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Andover, Coon Rapids skiers hit top 15

02/21/2012, 6:22pm CST

Andover, Coon Rapids skiers hit top 15

Madeline McKeefry

Two north metro Nordic skiers finished in the top 15 during last week's high school state meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.

Andover sophomore Madeline McKeefry raced her way to 11th place in the girls' meet. McKeefry went to state as an individual, finishing with a combined time of 35:30.1 in the 5K freestyle and 5K classical.

"At first I was shocked, but I really wanted to get top 10," McKeefry said. "But then I realized that it's better than last year [finished 13th]. I was really surprised and excited."

This was the third consecutive year that McKeefry made it to state. McKeefry said she has benefited from participating in Junior Olympics ski events in the offseason.

"I think it helped me a lot," she said. "The more you race the more you're better off because you always learn something new every time you race."

Coon Rapids senior Calvin Mehrhof, a two-time all-state skier, finished in 12th place in the boys' meet. Mehrhof finished with a pursuit time of 30:26.3.

"I was a little surprised," Mehrhof said. "In the first race you just go as hard as you can. I felt really good in that race. I thought I did a little better than where they put me at. The second race was not as surprising, I kind of knew where I was the whole time."

This was Mehrhof's fourth trip to state, he said. Last year he finished 16th overall.

"He is not afraid and he will put out his best effort no matter what the circumstances or conditions are like," said Coon Rapids head Nordic ski coach Dennis Green. "He is always very positive and is always having a good time. There are a lot of people that know him for his energy, effort and how well he does at meets."

Calvin Swanson is a University of Minnesota journalism student on assignment for the Star Tribune.



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