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Esko junior Alex DeRocher skis his way to first place at the Centennial Invite at Giant's Ridge Tuesday. Photo contributed by John Luomala

CEC skiers seeking postseason push

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Esko sophomore Sarah Severson and Esko junior Alex DeRocher recently won the Lake Superior Conference alpine ski meet at Mont du Lac, en route to leading Cloquet-Esko-Carlton to the girls championship and the boys to a runner-up finish.

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DeRocher also placed first at the Centennial Invite at Giant's Ridge Tuesday. And, while Paige Tranah didn't participate in the Mont du Lac conference meet due to a bout of the flu, the Esko junior recovered and redeemed herself at the Centennial Invite, placing the highest of any CEC girls despite starting 91st. Coming from 15 different schools, a total of 104 girls raced in the event, while 105 boys raced.

Giants Ridge will host both the section and state meets, Feb. 6 and 13.

"We just have to put two solid runs down and see where we end up," Lumberjacks Coach Ryan Zimny said, noting that DeRocher, Severson and Tranah could all return to state individually. "But it's racing - anything could happen."

The Lake Superior Conference announced its selection for the All Conference Team last week. First team members include Severson and Carly Boder for the Lumberjacks girls and DeRocher and Sam Sinnott for the boys. Isaac MacMillan, Jack Fossen and Tori Anderson were all named to the second team, as CEC begins their postseason push next week.

The CEC Nordic team will compete in the Lake Superior Conference meet Friday afternoon at Pincushion Trail in Grand Marais starting at 11 a.m.

Coach Les Martin said his Lumberjacks have been to roughly 10 meets thus far, with Friday predicted to be a cold one.

Martin said the CEC girls will look to defend their conference title from last year, led by Erika Fox, Anja Maijala, Molly Meysembourg and Kaylee Parks. The boys look to Duncan Fox, Josh Carlson, Jace Anderson, Matt Rengo and Nolan Ripp.

Pine Journal Editor Jana Peterson contributed to this story.

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