Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Well worth the wait

Patrick Slack
Posted 2/22/17

BIWABIK - Under different circumstances, Caroline Homer may have never taken up Nordic skiing.

In ballet through her freshman year, the closing of the Ely community center left Homer searching …

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Well worth the wait

Posted

BIWABIK - Under different circumstances, Caroline Homer may have never taken up Nordic skiing.

In ballet through her freshman year, the closing of the Ely community center left Homer searching for a new winter sport.

With several friends on the team, and already a strong endurance athlete, she chose skiing.

“I was in cross country and track,” she said. “I wanted to be in a third sport, so I chose skiing.

“Coming into skiing my 10th-grade year, I did not know how well I would perform. It was definitely a big learning experience. But I also had known all of the girls on the team since childhood, so that definitely helped with the whole skiing experience.”

In a short span of time, Homer went from a Nordic rookie to a key varsity contributor, helping Ely attain its first championship in team history.

She would first have to shake off lingering illness, a common theme among the Wolves this winter, after spending the fall battling injuries in cross country.

“I dealt with injuries in cross country, and I was like, ‘Skiing, fresh start, new slate, not going to have anything happen.’ And it turned out, in the middle of December I acquired bronchitis. That was definitely a struggle.”

Fortunately, it let up by the state meet, helping Homer finish her career on a strong note, posting splits of 17:34 in the freestyle and 19:20.4 in the classic to net a 68th-place pursuit time of 36:54.4.

It was an emotional finish as a senior, and now state champion.

“I thought it went really well,” Homer said. “It had a lot more impact, definitely, after you cross the finish line, you’re like, ‘Wow, that’s it.’

“It was actually very emotional. I was obviously really proud of my team and what we accomplished. I knew we were a good team, but I didn’t know we had the potential to be that good.”

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