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Skiing: Lumberjacks Nordic, alpine squads ski well, despite lack of snow

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January temperatures have been dipping lower on thermometers lately, but the same can't be said about the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton alpine ski team's competitiveness.

Coach Ryan Zimny was quick to praise the success of his downhill bunch at last Thursday's Lake Superior Conference alpine ski meet on Mont du Lac in Superior.

Although Proctor-Hermantown sped away with both the boys and girls titles, Zimny said the Lumberjacks were competitive, as the CEC girls placed runners-up, while the boys claimed third place. "[Proctor-Hermantown] has a pair of real solid teams this year, but overall, I think our kids skied pretty well," Zimny said of last week's LSC meet. "We had a few bobbles and falls, but everyone is improving. We've got a good chance at sending a few kids to state this year, for sure."

Leading the girls individually last week was Esko freshman Sarah Severson in fifth place, while fellow teammates Paige Tranah, Carly Boder and Tori Anderson followed in seventh, eighth and ninth place, respectively.

Esko sophomore Alex DeRocher was the top finisher on the boys' end, claiming eighth individually, while teammates Isaac MacMillan took tenth and Sam Sinnott 12th.

CEC was also in action Monday at Mont du Lac, where the boys placed fifth overall and the girls took sixth in the Duluth Denfeld Invitational. Duluth East won both divisions. Leading the CEC boys was Esko sophomore Alex DeRocher with a second-place finish behind Hermantown's Matthew Borash. DeRocher's combined time of 1:02.93 was just 1.11 seconds slower than Borash's. Sam Sinnott, another Esko sophomore, placed 10th with his time of 1:11.01. For the girls, Esko freshman Sarah Severson led CEC with her combined time of 1:10.35, good for a seventh-place finish,

followed by Tori Anderson in 20th place with 1:17.82.

CEC Nordic squad still skiing; battling along the way

The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Nordic ski team's biggest challenge this winter has been limited snowfall. Tuesday, though, there was a different challenge - semester


Coach Les Martin explained many of his varsity skiers missed Tuesday's Proctor Nordic Ski Invitational at Mount Itasca in Coleraine, Minn., because they were taking tests.

That said, Martin said it was a neat opportunity for some of his younger junior varsity skiers to showcase their talents at the varsity level.

"It was fun to see some of those kids' skills today," Martin said. "And I thought they did well considering how many of our varsity skiers were missing."

Duluth East won both the boys and girls titles, as the CEC boys finished fifth, while the girls did not field a full team for scoring.

Cloquet's Josh Carlson finished 13th individually to pace the CEC boys with his time of 17:26.8 while Chase Anderson, Jacob Tucker and Nolan Ripp spotted 22nd, 23rd and 24th places, respectively.

According to Martin, the only two girls who skied for CEC Tuesday included Carlton seventh-grader Erika Fox and freshman Kaylee Parks. Fox placed 15th and Parks 17th.