If Aron Stumvoll were an engine he would have 440 cubic inches and eight cylinders.
Already an accomplished distance runner in cross country and track Stumvoll decided to give nordic ski racing a try last winter.
Aron Stumvoll profile
Sport -- Nordic skiing
Event -- Classical
Year -- Senior
Age -- 18
Height -- 5-foot-8
Weight -- 140 pounds
Other sports -- Cross country running, track and field
Grade-point average -- 3.53
School activities -- Class cabinet, Key Club
Favorite subject -- Advanced Placement Biology
Favorite food -- Cheetos
Favorite movie -- "Austin Powers"
Hobbies -- Playing pool
Future plans -- Possibly attend Minnesota State at Mankato, major in pre-med, hopes to run cross country
Athlete he admires -- Former Olympic runner Steve Prefontaine
Parents -- Brian and Penny Stumvoll
Adding skiing to his repertoire of sports turned out to be a wise decision. Last season Stumvoll finished 16th in classical skiing at the state meet.
Earlier this month Stumvoll won the Central Lakes Conference boys' classical race. In the Section 8 meet he won the classical title, earning another trip to state where he placed third to earn all-state honors. Stumvoll's time this year at state was about a minute faster than he skied last year.
"There's such a good crossover between running and classical skiing," Brainerd coach Chris Hanson said. "They're very complimentary. Aron did very well last year for his first year of skiing to make it to state.
"He's very strong. As coaches we talk about kids who have motors. Aron's got a big motor. This year he's put together some technique. He has improved dramatically from the beginning of the year. Combined with his athleticism he peaked at the right time. His technique caught up with his natural athleticism just in time to become a section champion and do well at state."
Stumvoll broke a pole in the state race last week but managed to finish behind champion Bjorn Batdorf of Duluth East and runner-up Tim Damrow of Roseville.
"Coach said the favorite was the guy who went out before me (Batdorf)," Stumvoll said. "My goal was to catch him or keep him in sight. He started about 30 seconds ahead of me. Before I broke my pole coach said I was about 10 seconds back.
"I broke a pole right before the 3-kilometer mark. I was poling fast because I was going fast down a hill. I was poling hard. It just broke off. The strap was still on my hand and the pole was on the ground.
"Coach was not far away. I could see him. He ran (a pole) over."
Hanson said Stumvoll decided to ski classical rather than the pursuit event (classical and freestyle).
"Aron is racing smart," Hanson said. "He knows the experienced big guns in cross country skiing are going to do the pursuit race. He realized while he could have qualified in the pursuit race he would be able to perform better in the classical race. That's exactly the way it worked out.
"In pursuit he would probably not be all-state. In classical, choosing wisely put him up for a high finish."
Stumvoll said classical is his strongest skiing discipline.
"It's only my second year and I wanted to concentrate on one thing so I practiced classicalling most of the time," he said.
Stumvoll has made as much progression academically as he has as a skier.
"In ninth grade I had a 2.7 (grade-point average)," Stumvoll said. "I brought it up to 3.53. I took (Advanced Placement) classes. That helped. I had a 4.75 last semester."
Hanson has watched Stumvoll improve academically.
"Aron challenged himself in the classroom as well as on the athletic field," Hanson said. "He's up for the National Honor Society. I know he's making himself extremely busy.
"In their senior year some kids do a senior slide. Aron is going the opposite way. He's buckling down even more."
Other notable efforts by Warriors:
Courtney Drake, nordic skiing, was seventh at state to earn all-state honors.
Matt Yde, boys' basketball, scored 34 points and had 11 rebounds against Mankato West.
Amanda Rau, gymnastics, was runner-up in the section on uneven parallel bars and balance beam to qualify for state.
Molly Smith, gymnastics, was second in the section on vault to qualify for state.
Kathleen Lorenz, gymnastics, was fourth in the section on beam to advance to state.
Annalisa Aakhus, gymnastics, was fourth in the section on floor to qualify for state.
Tara Schmidt, gymnastics, was fourth in the section in all-around to advance to state.
Nick Praska, floor hockey, had five goals and four assists against Robbinsdale.
(Athlete of the week is honored by the Brainerd Sports Boosters Club.)
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