February 13, 2004 at 10:37 a.m.

On top of the Mountain-Boys wins section, girls second-both advance to state tournament

On top of the Mountain-Boys wins section, girls second-both advance to state tournament
On top of the Mountain-Boys wins section, girls second-both advance to state tournament

The changing of the guard in section seven has officially taken place. Duluth East is the no more the one to beat. Last Tuesday, the Chisago Lakes/St. Croix Falls ski team took over that title, defeating the Greyhounds and everyone else in the section, advancing to their second consecutive state tournament. The Wildcats performance was so dominating that out of 68 racers, Chisago Lakes placed three in the top 10, all three qualifying for individual portion for the ski meet (today), February 12, in Duluth.

“We beat them convincingly, that’s what makes them feel so good,” said a smiling Rodger Petryk, Chisago Lakes/St. Croix Falls head ski coach. “All of that was without Ross Stensrud’s time, his ski fell off.”

As a matter of fact, after Stensrud’s first run, the senior was seventh overall. Fellow senior Isaiah Kinzer got things started, flying down the course, finishing with a two run time of 1:07.48, good enough for second overall. Right behind him, Dan Olson posted the sixth fastest time while Seth Kinzer ran 10. Rob Sandgren just missed the top 10 coming in 11, and Jeff Wolfe finished 16 overall.

“Seth is skiing in the fifth seed, so by the time he gets there, there are some huge routs on the course,” mentioned Petryk. “Considering that, he skied so well. He’s so good at skiing the ruts and that’s why we put him there. Dan (Olson) likes a smoother surface and that’s why we put him third. I figured Dan could’ve made it, but then Seth finished 10 and Rob Sandgren finished 11 and Jeff (Wolfe) was 16, that’s amazing considering they were skiing against some pretty good skiers.

“All of that indicates that we are skiing very consistently and that we have a lot of depth, that’s what it’s going to take to win this thing (state),” continued Petryk. “The guys now know that they’ve beaten every team in the state that they’ve gone up against. That gives them a lot of confidence.”

As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. After taking first, the Wildcats are now one of the favorites to win state, if not the favorite. Are they up to the task?

“I think so,” replied Petryk. “You don’t do anything new, you don’t do anything different at state. It’s just two consistent runs. The kids know if they ski well, they could be state champs because they’ve beaten everybody else.”

Section 7 Ski Meet

Boys team results (Top 5)-

1. Chisago Lakes 307*

2. Virginia 300*

3. Duluth East 288

4. Hibbing/Chisholm 255

5. Brainerd 247

*Qualified for state

Individual Results (CL only):

2. Isaiah Kinzer 67.48*

6. Dan Olson 70.35*

10. Seth Kinzer 72.84*

11. Rob Sandgren

16. Jeff Wolfe

65. Ross Stensrud

*Qualified for individual state meet

Although Duluth East kept their strangle hold on section 7 (barely) last Thursday taking first, the Chisago Lakes/St. Croix Falls girls squad also punched their ticket to state, taking second. The day was a roller coaster of emotions, especially when it came to Katie Kinzer’s stumble late in the race. You could cut the tension with a knife.

“The girls thought we didn’t make it, they thought that dropped us down to third behind Brainerd,” remembered Petryk. “I think the wish was that they got second. They knew first was out of the question but they didn’t know if they got second or not, so when our name was announced at the end in second place, the girls were really excited, it was a fun atmosphere.”

For the second straight season, the Wildcats were in. As always, Brittany Nelson stole the show. Nelson finished second overall, just 12 one hundreths of a second off the pace. Also finishing in the top 10 was Jessica Lundgren and Sarah Bottjen running eighth and ninth respectively. All three skiers qualified for the state individual ski meet, also held today, February 12, in Duluth.

“Brittany, Jessica, and Sarah finished in the top 10 and Katie would have been there if it wasn’t for her stumble. She was third after the first run and I think she would have finished third overall if she would’ve held on,” said Petryk. “She was coming down so fast, she just hit a little compression. She had to stop. She was coming so fast she couldn’t make the turn, she definitely would have been third. If that would have happened, we would’ve won the meet by one point, so we now know East is beatable. But, to us, it just matters that we made the dance, that’s all we wanted.”

Okay, so maybe the ‘Cats want one more thing, a state championship. After taking sixth last season at the big show, the Wildcats are setting their sights higher this time around. To them, it’s first or bust.

“Last year just whet our appetite, we were just happy to be there,” mentioned Petryk. “There are five places in front of that. If both teams ski well, winning it all is within our grasp. It’s right there in front of us. It’s really a team effort though. The support is there. It’s a deep team and they both know they can do it.”

The Wildcats have been on the top of the mountain all season long, why stop now?

Section 7 Ski Meet

Girls team results (Top 5)-

1. Duluth East 262*

2. Chisago Lakes 239*

3. Brainerd 214

4. Hibbing/Chisholm 204

5. Duluth Marshall 203

*Qualified for state

Individual Results (CL only):

2. Brittany Nelson 73.98*

8. Jessica Lundgren 79.43*

9. Sarah Bottjen 80.65*

25. Breanna Stoeckman

29. Simone Raedeke

31. Kate Kinzer

*Qualified for individual state meet

Wildcats complete week with conference championship

Just two days after qualifying for the state meet, the Wildcats finished last week with a bang by winning the conference tournament in decisive fashion. The conference meet was held last Thursday after being postponed on February 3 due to weather.

Fresh off his second place showing at sections, Isaiah Kinzer took first on the boys side. Kinzer started the night off with a dominating first run, breaking the 26 second mark. Kinzer’s two run time of 52.01 was more than two seconds faster than anyone else.

In addition, Seth Kinzer finished third while Dan Olson ran fourth. Senior Rick Reichert also finished in the top 10, running 10 overall. In other words, no letdown.

“They guys are just skiing extremely well right now,” mentioned Petryk. “Dan Olson is probably the biggest surprise, the last couple of weeks, he’s been skiing unbelievable. Both Dan and Seth (Kinzer) have really stepped it up. I think they are the keys going into the state meet.”

While Isaiah starred in the boys race, with Brittany Nelson missing, sophomore Jessica Lundgren filled in admirably, winning the girls meet, less than a second ahead of Katie Kinzer and Sarah Bottjen who both tied for second.

“The biggest surprise there was Jessie Lundgren, she’s really been working hard. She’s improved so much to the point where that was the first race she’s won and nobody made any mistakes,” said Petryk. “It was a great race considering what happened at section a couple nights earlier. Sometimes you come in so high off a win like that, it’s hard to get back up for another big race that soon. I think it really indicates the type of focus this team has, it’s really something.”

Overall, out of 53 racers in the girls meet, the Wildcats placed seven of their 10 racers in the top 10. The results showed on the scoreboard as the ‘Cats won by more than 200 points!

“Our balance and depth is really something, on both teams,” stated Petryk. “You go down to sixth and eighth place with Katie Garbe and Simone Raedeke and they’re both seventh-graders. They could both be the number one skier for any other team in our conference. Then of course you throw in Katie (Kinzer) and she’s an eighth-grader. This team has so much talent and they’re young so we might be even better next year.”

If that’s the case, that sound you hear is the rest of the teams in North Suburban asking for a conference change, and fast.

North Suburban Conf. Meet

Boys Team Results-

1. Chisago Lakes 551

2. Irondale 403

3. Centennial 358

4. Champlin Park 326

5. Blaine 308

Individual Results (CL only)-

1. I. Kinzer 52.01

3. S. Kinzer 54.78

4. Olson 55.00

10. Reichert 56.79

11. R. Sandgren

12. Wilson

15. Wolfe

30. D, Sandgren

32. Raedeke

71. Stensrud

North Suburban Conf. Meet

Girls Team Results-

1. Chisago Lakes 448

2. Centennial 256

3. Irondale 165

4. Blaine 160

5. Champlin Park 131

Individual Results (CL only)-

1. Lundgren 56.44

T2. Kinzer 57.11

T2. Bottjen 57.11

4. Stoeckman 58.80

6. Katie Garbe 62.42

8. Raedeke 63.54

10. Biersach 63.86

14. Wilson

16. Kreidler

28. Nickelson

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