Freshmen sweep individual races at the Nordic skiing state meet

BIWABIK, MINN. - Logan Drevlow showed long, easy strides down the final stretch of the boys freestyle pursuit. He looked over his shoulder, confirmed his lead and casually crossed the finish line with a lift of his poles — winning the individual Nordic skiing state title Wednesday afternoon at Giants Ridge.

Drevlow was half of a freshman sweep. Freshman Linnea Ousdigian of Mounds View won the girls title

Drevlow, from Hopkins, swore it was harder than he made it look. Still, a race official had time to remove the chip timer from his boot before the rest of the competitors crossed the finish line.

"It wasn't easy," Drevlow said.

His throat was burning after the heavy lifting of the morning's classic race, when Drevlow came out with a nine-second lead. After two stress fractures shortened his cross-country season, he was surprised to finish first, he said. He won with a combined time of 23 minutes, 32.6 seconds. Daniel McCollor (24:03.9), a senior from Wayzata, was second.

Ousdigian, seeded fourth after the classic race, had to rally to win. She caught two skiers on her first lap, then found her way past Hanna Koch of St. Paul Highland Park on the second. Koch, the leader after the classic race, finished second in 27:48.5.

The course, revamped this year to account for a lack of snow, suited the top competitors. Rather than a route through the woods, the course extended wide with the help of manmade snow, creating a hillier competition. The combined distance of the classic and freestyle races was about 5 kilometers.

Koch said a long uphill stretch made the difference in her victory.

"My hop skate was working for me," she said.

Koch, too, took advantage of the terrain.

"I loved them," she said of the hills. "They're such a great spot to push yourself."

Drevlow went into the day's second race as the leader and held on. He sped through the first loop, looked at the clock and saw it had taken him about five minutes to complete. He remembered thinking that in just another five minutes he would be done.

"It feels good," Drevlow said.

Drevlow is the brother of Sydney Drevlow, who won the girls state title as a freshman in 2022. This year, for the second time, she is missing the high school state meet to attend a U.S. national team camp.

The skiing state meet — the first of the season's high school championships — started Tuesday with Alpine races, on snow some athletes described as "sugary" and "grainy." The Nordic competition wraps up Thursday with sprint relays.