Tartan makes run at Nordic ski conference title

The Tartan High School Nordic ski teams found themselves in the thick of the title chase at the Metro East Conference championships. The Titans weren't quite able to capture the top spots at the Jan. 22 event held at Battle Creek Regional Park but came away with some impressive performances.

Tartan's boys finished second in the team standings while an individual from the girls' squad was the runner-up in the individual standings.

Mahtomedi's boys captured the conference team championship with 466 points while Tartan amassed 463 points. Hastings finished third with 434 points.

Individually, Tartan senior Sam Nofziger posted the team's highest finish in the pursuit standings. His cumulative time of 32 minutes, eight seconds landed him in third place overall and left him 10 seconds out of second place and 23 seconds shy of first place.

Senior Hunter Pogatchnik and freshman Ian Pawlenty also finished in the top 10 for Tartan. Pogatchnik finished sixth with a time of 35 minutes, 19 seconds while Pawlenty took eighth with a time of 35 minutes, 38 seocnds.

On the girls' side, junior Cecelia Boyle paced the Titans with a second-place finish. She completed the two races in 35 minutes, one second and finished one minute, 11 seconds behind individual champion Libby Tuttle, an eighth grader from Mahtomedi.

Senior Carolyn Barrera was the only other Tartan girl to finish in the top 15. Her time of 41 minutes, two seconds landed her in 12th place.

Henry Sibley captured the girls team title with 478 points, Mahtomedi was second with 446 points and Tartan finished third with 419 points. 


The Polars also competed in the Metro East Nordic ski championships. The girls team finished in sixth place and the boys were seventh.

Individually, juniors Paige Ericson and Ryan Peterson led their respective North squads. Ericson finished in 25th place in the girls competition while Peterson was 26th in the boys race.

Next up for both the Polars and Titans is the Section 4 state qualifying meet on Feb. 4 at Battle Creek Regional Park. The top two teams along with the top six individuals who are not on one of the qualifying teams all advance to the state meet.

Section 4 is home to three ranked boys teams and two ranked girls teams. No. 1 Stillwater, fifth-ranked Forest Lake and No. 9 Irondale are the top boys teams in the section while second-ranked Stillwater and fifth-ranked Forest Lake appear to be the teams to beat in the girls competition.

The state meet is Feb. 11 at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.

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

Metro East Conference Nordic ski championships

Boys - Team Scores
1 — Mahtomedi 466
2 — Tartan 463
3 — Hastings 434
4 — Henry Sibley 395
5 — St. Thomas Academy 388
6 — Simley 345
7 — North 291

Girls - Team Scores
1 — Henry Sibley 478
2 — Mahtomedi 446
3 — Tartan 419
4 — Hastings 417
5 — Simley 364
6 — North 161


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