Mara McCollor Wins Individual State Championship

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Mara McCollor Wins Individual State Championship

Carolyn House skiing at the MSHSL State Meet. Photo by Beth Corning.

Carolyn House skiing at the MSHSL State Meet. Photo by Beth Corning.

Carolyn House skiing at the MSHSL State Meet. Photo by Beth Corning.

Carolyn House skiing at the MSHSL State Meet. Photo by Beth Corning.

Sam Sklar, Sports Editor

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  Both the boys and girls nordic ski teams participated in the state tournament on February 14th at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, Minnesota.
  After winning the state tournament last year, the boys were unsuccessful in defending their title placing 7th. Sartell/St. Cloud Cathedral took home the team state championship with a score of 407 followed by Forest Lake and Armstrong.
  The girls team had a better outing than the boys, finishing in 5th place out of 16 teams.
  In recent history, both the boys and girls teams have been consistent participants in the state tournament. This was the boy’s sixth consecutive state appearance, while for the girls it was their 11th state appearance.
  Wayzata had some great success on the individual level: senior Mara McCollor won the girls individual state championship.
  McCollor was in an intense battle with Armstrong’s Lucinda Anderson for the entire day. Anderson took a 12 second lead after the first race with a time of 16:19 but the classical race was a different story.
  McCollor, whose strength is in the classical-style race, finished with a classical time of 18:20, while Anderson finished with a time of 18:33.2. With a difference of 13.2 seconds, McCollor squeaked out the state championship by 1.2 seconds.
  McCollor also won the state championship last year defeating Hannah Bettendorf of Proctor/Hermantown. McCollor said she felt as if this year’s championship was a much harder one than last year’s. “The field [this year] was a bit stronger,” said McCollor.
  McCollor joined some elite company in the nordic skiing industry by becoming the first girl to win back-to-back state titles since Jessie Diggins did so in 2007 and 2008. Diggins went on in the 2018 Sochi Winter Olympics to become the first American ever to win a gold medal in nordic skiing. “It was a really great way to finish my last high school race and I could not have been happier,” said McCollor.
  McCollor says she plans to ski in college but has not yet made her decision public.

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