MARA MCCOLLOR

Wayzata • Nordic skiing

Prep athletes of the week: Back-to-back Nordic champ wins with classic strength

McCollor had raced Armstrong’s Luci Anderson many times before the Nordic skiing state meet Thursday and she knew Anderson’s strengths.

She trailed Anderson by 12 seconds after the freestyle, or skate, race. But McCollor was confident in her abilities as a classic-style skier and knew she’d be able to make up time.

But would she be able to make up enough?

“I know Luci’s skiing pretty well, but I think the same is true for her to me,” McCollor said. “I’m definitely more confident in my classic technique, speed-wise. But it was crazy starting 12 seconds back.”

McCollor caught Anderson a little more than a kilometer into the classic leg of the race. They then spent the remainder of the race in a back-and-forth battle. Neither gained much of an edge until the final 25 meters, when McCollor’s strong double-poling — using both arms in sync to push herself forward — surged her past Anderson and across the finish line.

McCollor won in a time of 34:51, 1.2 seconds ahead of Anderson. It was her second consecutive title, becoming the first girl since Jessie Diggins in 2007 and 2008 to repeat “Going back-to-back is beyond anything I could ever imagine,” McCollor said.

CLAIRE ENRIGHT

Farmington • hockey

Prep athletes of the week: Back-to-back Nordic champ wins with classic strength

The freshman forward came up huge in the Class 2A, Section 1 final. She scored two first-period goals to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead, then sent them to the state tournament with the game-winner in the second overtime of a 5-4 victory over Lakeville North.

JOSH HERMES

Centennial • hockey

Prep athletes of the week: Back-to-back Nordic champ wins with classic strength

The senior forward scored twice in a 4-3 victory over Irondale, had two assists in a 5-3 victory over Class 1A, No. 2 Totino-Grace and had a hat trick in a 7-1 rout of Spring Lake Park. It was the Cougars’ first three-game winning streak of the season.

PETER MOORE

St. Paul Academy • Nordic skiing

Prep athletes of the week: Back-to-back Nordic champ wins with classic strength

Relying on his strong classic-style skiing technique and some fortunate weather, the senior overtook defending champion Garrett Beckrich of Grand Rapids during the second leg of the Nordic state meet to win the pursuit title in 30:16.0.

KELSEY NEFF

Edina • gymnastics

Prep athletes of the week: Back-to-back Nordic champ wins with classic strength

The junior has been steadily improving and and capped her season of growth with her best performance to date. She won the Section 6 all-around championship with a score of 38.15, the first time she has topped 38 points.

PEYTON SERVAIS

Lakeville North • Alpine skiing

Prep athletes of the week: Back-to-back Nordic champ wins with classic strength

After trailing by just .01 of a second after a first run in which she admitted to making a late mistake, the sophomore was fast and fearless in the second run. She posted a combined time of 1:11.18 to win the girls’ individual championship at state.

BLAINE WARNERT

Chaska • hockey

Prep athletes of the week: Back-to-back Nordic champ wins with classic strength

In three games, the 6-5 forward had five goals and five assists for the Hawks. He scored a goal and two assists in a 4-2 victory over Benilde-St. Margaret’s, a goal and three assists in a rout of Bloomington Kennedy, and a hat trick in a 7-1 victory over rival Chanhassen.

JIM PAULSEN

Nominate an athlete: Send an e-mail with supporting information to preps@startribune.com. Include a photo and video, if available.

 

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