Kaelyn Ambuehl will be representing the Burnsville Nordic ski teams at state.

The ninth-grader earned a spot in the field with a 15th-place finish in girls’ pursuit competition at the Section 1 meet at Hyland Hills in Bloomington March 2.

The top-two teams qualify, along with the top six individuals not on the two advancing squads.

Pursuit is a combination of times from both the 5,000-meter classical and freestyle races. Ambuehl finished with a combined time of 33:37.6. She was in 22nd place after the classical portion and finished 12th in freestyle.

In the team standings, Burnsville ended up fifth out of nine schools with 303 points. Rosemount won (376) the crown, followed by Eagan-Eastview (368), Prior Lake (336) and Winona (315).

Lakeville was sixth (298), followed by Hastings (273), Northfield (270) and Scott West (177).

On the boys side, Burnsville ended up seventh in the team standings with 295 points. Prior Lake won the crown (388), while Eagan was second (378).

Northfield was third (330), followed by Independent School District 196 (306), Hastings (303) and Winona (302). Lakeville was eighth (276) and Scott West was ninth (188).

Junior Zachary Friedmann nearly qualified for the Blaze boys. He finished 18th overall in pursuit (23.55.4), two spots shy of the final individual state berth.

Senior Ben Palmieri was close behind his teammate Friedmann, taking 21st (24:19.2).

Other finishes for the Blaze boys included sophomore Wyatt Peterson (32nd, 25:38.2), ninth-grader Quinn Hess (38th, 26:31.6), sophomore John Goettl (44th, 28:07.1), sophomore Charlie McGuire (47th, 28:40.9) and sophomore Matthew Kennedy (50th, 29:43.5).

For the Burnsville girls, ninth-grader Kira Theng was the team’s next-best finisher behind Ambuehl taking 26th (35:48.5). Senior Lauren Pettis was 29th (36:28.8) and senior Monica Dihn was 31st (36:32.7).

Other finishes for the girls: senior Carly Gorter (40th, 38:42.7), ninth-grader Emily Larsen (51st, 42:26.4) and ninth-grader Miriam Laabs (52nd, 42:29.4).

The state meet was held March 10 at Gitants Ridge in Biwabik. Coverage will be included in the next edition of the Pacer.

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.

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