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Small team provides opportunity at Mont du Lac

The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton alpine ski teams were in action Monday, Jan. 15, in a meet at Mont du Lac, and the small roster acquitted itself well. The team had only six skiers take part Monday, so it couldn't generate a team score in either boys' or...

Cloquet-Esko-Carlton alpine skier Ethan Butcher raced at the Mont du Lac meet Monday, Jan. 15. Dave Harwig/Pine Journal
Cloquet-Esko-Carlton alpine skier Ethan Butcher raced at the Mont du Lac meet Monday, Jan. 15. Dave Harwig/Pine Journal

The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton alpine ski teams were in action Monday, Jan. 15, in a meet at Mont du Lac, and the small roster acquitted itself well.

The team had only six skiers take part Monday, so it couldn't generate a team score in either boys' or girls' racing, and the team was without top skier Thomas Heren of Esko, who was skiing at a race in Thunder Bay.

"Our numbers were smaller than usual," coach Ryan Zimny said.

But there's an upside to the smaller numbers.

"The small team means we have time to work with everyone individually, and when we do drills we can all do them together," he said. "That helps. The kids are improving and as importantly they are having fun."

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Full results were not available at press time, but Zimny said the important thing at this stage isn't necessarily times, anyway.

"It's about improving," he said. "It's about doing the small things you need to do to get better."

The team has faced a significant obstacle in the weather, which has been great for keeping snow but not so great for skiing downhill.

"It was pretty cold at the top of the hill at Mont du Lac, but warmer when you got closer to the bottom," Zimny said. "But, we've had races at Lutsen and at Giants Ridge that were just bitter in terms of the cold."

The prolonged cold snap has made for good skiing, but some rosy cheeks for skiers who have to brave temperatures near zero with wind in their faces.

"You adjust," Zimny said. "The kids know now to wear an extra layer and they just go out and attack the course. It's part of winter around here, you get cold. It doesn't seem to impact them much."

That said, the athletes on the team are determined to get better.

"They are working hard and they're enjoying their skiing," Zimny said. "That's all we can ask for."

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Cloquet-Esko-Carlton skier Hailey Owens competed Monday, Jan. 15, at the meet in Mont du Lac. Dave Harwig/Pine Journal
Cloquet-Esko-Carlton skier Hailey Owens competed Monday, Jan. 15, at the meet in Mont du Lac. Dave Harwig/Pine Journal

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