Armstrong girls Nordic skiing will have five different varsity skiers in the top seven this season, but the top skier from last season is one of the two back from a year ago.
Senior Sophia Pung took seventh at sections last season to advance to the state meet. Pung, who was also third at conference to earn an All-Northwest Suburban Conference selection, took 51st at state in 27 minutes, 55.7 seconds.
Senior Noelle Brandes took 16th at conference to earn an all-conference selection, and Brandes was 25th at sections in 24:56.9.
All-conference selections Lou Himes and Brianna Dorweiler and honorable mention Allyson Heiden all graduated from last season.
Senior Roshni Flannery and juniors Rachel Olson and Cheyenne Oja all raced in the conference meet last season and all return.
Flannery was 73rd at conference in 28:50, and Olson finished 77th in 29:17. Oja took 81st in 29:58.
Freshman Lillian Schulte is added to the varsity lineup, and sophomore Kyra Bednarz and eighth-grader Mikayla Skerbitz also finished a varsity race so far this season.
Senior Isabella Enger and freshman Ava Wolter had a little time on course so far, but neither raced a full meet yet.
The girls team started the season Dec. 16 in a 4K skate race at Elm Creek, taking fifth overall with a 386.
Maple Grove (462), Andover (447), Spring Lake Park (437) and Coon Rapids (414) all finished ahead of the Falcons.
Pung led the way with a fourth-place finish in 11:41, and Brandes finished 14th in 13:07. Olson took 28th in 15:12.
Oja finished 30th in 15:16, and Flannery took 40th in 15:51 to finish the team scoring. Schulte was 57th in 18:33.
The Falcons were fifth Dec. 22 in a 5K classic race at Hyland Park Reserve, finishing with a 409.
Osseo (450), Champlin Park (446), Andover (437) and Coon Rapids (417) were ahead of Armstrong.
Pung won the meet title in 15:36, and Brandes finished 14th in 19:52. Schulte (22:13) and Flannery (22:14) were 25th and 26th, and Olson was 30th in 22:35 to finish the team scoring.
Skerbitz took 44th in 26:30, and Bednarz was 54th in 28:35.
Oja and Wolter competed in the 3K race. Oja finished in 14:15, and Wolter crossed the finish line in 19:25.