Defending state champion Ben Saxton won his second consecutive nordic skiing state title Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, after winning both the 5K freestyle and 5K classical events at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
Saxton, a senior from Lakeville North, posted times of 13:43.3 in the 5K freestyle and 15:09.2 in the 5K classical for an overall of 28:52.2. Detroit Lakes senior Jake Richards finished second overall, with a freestyle time of 14:15.3 and classic time of 15:27.6 for an overall of 29:42.6.
Saxton took a commanding 32-second lead into the 5K classical and finished the day nearly a minute ahead of runner-up Richards. Duluth East senior Ryan Davis took third place overall.
Nora Gilbertson clinched the girls' nordic skiing title with a first place finish in the 5K classic.
The Stillwater senior finished with an overall time of 33:54.3 after posting a 17:20.3 in the classic. Gilbertson was in third after the 5K freestyle Thursday morning, but her first place in the classic helped her edge runner-up Alayna Sonnesyn by 3 seconds.
Sonnesyn took second with an overall time of 33:57.1. She was in second after the freestyle with a time of 16:31.2. She fell short of the overall title with a 17:26.1 in the classic. Forest Lake freshman Rocci Wohlk finished in third.
Duluth East senior Annie Harvieux, who led after the 5K freestyle event, finished fourth overall after posting a 17:49.9 in the classic for an overall time of 34:13.9.
Team championships were won by Duluth East for the girls and Roseville for the boys.