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Armstrong Nordic skier, Minneapolis Southwest get winning redemption at boys’ state meet

By RON HAGGSTROM, Star Tribune , 03/12/21, 8:15PM CST


Senior Roger Anderson won the individual state title after a heartbreaking second-place finish a year ago, while the Lakers won the team title outright this year.

Roger Anderson of Armstrong celebrated as he crossed the finish line after the freestyle race Friday at the Nordic skiing state meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. Photos: ALEX KORMANN • alex.kormann@startribune.com

Coming off disappointing runner-up finishes a year ago, Armstrong senior Roger Anderson and the Minneapolis Southwest boys’ Nordic skiing team had plenty motivation Friday and both got redemption.

Anderson won the boys’ individual championship while the Lakers garnered the team crown in the Nordic skiing state meet on another bright, sunny day with temperatures near 30 degrees at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.

“I really wanted to win state, and be the first one in our family to accomplish that,” Anderson said. He posted a winning time of 20 minutes, 11.1 seconds.

A year ago, Anderson was overtaken on the homestretch of the pursuit race by Mounds Park Academy’s Henry Snider and wound up second by six-tenths of a second. Anderson held a 12-second advantage over Snider after the first leg of the event.

“That race motivated me a lot,” Anderson said. “That’s all I was thinking about.”

The Lakers’ disappointment was equally agonizing They tied Forest Lake for the top spot a year ago, but lost the championship on criteria based on the skiers’ combined times.

Roger Anderon at the finish

“We were motivated to get back the championship,” said Lakers junior Cooper Camp, who finished third with a time of 20:28.6.

(Full boys' individual results here.)

They prevented Forest Lake from sweeping the team titles, edging the defending champion Rangers 416-413 for the boys’ crown. The Forest Lake girls’ squad won its first state title on Thursday.

“The individual award for finishing third was nice, but the team title was what we really wanted,” Camp said.

It was the Lakers’ first team title since they won back-to-back championships in 2016 and 2017.

(Full boys' team results here.)

“We knew we had a chance to win it again this year,” Camp said. “That was our goal.”

Anderson shared those aspirations. He bested Wayzata senior Colin Freed, who battled through a fall on the first run of the day, by just over 4 seconds. Freed clocked in at 20:15.2.

Wayzata students cheered on skiers.

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