A hometown newspaper with a local office, local owners & lots of local news

CEC alpine team surprises at sections

Lumberjacks alpine ski coach Ryan Zimny knew his girls team would be in the mix at sections, but he didn't know they would do as well as they did at Tuesday's Section 7A meet.

The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls team placed fourth at Biwabik's Giants Ridge with 290 points, only four points behind third-place finisher Anoka. Duluth East placed first with 356 while Chisago Lakes came in second with 325.

Zimny said it's the best team finish for CEC since the mid-2000s, when a CEC team took third. "They were definitely close to qualifying, and fourth out of 19 teams in a tough section is pretty awesome," he said.

Although the CEC girls team will not advance to state - only the top two teams from each section go - one CEC skier will be competing in next Wednesday's meet, also at Giants Ridge.

Emily Regas took sixth overall in the section meet with two solid runs at 41.21 and 41.54 for a total of 1:22.75. Regas was half a second behind the fifth-place skier, and just over a second out of fourth place. The top 10 skiers (who are not on the top two teams) advance to state.

"Emily is skiing well right now and next week will be fun to see her let it rip," Zimny said. "The girls team is still young, with no juniors or seniors, so we should continue to improve and I expect we will have a good shot for state down the road."

The Section 7A girl's top skier was Lauren Carlson of Duluth East, who finished her two runs in 1:17.72 and beat her teammate and second-place finisher Veronica McHenry (1:21.20) by more than three seconds.

Other Cloquet girls skiers finished in the following order and times:

24th place: Madysen Waters 1:28.08

33rd place: Teagan Tessier 1:31.95

39th place: Nadia Tessier 1:33.14

58th place: Lauren Radovich 1:41.48

The top four finishers from each team are scored for points.

"Everyone skied well overall," Zimny said. "Nadia spun out on her first run that cost her a chunk of time and her chance for individual qualification, but she had a blazing second run to move up 20 places (from 59th to 39th place)."

With only three skiers, the CEC boys team couldn't compete as a team. The top finisher for the boys team was Morgan Grove in 68th place, with an overall time of 1:40.20.

Aiden True placed 82nd and Carson Kroulund took 91st place.

"We were short a team score for the boys yesterday, but they skied well individually," Zimny said.