Kirchner skiing to state

FL girls eighth, boys 10th at section alpine meet

For the first time in four years, a Ranger female has advanced to the state meet in alpine skiing.

Senior Krista Kirchner competes today, Feb. 15, against the best skiers in Minnesota at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik.

Kirchner advanced to state by placing fifth in a field of 100 at the Section 7 meet held last Tuesday, also at Giant’s Ridge. She stood in seventh place after completing her first run in 42.18 seconds. A second run of 41.50 moved her up two spots. Hermantown’s Megan Danelski won the section meet with a combined time of 1:18.93. Kirchner’s combined time was 1:23.78. She is the first Ranger girl to reach state since Carly Bass in 2008.

Despite the great effort from its top skier, the Forest Lake girls’ team finished eighth out of 19 schools. Junior Kellie Welch took 26th with a time of 1:31.59. She was 10 spots and about five seconds behind the cut-off point for the individual state qualifiers.

Eighth-grader Maggie Longsdorf overcame an illness to make a solid section debut. She placed 45th in 1:38.81. Close in her tracks were sophomore Sydney Halley (48th, 1:40.64) and junior Melissa Mackey (49th, 1:40.73). Sophomore Maddi Gemuenden came in on a roll but did not finish after crashing on her second run.

Section newcomer Mounds View won the team title with 368 points. Hermantown swept the top three places and edged Duluth East for the other state ticket.

The Ranger boys placed 10th with 252.5 points. Senior Cody Eggers led the way with a time of 1:19.12, good for 24th place in a field of 102. Ninth-grader Riley Schilling also impressed, taking 32nd with a time of 1:20.31 in his first section meet.

Senior David Herman skied to 43rd place in 1:22.25. Joe Alberg also put together two clean runs. The eighth-grader finished 60th in 1:27.35.

Sophomore Jake Bush fell on his first run and eighth-grader Marty Longsdorf fell on his second, but both finished and scored points. Longsdorf came in 63rd with a time of 1:29.05, while Bush placed 73rd in 1:35.40. All four underclassmen were first-time section participants.

Chisago Lakes won the team championship with 383 points. Duluth East also qualified for state. Individually, Centennial’s Taylor Lindy won the meet with a time of 1:10.55.