Season ends for CEC skiers
That's it for the skiers.
With the alpine season already in the books, Wednesday's 38-team relay race and last week's Section 7 Meet at Giant's Ridge in Biwabik marked the end of the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Nordic ski team's winter season.
A week ago at sections, CEC found the cold weather and challenging course difficult. Duluth East swept both the boys and girls divisions with their 375 and 388½ points, respectively. Fellow state power Ely made things interesting, but never challenged the top-notch Greyhounds.
"It was pretty obvious that they were the best team up there that day," said Lumberjacks coach Les Martin of Duluth East, who will advance to the state meet. "They skied very fast and were ready to go."
The girls team paced CEC at sections as they finished fifth out of the 10 competing squads with 284 points, while the boys claimed the eighth spot at 248. Wednesday, the Lumberjacks took part in an end-of-the-year relay at Giant's Ridge as this edition of the Pine Journal went to press.
Leading the girls at sections was Esko sophomore Molly Meysembourg with her pursuit time of 39 minutes, 45 seconds, finishing the highest of any CEC individual, just three slots from the state meet in 18th overall. Cloquet junior Alyssa Michaelson closely followed in 24th, while Esko sophomore Korbyn Danielson closed in 38th.
For the boys, Carlton sophomore Duncan Fox was the head runner, finishing in 35:36, good for 33rd. Esko freshman Matt Rengo finished right behind Fox in 36th, while Cloquet eighth-grader Nolan Ripp claimed the 41st slot.
Although Martin said the cold section race was challenging, he mentioned the highlight of the year was the girls Lake Superior Conference title, adding that the future looks bright.
"The girls did well at times and the boys struggled a little bit," said an optimistic Martin, "but everyone got a little better. If we have everyone return again next year, I think that we will continue to improve and should be even better than this season."