Nordic and Alpine teams compete in State

The Nordic and Alpine ski teams were able to send five swimmers total to the State Tournament in Biwabik, MN.

Will Krane

The Nordic and Alpine ski teams were able to send five swimmers total to the State Tournament in Biwabik, MN.

Both the Nordic and Alpine ski teams sent multiple skiers to the State tournaments that were both held at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik, MN.  Matt Paal, Clyde Sellke, and Charlie Brown qualified for Nordic State, while Ryan Tucker and Abigail Swanson were able to compete at State for Alpine.

For the Nordic ski team, their regular season had just finished after racing against the same teams for most of the meets which are the teams in the Metro West Conference, such as St. Louis Park and Chanhassen.

Both the girls’ and boys’ teams were confident going into their section meet on February 1.  The seniors wanted to end on a high note, but unfortunately they did not get the same outcome they were hoping for.  The boys’ team finished 5th in their section and the girls’ in 6th, but the individual events ended in a different way.

Three individual skiers were able to push through the Section and carry on the Red Knights to the state tournament.  Senior Matt Paal, sophomore Clyde Selke, and 8th grader Charlotte (Charlie) Brown will all be making an appearance in the state meet.

For those who do not know how Nordic section meets happen, many people find them confusing.  Everyone starts off in their first race at one minute intervals and then gets a time when they finish.  It doesn’t just end there though, for they then have to race again in the afternoon by competing in a pursuit race.  This time they start in the order they finished, with the fastest time going first and each skier spacing out behind him at the times they finished.

Paal was the highest finisher for BSM, finishing the race in 7th place.  Although it was a rough first race, he grinded through to be able to advance.  This will be his second time going to State, wanting to improve from last year.  “I hope I’m going to do well because last year I was sick going into it, so I am hoping to improve upon that,” Paal said.

There is also a sophomore making his first appearance.  Clyde Selke was able to finish 9th in the race and was the last Red Knight skiier to advance.

For the girls, Charlie Brown was able to make it through in the last available spot.  Finishing in 15th place, the 8th grader will now have the chance to compete against other high schoolers from around the state.  Although Charlie attends Groves Academy right down the street from BSM, the team is lucky enough that she can compete for BSM.

These three raced on February 11 at Giant’s Ridge Biwabik, MN.  Others who didn’t make it, like captain Matt Lynch, who was two spots away from qualifying, went up to support them.  For the boys, Paal got 30th in the freestyle portion and 33rd in pursuit, while Sellke got 62nd in freestyle and 57th in pursuit.  For the girls, Brown got 43rd in freestyle and 46th in pursuit.

As for Alpine, the Alpine ski team’s season has finished, and two of their members went to state. Eighth-grader Abigail Swanson for the girls and junior Ryan Tucker for the boys had the opportunity to race at Giants’ Ridge Recreation Area in Biwabik, Minnesota after qualifying for state.

Swanson finished 57th in state. Tucker, who finished 71st, really enjoyed the experience. “State was really fun; it was my first time racing at Giant’s Ridge and it was really nice to race somewhere new,” he said.

Even though Tucker fell on his second run, he is staying optimistic and knows that he still has his senior year to get even better.  “I fell on my second run, which kind of sucks. However, I’m not really frustrated because I still have another year to improve,” Tucker said.

While state may not have gone the way Tucker hoped, he loved the season as a whole. “The main highlight of my season was seeing the whole team improve throughout the year, especially some of the younger racers. Overall, it was very enjoyable to hang out with the team, and I’ll miss the seniors,” he said.

Both Swanson and Tucker will be looking to build on what they have accomplished this year so that they both do even better next year.