Hopkins sophomore Sydney Drevlow was looking forward to defending her girls Nordic skiing state championship this season. An opportunity too good got in the way.

Drevlow was selected to the United States' under-18 girls team for the Nordic Nations Cup in Jyvaskyla, Finland. It happened to conflict with the dates of the state meet.

"I had to miss the state meet. That was hard," Drevlow said. "Going to Finland was a great opportunity that I couldn't pass up. It was something I may never experience again."

It didn't keep Drevlow from becoming the 2023 Star Tribune Metro Girls Nordic Skier of the Year, repeating the honor she received in 2022.

"Sydney is a great skier and competitor," Hopkins coach Brett Schulze said. "She loves to ski, works hard, enjoys going fast and can make herself hurt, all of which makes her a great competitor."

Drevlow qualified for the U.S. team at the U.S. Cross Country National Championships in early January in Houghton, Mich. She was one of six girls selected.

Drevlow took eighth place with a time of 13 minutes, 3 seconds in the 5k skate race in Finland. It was the highest finish for a U.S. team member. She also competed in a 1.3k sprint race and a 3X3k relay event.

"I wasn't really expecting to do as well as I did," Drevlow said. "I really like distance races. I always do better in them."

It showed at the USSA Junior National Championships two weeks ago in Fairbanks, Alaska. In the under-18 division, Drevlow won the 7.5k classic technique race with a time of 26:25.6 and was third in the 10k mass start freestyle technique event in 31:12.6. She also finished third in a 1.35k sprint freestyle technique race in 3:41.65.

Drevlow won the state pursuit championship in 2022, finishing 20 seconds ahead of the runner-up with a combined time of 33:40.7.

"I like competing against the other skiers and schools in the state," Drevlow said. "It was sad not being there with my teammates and friends. I have two more years to go to the state meet. I made a lot of progress as a skier this year."