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Ski teams fly into postseason

The Lumberjacks girls alpine team missed a trip to State by one place Tuesday, taking third place at the Section 7 meet at Giants Ridge.

Cloquet-Esko-Carlton head coach Ryan Zimny said one skier fell on one of two runs. Although she walked back up and completed the course, it is impossible to make up for that missed time. "The fact that we had a fall and were still third out of 19 teams, that says a lot," Zimny said.

Although the team won't be competing in Biwabik next Tuesday, two individual skiers will be making the trip back: junior Emily Regas and eighth grader Teagan Tessier both qualified for State.

Regas took 10th with a combined time of 1 minute, 22.42 seconds for two runs on Tuesday, while Tessier finished right behind her in 11th place with a time of 1:22.69.

"It was a good day," Zimny said, adding that the weather and snow were almost ideal. "It comes down to tenths (of seconds)."

Zimny explained that the top two teams advance to the state meet, plus the next 10 individual skiers not on either of the top two teams. Regas will be competing there for the second year in a row.

Cook County took first place in the team event with 340 points, Duluth East was second with 328 and CEC took third with 298 points. The top four skiers are counted in the point total, so that included Regas (10th), Teagan Tessier (11th), Nadia Tessier (18th), and Annika Elsmore (47th). Madysen Waters took 83rd place and didn't score. The sixth team member, Lauren Radovich, was injured most of the season and couldn't compete Tuesday.

With zero seniors on the girls team, Zimny is optimistic about next year, especially if Radovich is healthy.

"Sometimes as coach you just get lucky and have a really talented group come through," he said. "They drive each other in a good way.

"The Tessier sisters definitely are competitive with each other."

The boys team is finished for the season after placing 15th.

"The boys all skied pretty well," Zimny said. "They're a younger team, with one senior, Morgan Grove, who finished on a nice note and skied pretty well."

Grove finished in 42nd place. Other CEC boys finished as follows: Carson Kronlund (59th), Aiden True (64th), Blake Nesseth (65th), Ethan Krone (68th) and Quinn Waters (87th).

He encouraged any CEC students interested in trying alpine skiing to join the team next year.

"There's a place for anybody on the team," he said. "We have anything from pretty green to really experienced racers. You get out what you put in."