Duluth East’s Kyes & Kraker top Northland finishers in State Nordic meet opener

State Nordic Ski: Duluth East’s James Kyes, Lydia Kraker land in top 10 after day 1

State Nordic Ski: Duluth East's James Kyes, Lydia Kraker land in top 10 after day 1

State ski action continued at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik on Wednesday, with day one of the State Nordic meet. Hundreds of athletes would take part in the Classic-Interval and Freestyle Pursuit races.

Logan Drevlow of Hopkins would handily win both the Classic and Freestyle Pursuit races with a combined time of 23:36.2 to finish first overall.

The Northland’s top male finisher was Duluth East senior James Kyes, finishing 10th in the Classic and Freestyle Pursuit races, good enough for an overall 9th place finish with a total time of 24:53.2.

“After winning the relay (in 2023), I really wanted to try something new. So I wanted to try the Pursuit and a lot of the top, the fastest and the top skiers in the state are skiing the Pursuit not the Relay. So I wanted to compare myself against them and see where I rank,” Kyes said.

For the girls, Linnea Ousdigian of Mounds View won the Freestyle Pursuit to finish first overall with a combined time of 27:43.8. Duluth East senior Lydia Kraker would top Northlanders finishing fifth overall, taking fifth in the Classic and 16th in the Freestyle, for a combined time of 28:31.5.

“It’s so hard cause it’s really different than a real ski trail. So much flat with a few up hills, and as a taller person and heavier than some of the younger little girls, it makes this course a little bit hard. Had to ski it differently than I normally would,” Kraker explained.

Proctor/Hermantown’s Della Bettendorf also landed in the top ten, finishing ninth overall with a combined time of 28:47.1.

Along with high competition, Nordic ski always brings out the school spirit. For Duluth East, that meant matching red pepper headbands, with some red pepper glitter too.

“Girl’s coach has a hat like this and she calls them, every time we do intervals or speedwork, she calls it a spicy day. So it’s just a special tradition. We always get matching headbands,” Kraker shared.

State Nordic action concludes on Thursday in Biwabik with the Sprint Finals. For that schedule, Click Here. For full results from day one, Click here: Boys. Girls.