Nordic skiing: the road to state


Photo via @Eagan_Athletics (Twitter).

Addi Bronwell, Sports Writer

The Eagan girls and boys Nordic skiing teams are headed to state at Giants Ridge in Biwabik this Thursday and Friday after both coming in second in sections. The girls’ team is combined with Eastview whereas the boys’ team is only Eagan members.


The Eastview-Eagan girls Nordic skiing team is headed full steam into their state meet this Thursday, March 11th. The Eagan members that qualified for state are Olivia Matsoff, Kyra Kusnierek, Naomi Fink, and Emily Najlis. Matsoff thinks that the aspects of the team that allowed them to get this far were the overwhelming team support whether it be friendly competition, working together, cheering each other on, or that they push each other to do their best. Her experience with the team this year has been interesting but ultimately she’s thrilled about how it’s been going and that they got to have a season at all.


The team’s mentality going forward into state is to do well but also have lots of fun. As Fink points out, they are going to do as good as they can because they made it this far and next year will be even better. Kusnierek says “For many of us, this is our first time skiing at state and we want to enjoy it.  Even though it is going to be quite warm and snow conditions won’t be ideal, we will have lots of fun.” Everyone is prepared to have some tough races and a lot of fun this week.


The Eagan boys Nordic skiing team will also be competing in their state meet this Friday, March 12th. Their team of state qualifiers consists of nine members. One of the members, Samuel Abbott, is very excited and confident going into state. He says that the team’s ability to push one another on intervals and in races is the reason they get the opportunity to compete in state. Abbott’s favorite part of the season so far is the friends he has made. His team’s mentality going into state is that they are ready to give it their all and do the best they can.


While competing in state is an amazing opportunity, sometimes you have to take a step back and remember your favorite aspects of the sport you play. Kusnierek’s favorite part of Nordic skiing is having a good laugh with her teammates. They love laughing about just about anything like the grass they just skied over, the amount of kick they have, the face plant one of them did, or the giant puddle they just went through.


Matsoff says “I honestly just love the sport!  There’s nothing better than getting outside for a long ski in the winter, and I especially love it when I get to spend time with my teammates! As the Nordic team is made up of students from all over District 196, I get to know a lot of people from different schools, many of which have become some of my closest friends.”


Even with the restrictions and complications of the pandemic, these athletes have been able to play the sport they love this year. Be sure to cheer the girls’ team on this Thursday, March 11th, and the boys’ team on this Friday, March 12th at Giants Ridge in Biwabik!


Update (March 14): After a tough race, the girls’ team ended up getting 14th place out of 16 teams. The boys’ team placed 12th out of 16 teams.