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CEC alpine season starts on a high note for girls

Members of the girls team who placed included (from left) Paige Tranah (fourth place), Kaitlyn Knutson (38th place), Tori Anderson (26th place), Sarah Severson (second place), Aly Granholm (63rd place), Carly Boder (eighth place). Photo by John Luomala

It may be early, but the Lumberjacks alpine boys and girls ski teams are looking good out of the gate. In their opening competition - a nine-team ski meet at Lutsen Friday - the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls took first place, while the boys took fifth place.

"Overall I was really pleased with how everyone skied for the first race of the year," Coach Ryan Zimny said. "They showed that they are learning to deal with the pressure of putting together two solid runs. If the girls continue to improve on their skiing, they could definitely be in the running for a team trip to state."

The CEC girls had three racers in the top 10: Sarah Severson took second place, Paige Tranah took fourth and Carly Boder came in eighth. All three girls also are longtime skiers with the Duluth Alpine Club.

Zimny expects the boys team to improve, especially with the addition of scores from Alex DeRocher - who didn't race on Friday - and team captain Isaac MacMillan who skied well, but was a half inch off on one gate causing him to be disqualified on his first run. However, MacMillan had the 15th fastest second run. Sam Sinnott finished highest for the boys at 21st place.

"All in all, I feel good about where everyone is at this early point in the season," Zimny said.