Julia Sieling, a junior at Alexandria who was hoping to punch her third ticket to a state Nordic ski meet this week, had to pull herself out of the section race on Tuesday because of injury.
“Julia had to drop out of the second race due to a cramp in her leg,” head coach Jeremy Rapp said in an e-mail to me today. “She had the flu a couple weeks ago and never really got back to 100 percent.”
Rapp said both Sieling and senior Melissa Gromatka were within striking distance of qualifying for state after the classic race portion of the meet. Gromatka was shooting for her second trip to a state meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. She finished 20th individually to fall short of that goal.
“Julia and Melissa were a minute back from qualifying for state after the classic race,” Rapp said. “And Julia was catching a few people.”
The Cardinals were unable to send any boys or girls skiers to the state meet for the first time in a few years. Patrick Flynn paced the Alexandria boys’ team with a 19-place finish. The Cardinal boys finished seventh as a team and the girls took sixth.
“It is disappointing,” Rapp said. “No cross-country ski coach wants to end the season on this kind of note, but [assistant coach] Taylor [Ellison] and I are happy with the sportsmanship and team-togetherness that the Cardinal skiers showed after the races.”