Raptors race to state in alpine
The Raptors will get another run at it.
The East Ridge boys alpine ski team qualified for the state meet for the second year in a row on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at Wild Mountain Ski Area.
The Raptors will look to build on last year’s seventh place finish – a mark the team’s coach said is attainable.
“They’re going to try to go as hard as they can,” said Kevin Seipel, who coaches the Park-Woodbury-East Ridge (PWER) alpine teams. “Especially with three seniors, they’re not going to be holding anything back. I think we have a chance to do well.”
East Ridge finished second in Section 4 in the 20-team meet. The Blake School took first place.
Woodbury took fifth in the race, while Park finished in 15th place.
Seipel said he expects this year’s East Ridge team to put their experience from last year’s state meet to work for them. Four of the team’s six racers have now participated in the state meet and will know what they’re up against.
“They were a little bit awestruck last year,” Seipel said.
Several of the teams will be familiar opponents for East Ridge, which competes in the Suburban East Conference (SEC).
Two other SEC teams qualified for state – Stillwater and Forest Lake, in addition to Blake, which East Ridge saw at sections. Seipel said the strength of SEC competition means his Raptors are even more battle-tested.
“It just shows how hard the conference it is,” he said.
The state meet is Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
The Raptors’ section team is comprised of sixth-place overall finisher Holton Sailer, Oliver Kennedy (8th), Mike Youngstrom (20th), Allesandro Amores (56th), Collin Mead (78th) and Philip Brady (83rd).
The Raptors will be joined at state by Woodbury racer Cole Bruesehoff, who qualified as an individual. He finished 13th overall.
Qualifiers for the individual race are comprised of each member of the state qualifying teams, as well as the top 10 finishers not on state-qualifying teams.
That means Woodbury racer Jack Midtlien just missed qualifying for what would have been his third straight state meet. The sophomore skidded out on his second run, which dropped him into 22nd place overall.
Park’s Dan Rogers also turned in a strong performance, finishing 24th overall in the 126-skier field.
On the girls side, East Ridge’s Abby Eggers – the highest finisher among PWER racers – will also compete at state individually.
See the Feb. 12 edition of the Woodbury Bulletin for more on the section meet.