The joint Belle Plaine-Jordan Nordic Ski Team competed in their first full 5k race in skates on Wednesday, Feb. 10.
The skating technique is different from the classic style cross country skiing many people do recreationally. In skate skiing, athletes use a technique similar to rollerblading or ice skating to move as fast as they can through the course.
“The kids are doing a great job really focusing on their form and improving their abilities with each race. We are working really hard to build a solid foundation of form that will benefit them in the seasons to come,” said Head Coach Lisa Jamison.
The team competed at the Hyland Hills Ski Area in Bloomington in six-degree weather with 19 mph winds.
The boys team landed in sixth place out of seven with a score of 320 and an average time of 20:31 for the top five skiers.
Highland Park came in first place with a score of 467 and an average time of 15:39.
“Kevin He, junior from Belle Plaine, took the top spot [for the Panthers] for the first time this season followed closely behind by seventh grader Isaac Bemmels from Belle Plaine. Isaac has been consistently in the top spots for Scott West all season,” said Jamison.
The girls ended in last place out of eight teams with a score of 258 and an average time of 28:10.
Highland Park came in first place again with a score of 486.5 and an average time of 16:32.
“I think they are really doing well with the adversity of not being able to race against other first year skiers and I believe they are skiing well with their very experienced competition. I am very excited for their future. Overall, the kids are taking a lot of time off each kilometer every meet,” said Jamison.
She said sophomore Basia Babcock from Jordan once again claimed the top spot for the Scott West girls, and for the second meet in a row, seventh grader Jesse Sullivan came in as the second fastest girl for the Panthers.
Coach Jamison said all of the athletes have made great strides since their first race only two weeks ago.