Will Caturia did it again.
Last week, the Hastings High School Nordic skier won another meet, this time capturing the title at a 5k classic race that featured several old foes from the Suburban East Conference and Tartan.
Caturia tied for the win with a time of 14:08.
“He’s been skiing phenomenal all year,” coach John Dewall said. “It was really impressive. He’s just skiing really, really great.”
As a team, Hastings placed third at the meet behind Forest Lake and Woodbury. The Rangers had 467 points. Woodbury had 439 and Hastings had 419.
Kyle Gudmunson also had a big finish for Hastings, coming in third with a time of 14:23.
“He’s really come on here in the last few weeks,” Dewall said.
The third Hastings finisher was Bobby Verchota, who was 16th in 15:34.
“He’s a brand new skier,” Dewall said. “The kid has spent so much time training and on his technique. Every day over Christmas break he was out there learning and perfecting it. For him to take 16th overall is very, very impressive.”
Seventh-grader Trevor Caflisch had a big day for Hastings, too, finishing 27th overall in 16:34.
“That’s without a doubt the best seventh-grade performance I’ve seen,” Dewall said. “It just shows that he has a huge amount of potential. To be skiing that well, this young … .”
Nick Johnson finished fifth for Hastings in 18:08. He was 40th overall. Garrett Tuin finished in 18:17.
Clayton Johnson took 49th in 18:54. Seth Greengo finish 52nd and Robby Troje was 60th.
The finish has Dewall excited about the prospects of winning a conference title this year.
“The key to our team, and this is a big deal, is our fourth and fifth skier,” he said. “We just have to have that fourth skier pick up and, for conference, our fourth and fifth,” he said. “I believe we have a real good shot at the conference meet. The key is to get all five of those guys close together. There’s no question – we can do it. We just have to be on top of it here in a couple weeks.”
The Hastings girls competed at the meet, too, and placed sixth out of eight teams.
The Raiders were led by a strong performance from Rachel Peterson, who was second overall with a time of 16:20. She was two seconds behind the winner.
“Rachel is going to be really tough here in the conference meet,” Dewall said. “She has a really good shot of winning the conference meet.”
Hannah Peterson was 16th in 18:25.
Abberly Smith finished 35th, Alexis Edmundson was 39th, Quinn Myers was 42nd, Allissa Smith was 45th, Anna Lindner was 50th, Reilly Johnson was 54th, Julia Human was 56th and Savannah Henderson finished 57th.