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Knight, Mustang headed to Nordic state meet
Both high schools in District 621 will have an individual competing in the state Nordic ski racing meet this week.
Mounds View senior Mark Ousdigian and Irondale senior McEwan Rodefeld both finished high enough in the individual standings at the Section 4 championships last week to qualify for state.
Ousdigian went head-to-head with Stillwater senior Shad Kraftson for the section pursuit championship. Although Ousdigian came up short of the title, his runner-up performance secured his spot in the state meet.
Ousdigian finished one second behind Kraftson in the classic race and was unable to make up that one-second deficit in the skate race. His combined pursuit time was 24 minutes, 48 seconds and five seconds behind Kraftson.
Ousdigian’s classic time was 13 minutes, six seconds and he completed the skate race in 11 minutes, 42 seconds. Both times were the second-best of the meet, behind only Kraftson.
This will be Ousdigian’s third trip to state. He first made state as a sophomore and finished 55th overall. Last year he jumped up into the top 10, finishing ninth overall.
Rodefeld is headed to his first Nordic state meet, thanks to a seventh-place finish at the section meet. His combined time from the two races was 25 minutes, 58 seconds.
Rodefeld completed the classic race in 13 minutes, 55 seconds, which put him in 10th place. His skate time of 12 minutes, three seconds was the sixth-fastest and helped him jump up to seventh place.
In the team standings, Mounds View wound up fifth with 321 points, two points behind fourth-place White Bear Lake. Irondale finished seventh with 296 points. Stillwater captured the section team title and Forest Lake was the runner-up.
In the girls competition, Stillwater and Forest Lake also finished 1-2. Irondale landed in fifth place and Mounds View was seventh.
Senior Elizabeth Axberg and junior Emily Manning led Irondale’s girls team by finishing 17th and 18th, respectively.
Junior Katherine Sheldon was Mounds View’s top female finisher as she ended up 39th.
The state Nordic ski meet is Feb. 16 at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
Section 4 Nordic ski championships
1 Stillwater 379
2 Forest Lake 372
3 Roseville 329
4 White Bear Lake 323
5 Mounds View 321
6 Mounds Park Academy 306
7 Irondale 296
8 St. Paul Como Park 224
9 Tartan 185
10 Mahtomedi 171
11 North St. Paul 84
12 Liberty Academy 59
1 Stillwater 382
2 Forest Lake 375
3 Roseville 354
4 White Bear Lake 326
5 Irondale 324
6 Mounds Park Academy 292
7 Mounds View 234
8 Tartan 225
9 Mahtomedi 180
10 North St. Paul 103
11 St. Paul Como Park 94