Downhill skiers close season at section meet

Boys repeat 10th-place finish while girls improve to seventh

 

Eighth-grader Sydney Norcross winds around a gate during a run at Giant’s Ridge. Norcross led the Ranger girls with a 17th-place finish. (Photo submitted)

Eighth-grader Sydney Norcross winds around a gate during a run at Giant’s Ridge. Norcross led the Ranger girls with a 17th-place finish. (Photo submitted)

The Ranger alpine skiing team closed its season last Tuesday at the section meet at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik with seventh and 10th-place finishes out of 19 teams, and no individual state qualifiers.

Duluth East took the section title for the girls’ portion with 338 points while Mounds View also qualified for state with 333 points.

The Rangers tied for sixth with 289 points, but lost the tiebreaker to Cook County/Silver Bay to close the meet in seventh, one spot up from last season’s placement.

Leading the girls was eighth-grader Sydney Norcross in 17th place, just four spots and 1.36 seconds from qualifying for state.

Senior Kellie Welch closed her career in 26th, the same placement the co-captain earned last season. Fellow senior Melissa Mackey followed closely in 29th, improving from 49th last year. Ninth-grader Maggie Longsdorf completed the Rangers’ scoring in 47th place.

Marty Longsdorf navigates his way downhill at the section meet in Biwabik last Tuesday.  The ninth-grader took 26th place.  (Photo submitted)

Marty Longsdorf navigates his way downhill at the section meet in Biwabik last Tuesday. The ninth-grader took 26th place.
(Photo submitted)

Junior Sydney Halley also placed in the top 50, followed closely by eighth-grader Elli Rodsjo, who fell on her first run but recorded the 23rd fastest second run to move up to 57th place overall.

Head coach Grant Lindemer said the girls placed well considering the youth on the team.

“For a young and developing team, this was a good finish to their season,” Lindemer said. “I look forward to seeing some excellent performances in the future.”

On the boys’ side, Hermantown took first with 344 points, followed by Cook County/Silver Bay with 334. The Rangers repeated their 2012 placement in 10th.

Jacob Bush led the Rangers with a 16th-place finish. The junior missed a state-qualifying spot by three places and 1.09 seconds. Ninth-grader Marty Longsdorf skiied to a 26th-place finish with classmate Joe Alberg close behind in 33rd. Senior Jacob Schwanz contributed to the team total with a top-50 finish in 48th place. Sophomore Chris Wallner finished in 77th while sophomore Riley Schilling suffered a heartbreaking disqualification for straddling a gate during his second run. The disqualification followed a speedy first run that had put him in 16th place.

Overall, Lindemer said the boys are similar to the girls in their youth and potential.

“The boys’ potential is outstanding and they are well aware of that,” the head coach said. “The Forest Lake Rangers understand that this game is as much mental as it is physical and are becoming very proficient in the game.”

With such a short season, Lindemer said the skiers will be on the hills for weeks to come with their individual and club training. “Our kids are still out on their own training,” Lindemer said. “They are still pursuing excellence in the sport and I’m very proud of them for that.”

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