February 4, 2010 at 9:43 a.m.
Although the girls have had troubles getting consistent finishes this year, they finally put it all together at the Centennial Invitational at Giants Ridge last weekend.
Although they didn't get a premier finish like they had been used to, they used their depth to take first place with four very good scores.
The meet only used the top four skiers of each team. Sheila Stephani earned the top spot on the girls team when she finished in ninth place. The runs were especially brutal, and she earned that finish with a combined time of 1:25.62. She had the second fastest run on the blue course, however, with a run of 39.07 seconds.
Less than a second behind her in combined time was Teresa Sandberg. She was just consistent throughout the whole event, finishing in 13th place on the red course with a time of 43.75 seconds and 10th on the blue course with a time of 42.45 seconds. Her 1:26.20 was good enough to put her in 11th place overall.
Katie Rayer kept the Wildcats in the running for the top spot when she finished with a combined time of 1:27.72 in 15th place. Again, it was a consistent day for her, nothing spectacular, but nothing that could hurt the team. She finished the first run in 19th place, and earned a 16th place in the second run.
Araya Gamble finished the varsity scoring off with a 25th place finish for the Wildcats. She had a combined time of 1:32.77 after finishing the first run in 35th place, but she improved her stock greatly with a 45.60 second run on the blue course, which was the 21st best time.
The Wildcats used the finishes to score a 364, which was eight points more than Eastview, which finished in second place with 356 points.
Although Eastview was the team hot on their heels, the Wildcats also beat Northwest Suburban Conference foe Centennial, who has been a thorn in their side all year, usually besting them by just a few places.
Although the girls bested Centennial again, the boys fell a little behind the Cougars in their half of the race, despite a second place finish overall by Mark Sandgren.
Sandgren got the third best time on the red course and the second best time on the blue course, and missed out on first place by seven-hundredths of a second.
His combined time of 1:15.55 was just behind that of Shane Sampair of Forest Lake.
Steve Wagner kept the good times rolling when he finished in seventh place overall in the meet by having the eighth best time on each course. His time of 1:18.67 kept the Wildcats in the early hunt for the championship since Tyler Regenscheid and Dan Koski of Centennial had finished three-four in the meet.
Corbin Peterson was the next Wildcat to appear on the standings. His 1:21.73 was good enough for a 16th place finish in the meet. He performed well on both courses, finishing in 15th on the red course and 16th on the blue course.
Hunter Haas rounded out the varsity scoring for the Wildcats boys team. He didn't have nearly the day that the other three in front of him had. Although he didn't fall, Haas finished in 1:28.58, which put him in 42nd place in the meet, and left the 'Cats 23 points behind the Cougars in the final team standings.
The toughest part for the Wildcats was that one of their best skiers, Joe Cartier, had a rough day and took a tumble on the blue course after having the 10th best time on the red course.
Their 365 points was second to Centennial's 388, but they finished 12 points clear of third place finisher Forest Lake.