pine City Civic Center  
TUESDAY DATE:  February 4th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
10:00 a.m. 7:30 a.m. Boys and Girls Nordic Ski Sectional at Theodore Wirth Park  
4:30 / 6:00 p.m. 2:30 / 8:15 p.m. JV / Varsity Girls Basketball vs. MPLS Patrick Henry at Patrick Henry

High School

 
5:30  / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.   C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Washington HOME  
WEDNESDAY DATE:   February 5th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
4:30 p.m.   Adapted Hockey PI vs. Rochester at Humboldt High School  
5:30 / 7:30  p.m.   JV/Varsity Boys Hockey vs. Coon Rapids Highland Ice Arena  
6:00 p.m.   JV/Varsity Gymnastics Conference Meet HOME  
5:30 p.m. 2:45 / 7:30 p.m. Boys Swimming

Twin Cities Meet

at Minneapolis Southwest

High School

 
THURSDAY DATE:     February 6th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
 

5:30 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.

  C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs.

Bloomington Kennedy

 

HOME

 
 

4:00 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.

 

3:10 / 8:15 p.m.

C-Squad / JV / Varsity

Girls Basketball

vs. Henry Sibley

at Henry Sibley

High School

 
FRIDAY DATE:    February 7th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
 

5:30 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.

  C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs.

Como Park

 

HOME

 
5:30 / 7:30 p.m.   JV / Varsity Boys Hockey vs.

Waseca

at Highland Ice Arena  
SATURDAY DATE:    February 8th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
TBD   Danceline Sectional TBD  
TBD   Girls Hockey Sectional TBD  
SUNDAY