The Free Press
BIWABIK — Senior Kelsey Klingel turned in a top 20 performance on Wednesday, leading the Mankato West girls to a fourth-place finish at the State Alpine Ski Championships at Giants Ridge. It marked the highest ever finish for a West girls team.
Klingel turned in a two-run time of 1:22.24 to finish 18th overall. Teammate Dana Bohks placed 37th in 1:27.34.
Rounding out the West placers were Briggs Carlson (49th, 1:29.82), Greta Schwickert (60th, 1:32.82), Shanalyn Just (69th, 1:42.50) and Lauren Colway (85th, 2:56.80).
“Kelsey had two very solid runs and she kind of set the tone for the younger skiers,” head coach Jon Andersen said. “It was really a good day for us. We finished ahead of two powerhouses — Stillwater and Bloomington Jefferson. Jefferson won our section so the girls are pretty happy."
Mankato East/Loyola’s Caitlin Clause also competed Wednesday but fell on her first run and wound up in 81st place with a time of 2:30.18.
Elizabeth Koprucki of East Ridge (Woodbury) was the individual champion in 1:15.52. Minnetonka won the team title with 172 points. Blake was second (155.5), Minneapolis Southwest was third (145) and West was fourth (124.5).
In the boys competition, Mankato West senior David Huggins placed 35th in 1:22.20. Michael Murray of Bloomington Jefferson was the medalist in 1:13.67.
“David was a little cautious on his first run but he let it all loose on the second and moved up 15 places,” Andersen said. “I think he was happy to finish with a run like that.”
Blake captured the team championship with 159 points. Stillwater was second (139), Orono was third (137) and Eden Prairie was fourth (136.0).