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Boys' and girls' Alpine skiing story lines, skiers to watch

By Ron Haggstrom, Star Tribune, 12/11/17, 5:30PM CST


West Lutheran's Isaiah Nelson is one of 20 skiers to keep an eye on.

West Lutheran junior Isaiah Nelson finished third in the boys’ field at last year's state meet and is the state's top returning skier. File photo: ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribune.com

Alpine field wide open

With the medalists from a year ago having graduated and the defending state team champions losing their top skiers, it appears all four Alpine titles are wide open. The top finishers back are West Lutheran junior Isaiah Nelson (third in the boys’ field) and Roseville senior Elizabeth Kiresuk (fifth among the girls’ individuals). The defending state team champions are Minnetonka (boys) and Chisago Lakes/St. Croix Falls (girls).


Top 10 individuals to watch

• Carl Berghult, Edina, junior

• Kaarl Damberg, Mounds View, junior

• Zach Dekko, Blake, senior

• Izak Hofstad, Eagan, junior

• Emmit Nelson, Simley, senior

• Isaiah Nelson, West Lutheran, junior

• Christopher Reichling, Edina, senior

• Sam Shideman, Breck, freshman

• Parker Smith, Stillwater, junior

• Brandon Wentworth, Lakeville South, senior

Top five teams

1. Edina

2. St. Thomas Academy

3. Minnetonka

4. Stillwater

5. Breck

Minneapolis Southwest sophomore Elsa Peterson, 13th in the girls' field at state last year, has a chance to improve her place this season as medalists from a year ago have graduated. File photo: ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribune.com


Tough setback

Lakeville South junior Lauren Geary had been ascending to the top of the girls’ Alpine field, but suffered a season-ending ACL injury before Thanksgiving during a training camp in Winter Park, Colo. Geary finished sixth in the state meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik a year ago. The top four finishers in the field graduated. “Lauren had as good of a chance as anybody at winning it this year,’’ Cougars coach Wayne Hill said. “The only thing holding her back previously was her size, and she got a lot stronger for the upcoming season. It’s a tough loss for us.’’

Top 10 individuals to watch

• Becca Divine, Eden Prairie, junior

• Bailey Donovan, St. Paul Academy, junior

• Morgan Gasser, Bloomington Jefferson, senior

• Elizabeth Kiresuk, Roseville, senior

• Kathryn Kossack, Lakeville North, junior

• Camille Kuznik, Orono, freshman

• Deirdre O’Neill, Breck, junior

• Elsa Peterson, Minneapolis Southwest, sophomore

• Hannah Stec, Chisago Lakes, senior

• Meredith Swirtz, Minnetonka, sophomore

Top five teams

1. Lakeville North

2. Minnetonka

3. Minneapolis Southwest

4. Chisago Lakes

5. Eden Prairie

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