Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Heading back to state

Patrick Slack
Posted 2/15/17

BIWABIK - After waiting all winter to be fully healthy, the Ely girls entered Thursday’s Section 7 meet ... still not fully healthy.

It didn’t matter.

With a powerful display of depth, …

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Heading back to state

Posted

BIWABIK - After waiting all winter to be fully healthy, the Ely girls entered Thursday’s Section 7 meet ... still not fully healthy.

It didn’t matter.

With a powerful display of depth, placing all seven skiers in the top 23, the Wolves locked up a repeat section championship, and with it a return trip to the state meet.

“I felt going in that if we were healthy and if each girl skied to her ability that we would come out on top,” Ely head coach Paula Anderson said. “We weren’t 100 percent healthy, but it was enough. We should be 100 percent by the state meet. No one skier stood out - they each just got the job done.”

Senior Erin Bianco paved the way, claiming the individual crown with an overall time of 34:23.5, topping runner-up Anna Johnson of Mesabi East/Virginia/Eveleth-Gilbert by 27 seconds.

Bianco opened the day with the second-best time in the freestyle, 11 seconds behind Anja Maijala of Cloquet-Esko-Carlton, then dominated in the afternoon classic.

“Erin performed like I expected,” Anderson said. “She is skiing really well right now and has the confidence she needs to succeed. I felt that she would catch Anja and that her lead over Anna was enough. It was extremely exciting to see her in first place at the finish.”

The Wolves also received clutch top-10 performances out of juniors Emma Terwilliger and Ryne Prigge.

Terwilliger shook off a slow start in the freestyle to finish in sixth place overall in 36:08.9.

“I felt like the race went well for me,” Terwilliger said. “After being under the weather for a large portion of the season, it felt good to put in two solid races. I felt like my first race could have gone better, but I have learned over the years that the only thing you can do to change your first race is to put in an amazing second one.

“My second race went very well. I was motivated by my team, and the prospect of helping to qualify us for the second year in a row. I felt like the race went very well for our team, and we were all very happy with the result.”

Prigge earned 10th place overall in 37:42.6 and Laura Pasmick took 16th place in 38:30.9 to clinch the Wolves’ team championship.

Caroline Homer followed in 18th place in 38:41.2, Evelyn Bercher took 22nd place in 40:15.3 and Brooke Pasmick took 23rd place in 40:19.5.

The display of depth gave Ely a 371-362 edge over runner-up Duluth East in the team standings, with third place Mesabi East/Virginia/Eveleth-Gilbert 20 points behind.

The Wolves were scheduled to compete in the state meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik on Thursday.

“The feeling I have coming into the state meet is gratitude,” Terwilliger said. “I am so thankful to have such an amazing team who always push me to be the best person and athlete I can be; we have all worked so hard to accomplish our goal. I am so proud of each and every one of my teammates, and am so excited to have the chance to race with them one last time.”

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