Prep athletes of the week: Minnetonka skier juggles school, racing

  • Updated: February 11, 2014 - 8:10 AM

Erin Olejnik, Minnetonka skiing

ERIN OLEJNIK

Minnetonka • Alpine skiing

The senior slalom specialist won the Section 5 meet Thursday, the only female skier to negotiate her two runs down the Afton Alps course in a time under 1 minute (59.74 seconds). Her performance was the best on a Minnetonka team that had a tremendous meet, with all six of its skiers finishing in the top nine, leading the defending champion Skippers into Wednesday’s state meet.

No time to celebrate, however, as Olejnik went home and prepared to leave for another USSA meet, a weekly routine that in this instance took her to La Crosse, Wis.

And there was the little matter of completing schoolwork, including the requirements of a pair of Advanced Placement classes.

“Any ski racer will tell you that it’s insane, having to balance school work and skiing in the winter,” she said. “But that’s what you have to do to follow your passion.”

Olejnik was obviously pleased with her performance, but team success at state is her focus.

“I would like to win [the state individual championship] because it’s my last chance to put my name in the history books,” she said. “But I would rather have the team win. When we lost in my sophomore year, we were devastated. We said we never wanted to feel like that again.”

CHASE COLEY

Minneapolis Washburn • Basketball

The 6-2 senior forward has made a habit of putting up impressive numbers this season. She did so again last week, pacing the Millers to four victories with 93 points, 77 rebounds, 53 blocked shots, 32 steals and 29 assists. She posted triple-doubles in all four games

SCOTT HARRISON

Mound-Westonka • Nordic skiing

Going into the Section 5 meet, there was little doubt that the senior was the best skier in the race. He showed why by pulling away from the field, posting a pursuit time of 30:42 (15:06 classic, 15:36 skate) was more than a minute better than the field.

JOHNNY PANVICA

Jefferson • Hockey

Saturday, the senior forward scored all three goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to lift the Jaguars to a 3-2 victory over Class 2A, No. 3 Burnsville. Two days earlier, he had a goal and an assist as Jefferson beat Apple Valley 5-4 in overtime.

TREY ROONEY

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