Winona nordic ski team blazes successful trails


The Winona girls nordic ski team captured the Section 1 team title held at Hyland Park in Bloomington. After Winona raced out to a nine-point lead in the morning’s classic race, Eastview turned in a strong skating performance in the freestyle pursuit, tying the score. The Winona girls won the tie-breaker over Eastview based on the total time of the top four skiers from each team. It was the Winona girls’ first Section 1 title and trip to state since 2012. Northfield, Prior Lake, and Lakeville South rounded out the top five in the 10 team field.

Anni Skillicorn led the Winhawks, winning both the classic and skate races for an overall top podium place in the pursuit. Lauren Johnson (12th), Marissa Lindaman (18th), Emily Johnson (23rd), Jill Serleth (25th), Sarah Broghammer (27th) and Lauren Whyte (28th) also skied for the section championship team. On the boys side, the Winhawks finished fourth in the 10 team section behind Prior Lake, Burnsville, and Eagan. Mitchell Ploetz (8th) earned an individual trip to the state meet. Noah Schultz (13th), Preston Halleck (18th), Ryan Meyer (19th), Carter Briggs (23rd), Jonas Trombetta (26th), and Kole Koehler (29Th) represented the Winhawks at sections.

The Winona girls accumulated momentum prior to the Section 1 meet, turning in one of their strongest seasons in recent history. During winter break, the team trained on the Birkebeiner trails, culminating the trip by winning the Double Pole Invitational over second place Wausau. Top finishers included Anni Skillicorn (3rd), Marissa Lindaman (6th), Lauren Whyte (10th) and Jill Serleth (11th). The boys team finished fourth, led by Noah Schultz (11th) and Carter Briggs (14th). One week later, the Winona girls team finished eightth in the 50-team field at the Mesabi East Invitational, the largest one-day nordic ski meet at the high school level, drawing teams from three states. It was the Winhawks’ highest finish on the girls’ side in the last 20-plus years. Anni Skillicorn (6th) turned in a top-10 finish for the second year in a row in the classic field, followed by Marissa Lindaman (36th), and Sarah Broghammer (61st). Lauren Johnson (25th), Emily Johnson (49th), and Jill Serleth (52nd) competed in the freestyle portion of the meet. 


Winona was also in the hunt for a podium position at the ABC Relays held at the Vasaloppet Center in Mora. The team of Anni Skillicorn, Marissa Lindaman, Lauren Johnson, and Jill Serleth brought home the fourth-place plaque in the 27-team field won by powerhouse Robbinsdale-Armstrong. During a final tune-up week before sections, the Winhawk girls won both the Eau Claire Invitational and Rochester Invitational, while the boys also took home the team title at the Rochester Invitational.

The team is coached by Jacob Teicherow.


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