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At last, a homestand

NEW LONDON -- For the first time in eight years, Willmar Nordic finally has had a meet to call its own. The Cardinals Invitational on the ski trails of Sibley State Park drew four schools (seven were invited) on an unusually mild Tuesday afternoo...

NEW LONDON -- For the first time in eight years, Willmar Nordic finally has had a meet to call its own.

The Cardinals Invitational on the ski trails of Sibley State Park drew four schools (seven were invited) on an unusually mild Tuesday afternoon.

"Our kids were really fired up to have a home meet," said Willmar head coach Brad Haugen. "The Sibley Park people are eager to have us. Next year we'll have two home meets since we host the Central Lakes Conference meet."

St. Cloud Tech skiers won both varsity races, billed as a 5k classical but closer to 6k, Haugen said.

Leading the Willmar teams were Danielle Erickson, third in the girls race, and Carl Fixsen, fifth in boys. The Cardinals placed second in both divisions.

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Willmar's last home meet was at Robbins Island during the 1999-2000 season, in the third year nordic skiing was a varsity sport. Since then, every time Willmar scheduled an invitational a lack of snow or a big thaw forced cancellation.

Boys Results

TEAM SCORING -- (1) St. Cloud Tech 13 (2) Willmar 39 (3) Buffalo 46 (4) St. John's Prep 87 (5) St. Cloud Apollo, incomplete

5K CLASSIC (top 5 and Willmar) -- (1) Abe Fark, SCT, 18:45 (2) Sam Anderson, SCT, 18:45 (3) Andrew Humbert, SCA, 10:14 (4) Sean Skow, SCT, (5) Carl Fixsen, Wil, 21:39 ... (9) Phil Knutson 22:43 (11) Tom LaPatka 23:15 (14) Garrett Erickson 24:33 (15) Matt Weitzel 24:37 (18) Michael Cola 27:11 (20) Josiah Swanson, 29:36 (22) Andrew Halbritter, 21:14

Girls Results

TEAM SCORING -- (1) Buffalo 25 (2) Willmar 39 (3) St. John's Prep 54 (4) St. Cloud Apollo, St. Cloud Tech, incomplete

5K CLASSIC (top 5 and Willmar) -- (1) Amanda Klaverkamp, SCT, 24:49 (2) Caitlin Johnson, SCA, 25:05 (3) Danielle Erickson, Wil, 26:14 (4) Anna Steen, Buf, 26.17 (5) Megan Ackerman, Buf, 26:21 ... (6) Katie Pakola 27:06 (14) Katie Switzer 30:34 (16) Julie Hulstrand 31:31 (17) Cassie Yoakum 34:32

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