skiing story lines

1. Sweeps possible

Minneapolis Southwest coach Drew Holbrook has his sights set on the Lakers boys' and girls' Nordic squads sweeping the team championships. His boys' team is the defending state champion while the girls' contingent is coming off a third-place finish. The girls' team has its top four skiers back while the boys have some holes to fill. Wayzata could sweep the individual crowns with seniors Luc Golin and Anders Sonnesyn among the boys' favorites and junior Mara McCollor at the top of the girls' list. In the boys' team competition, the Trojans could unseat Southwest.

2. Tough setback

Lakeville South junior Lauren Geary has been ascending to the top of the girls' Alpine field but suffered a season-ending ACL injury before Thanksgiving during a training camp in Winter Park, Colo. Geary finished sixth in the state meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik a year ago. The top four finishers in the field graduated. "Lauren had as good of a chance as anybody at winning it this year,'' Cougars coach Wayne Hill said. "The only thing holding her back previously was her size, and she got a lot stronger for the upcoming season. It's a tough loss for us.''

3. Alpine field wide open

With the medalists from a year ago having graduated and the defending state team champions losing their top skiers, it appears all four Alpine titles are wide open. The top finishers back are West Lutheran junior Isaiah Nelson (third in the boys' field) and Roseville senior Elizabeth Kiresuk (fifth among the girls' individuals). The defending state team champions are Minnetonka (boys) and Chisago Lakes/St. Croix Falls (girls).