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St. Anthony senior claims state championship
Xavier Mansfield spent the whole high school Nordic ski season ranked No. 1 in the state by skinnyski.com. He proved the ranking committee right by bringing home the state individual championship last week.
Mansfield, a senior at St. Anthony Village High School, wrapped up his prep Nordic career with a come-from-behind win on Feb. 16 at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
The competition began with the skate race, which Mansfield completed in 13 minutes, 35 seconds. That put him in third place and 20 seconds behind Eagan senior Patrick Acton, last year’s state runner-up, to begin the classic race.
With some ground to make up, Mansfield went to work and finished the classic race in 14 minutes, 48.2 seconds. That was the fastest time by more than two seconds and more than enough to claim the championship.
Mansfield finished with a combined time of 28 minutes, 23.2 seconds, beating out Acton by nine seconds. William Kerker of Minnepolis South led Mansfield by 15 seconds after the skate race and finished third overall in 28 minutes, 35.6 seconds.
The state championship culminated a season that saw Mansfield also win the Northwest Suburban Conference and Section 5 individual championships for the second consecutive year.
This was Manfield’s third appearance in the state meet. His first came as a sophomore at Minneapolis Patrick Henry and he finished sixth that year. As a junior skiing for the Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village co-op team, he came in third place.
The state title is the first for a St. Anthony Village High School athlete in a Minnesota State High School League-sponsored event since Jenna Severson won the 300-meter hurdles at the Class AA state track and field meet in 2008. St. Anthony’s baseball team also won a state championship in the spring of 2008.
Also competing at the state meet was St. Anthony sophomore Joe Lynch. He finished in 42nd place with a combined time of 30 minutes, 56.4 seconds. He was 51st after the skate race with a time of 15 minutes, eight seconds and moved up nine places with his classic-race time of 15 minutes, 48.4 seconds.
Irondale senior McEwan Rodefeld closed out his prep Nordic career with his first appearance in the state meet. He finished in 54th place with a time of 31 minutes, 10.3 seconds.
Rodefeld, who was unranked most of the season, moved up to No. 12 in the final poll thanks in part to finishing third the Northwest Suburban Conference championships. He qualified for state by finishing seventh at the section meet.
Mounds View senior Mark Ousdigian wrapped up his Nordic season with another trip to state. He competed in his third state meet.
Ousdigian finished 15th overall with a time of 29 minutes, 34.2 seconds. His skate-race time was 14 minutes, 30 seconds and left him in 25th place.
He completed the classic race in 15 minutes, 4.2 seconds, which was the seventh-fastest.