February 3, 2011 at 9:17 a.m.
When the new year began, the Wildcat alpine ski team had dreams and resolutions of a conference championship dancing in their head.
Those dreams got off to a rough start, however, when the boys had a few too many stumbles throughout their January 6 meet.
Jake Sandgren was the top Wildcat finisher who made it through the course unscathed. He finished in seventh place overall with a combined time of 58.53 seconds.
Hunter Haas kept a close pursuit of Sandgren, as he finished in 16th place with a time of 62.69 seconds in his two runs.
Youngster Tanner Rivard had one of his best varsity meets, breaking 33 seconds in both runs and finishing in 18th place with a time of 63.23 seconds.
The 'Cats then had a deep drop off before they have a pack of four finishers. Joe Cartier finished in 39th place in 70.42 seconds, but his second run was one of the fastest on the day, 27.12 seconds. The problem was that Cartier stumbled in his first run and finished that in 43.3 seconds.
Dan Sagendorf, Anner Albin and Brandon Marvin finished in 41st, 44th and 45th, respectively, all going under 74 seconds of total time.
A slip up by Miles Turk and falls by Hogan Haas and Shane Anderson made things tough for the Wildcats, as all three had one very good run, and a tough second run.
As a team, the boys finished in fourth place in the conference meet with 462 points. Centennial won it with 591, Irondale was second with 568 and Andover finished with 476.
Despite earning the top three spots in the meet, the girls still could only finish in second place because of Centennial's impressive depth.
Sheila Stephani, Teresa Sandberg and Katie Rayer finished one-two-three in the meet.
Stephani had the fastest run of the day with a 27.88 in her first go at the course, and then she followed that up with a 29.37, which gave her first place with a combined time of 57.25 seconds.
Sandberg finished in second place after a 28.27 in her first run. She kept up a fast pace in her second run, going 30.36 for a combined time of 58.63 seconds.
Rayer's third place came in a combined time of 58.97 seconds. She also had a sub-30 second first run and stayed consistently fast in her second run to earn the finish.
Amanda Engelbrekt finished in 19th place with a time of 65.10 seconds and Ashley Angel came in 28th with a time of 69.63.
Despite putting four girls in the top 20, and five in the top 30, the Wildcats weren't even that close to Centennial in the team standings. The Cougars scored 434 points while Chisago Lakes came in second with 397. Centennial had seven skiers finish in the top 25.
The Wildcats had similar finishes in their next meet on January 11.
For the boys, Sandgren was the top finisher again, coming in sixth place with a combined time of 61.78 seconds.
Cartier finished in eighth place this time, but his second run still featured a small stumble. He went from 29.81 seconds in the first run to 37.07 seconds in the second.
After the top pair, the 'Cats didn't have a finisher until Turk and Marvin went back-to-back at 30th and 31st. Turk finished in 73.49 seconds and Marvin earned a 73.60 second finish.
Albin finished in 34th place and Sagendorf came in 43rd for the Wildcats as they earned third place in the team standings with 464 points. They could've done a lot more damage but both Haas brothers and Rivard disqualified after losing a ski in their falls.
Despite having the top two finishers again and putting four girls in the top 11, the Lady Wildcats again found themselves on the outside looking in, this time in third place.
Stephani grabbed her second straight first place finish with a combined time of 62.12 seconds. Rayer was just behind with a time of 63.23 seconds.
Sandberg finished in ninth place with a time of 66.13 seconds and Engelbrekt had an impressive meet as she came in 11th with a time of 67.43 seconds.
The problem for CL is their lack of depth. After those top four skiers, they didn't have another finisher until Beth Swanson in 39th place. Angel, Lauren Peltier and Claire Eikens finished in 42nd, 43rd and 46th, respectively.
The 'Cats accumulated 385 points in this meet, which left them in third place. The Cougars won the meet again with 439 points and Andover came in second place with 389 points.