2023-24 winter sports and activities roundup
(02/22/2024) With the winter sports and activities season wrapping up, here’s a look at who’s heading to state, and how they fared when they performed and played. Also included is information about post-season awards gathered by student-athletes and coaches.
The Minnesota State High School League girls hockey state tournament was held Feb. 21-24 at the Xcel Energy Center and TRIA Rink at Treasure Island Center.
Andover High School girls’ hockey finished fourth in the state following another outstanding run to the state tournament in 2023-24. The Huskies lost the third place game 5-3 to Minnetonka on Feb. 24, closing out the season with a record of 22-6-3.
Andover made its seventh straight state tournament appearance and ninth overall, advancing to the semifinals for the fifth consecutive year.
Semifinal: Hill-Murray 3, Andover 1
In the semifinals on Feb. 23, Hill-Murray came out fast to take a 2-0 lead before Andover’s Mackenzie Jones got the Huskies on the board and cut the Pioneers’ lead in half. Just 25 seconds after Jones’ goal, Hill-Murray regained the two-goal lead at 3-1.
Andover put together a relentless attack in the second period out-shooting Hill-Murray 21-2. The Huskies picked up where they left off in the second and controlled much of the game once again in the third but they were unable to sneak another puck past Hill-Murray goaltender Grace Zhan who finished the game with 36 saves.
Third place game: Minnetonka 5, Andover 3
Andover and Minnetonka skated to a scoreless tie in the first 17 minutes of the game before erupting for a combined seven goals in the second period. The Skippers jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Huskies answered with three goals of their own to make it a 4-3 game after two periods.
Three different Huskies scored in the second period, with goals by Amelia McQuay, Courtney Little and Maya Engler.
Minnetonka scored its fifth power-play goal of the game near the midway point of the third period to take a 5-3 lead, which would eventually be the final score.
The Minnesota State High School League gymnastics state meet is set for Feb. 23-24 at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul. Two individuals from Anoka High School qualified for the state meet.
- Sydney West qualified for the all-around competition. Kyle Loren will compete in the floor exercise competition.
The Minnesota State High School League dance team state competition was Feb. 16-17 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Blaine High School qualified for both the jazz and high kick competitions.
- After winning the Section 3AAA jazz championship, the Blaine Dance Team competed at the Class AAA jazz state competition. The Bengalettes high kick team placed second in the section and placed 10th at the Class AAA state competition.
Boys nordic skiing
The Minnesota State High School League boys nordic skiing state meet was Feb. 14-15 at Giants Ridge Golf and Ski Resort in Biwabik, Minn. Three schools represented Anoka-Hennepin.
Andover High School
- Jack Jendro represented the Huskies in the 5K Classic Race and placed 42nd.
Blaine High School
- The Blaine High School boys nordic ski team claimed the Section 5 championship for the second straight season to advance to the state meet. The team placed 15th.
- Students who represented BHS in the team race were Nathan Taylor (35th), Tyler Bargman (71st), Ian Miller (83rd), Connor Bialka (91st) and Reece Miller (95th).
- In the sprint race, Talan Spaniol and Andrew Geisel represented the Bengals and placed 21st.
- Taylor placed 20th in the classic race. I. Miller (71st), Barman (77th), R. Miller (91st) and Bialka (94th) also competed in the classic race.
Coon Rapids High School
- Alberto Ludwig and Lachlan Demmer competed in the sprint race at the state meet and placed 14th.
Girls nordic skiing
The Minnesota State High School League girls nordic skiing state meet was Feb. 14-15 at Giants Ridge Golf and Ski Resort in Biwabik, Minn. Student-athletes from three schools represented Anoka-Hennepin.
Blaine High School
- The Blaine High School girls nordic ski team was runner-up at the Section 5 meet to advance to the state meet. The Bengals placed 15th.
- Students representing the Bengals in the team race were Audrey Schwen (58th), Ellie Hartley (88th), Sophie Hartley (96th), Georgia Kratochvill (109th) and Gianna Gambino (112th).
- Lylah Carlson and Chloie Crandall competed for BHS in the sprint race and were 24th.
- In finish order, results in the 5K Classic Race were Schwen (58th), E. Hartley (87th), S. Hartley (91st), Georgia Kratochvill (110th) and Gianna Gambino (112th).
Champlin Park High School
- Abby Hibbs qualified for the state meet as an individual in the 5K Classic Race for the Rebels and finished 75th.
Coon Rapids High School
- Stella Bone qualified as an individual for the Cardinals in the 5K Classic Race and placed 55th.
Boys alpine skiing
The Minnesota State High School League boys alpine skiing state meet was Feb. 13 at Giants Ridge Golf and Ski Resort in Biwabik, Minn.
- Blaine High School’s Jared Killian posted a top 20 finish at the state meet, as he came in 18th of 88 competitors. He finished fourth overall in the section to qualify as an individual.
Girls alpine skiing
The Minnesota State High School League girls alpine skiing state meet was Feb. 13 at Giants Ridge Golf and Ski Resort in Biwabik, Minn.
- Sydney Kalina from Blaine High School placed fifth overall at the section meet to qualify as an individual at the state meet where she placed 75th.