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Alpine skiing: East Ridge leads PWER pack

East Ridge eighth-grade skier Jack Midtlien. Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker1 / 2
Woodbury High School racer Sarah Niederhofer. Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker2 / 2

East Ridge skiers again led the District 833 pack last week on the slalom course.

The Raptors girls took third place of 10 teams in the season's second Suburban East Conference meet of the year - this one held Jan. 10 at Welch Village Ski Area. The East Ridge girls were the only segment on the Park-Woodbury-East Ridge (PWER) alpine team to crack the top three places.

"Things didn't go as well as the first meet," PWER coach Kevin Seipel said. "We have a very competitive section."

Two East Ridge skiers made the top 10 in the 116-skier field: captains Jessie Lepel, a senior, and Morgan Maxwell, a junior. They finished fourth and sixth overall, respectively. The Raptors took third in the meet without standout junior racer Elizabeth Koprucki, who was racing in a different event that day.

The Park girls skied to a seventh-place finish and were led by senior captains Andrea Kuzj and Kathlyn Cornwell, who finished 20th and 22nd overall, respectively.

The Wolfpack boys finished 10th at the meet and were led by sophomore Dan Rogers, who raced to 15th place overall.

"He is moving up fast and is skiing very well," Seipel said.

The East Ridge boys placed fifth in the 10-team SEC field, led by emerging standout Jack Midtlien. The eighth grader finished third overall of 134 racers. He wasn't the only middle schooler to make an impact for Raptors boys: fellow eighth grader Holton Sailer finished 20th overall.

The Woodbury girls finished fifth for the second meet in a row. The Royals girls were led by senior captain Sarah Niederhofer. She finished ninth overall and was followed on the team by fellow senior Brittany Roth, who finished in 19th place overall.

Senior Woodbury captain Davis Johnson led the Royals boys, who finished seventh at the meet. Johnson recorded his best finish ever, placing sixth overall. Freshman Cole Brueshoff grabbed 23rd place for the Royals.

PWER skiers returned to their home slopes of Afton Alps on Tuesday in a meet that was run after the Bulletin went to press. The racers travel Friday to Welch Village for the Welch Invitational.

-Mike Longaecker