Crimson Nordic skiers off to strong start

The Maple Grove Nordic ski team competed well in a Northwest Suburban Conference Classical Meet against Elk River and Champlin Park at Woodland Trails in Elk River Jan. 3. Woodland Trails is a technical and challenging course and is an excellent course for preparation for conference and sections.
With plenty of snow and temperatures hovering around 10 degrees, it was a cold afternoon for the NWSC skiers to be racing in only a few layers of spandex.
The Maple Grove girls had a second place finish in the 7km Classic race. Placement of the top six Crimson girls were juniors Jenny Aarons (2nd) and Leah Jackels (fifth), senior Juhyun Kwon (10th), sophomore Erika Badger (13th), junior Ally Bodensteiner (14th) and junior Kendal Johnson (15th).
The varsity Crimson boys had a first-place finish in the 7km Classic race. The top six Crimson boy skiers were junior Sean Heaton (second), senior Mario Calabria (fifth), juniors Eric Jackels (seventh), and Greg Brasier (9th), senior Ryan Graham (10th), junior Ryan Fix (14th).
The Crimson program is definitely growing with close to a 100 skiers this year. With many new skiers comes the challenge of balancing teaching and advancing new skiers and training the top skiers to be competitive with other local teams. The team is working together toward team and individual success under head coach Matt Gifford and his coaching staff.
Maple Grove will be competing at the Mesabi Invitational Jan. 12 at Giants Ridge.