Two Chanhassen brothers aided in the Storm's fourth-place finish in the team's first-ever state boys' Alpine ski team appearance last week at Biwabik, Minn.
"To make it to state was a very big accomplishment for us," head Alpine ski coach Josh Kleve said. "I was pleasantly surprised we wound up in fourth."
Seventh-grader Louis Nguyen finished in seventh place for individuals with a two-run total of 1:11.06; while his older brother Vy Nguyen's time of 1:11.90 placed him in 10th.
In Louis' first-ever appearance at state, he finished with the fastest time among team competitors.
"He has got some of the quickest feet that I've seen in a long time," Kleve said. "He takes everything with the same level of focus and determination and gives it 110 percent each time he goes on the hill."
Louis said: "After the first run I was fifth, and I dropped to seventh [after the second run], so I was disappointed. I think we could have done a little better."
Meanwhile, Vy had qualified for the state meet as an individual three times before this year. His experience and leadership have proven to be invaluable for the Storm squad, his coach said.
"He's a leader, and a lot of kids really look up to him," Kleve said. "He has such racing experience. He's raced all across the country in all kinds of conditions and circumstances. That wealth of knowledge is helpful for the racers and coaches."
The brothers have been an integral part of the Storm's success this season. Louis and Vy helped Chanhassen win the first Missota Conference Alpine skiing title. The conference was formed after a split of the Chaska and Chanhassen ski team.
"Between me and my brother there's a lot of competition," Vy said. "He's younger, and I hope for the best, and that he doesn't beat me all the time."
Calvin Swanson is a University of Minnesota journalism student on assignment for the Star Tribune.