Detroit Lakes boya become contenders in Section 8 Nordic skiing
The important aspect for the Detroit Lakes boys' Nordic skiing team wasn't the fact they finished 38th in the 78-team Mesabi East meet at Giant's Ridge Saturday, it was who they finished ahead of.
The Lakers were the second-best team to finish Saturday in Section 8-1A, just 18 points behind Little Falls, while sophomore Jake Richards introduced his name to the state Nordic skiing world by taking fifth overall in the 5K freestyle race with a time of 15:44.7.
"This bodes well for us for the next couple of weeks because it gives us a boost in confidence," said DL head coach Dan Josephson.
DL has both the top-heavy talent in Richards and junior Dylan Ramstad-Skoyles -- who finished 34th in freestyle at 17:08.9 -- and the potential depth to clinch a section championship.
"Dylan had a good race, as well, and it showed the amount of competition (at Giant's Ridge) because he was just 1:13 off of Jake's pace and finished 29 spots behind him," Josephson said.
The huge meet is the focal contest of the season in the state, besides the state meet.
The majority of top skiers in Minnesota compete in the Mesabi East Invite and for the Lakers, it gives them a huge boost of confidence finishing so well in it.
Stephen Sinclair finished well in the classic race in 159th with a time of 22:55.6, while Hunter Schleske was 169th at 23:51.7 and Christian Tigges 171st at 24:00.2.
"If these three guys, along with Montana Johnson, can step up in the next few weeks, that will make things very interesting in the section meet," Josephson said. "We are having a lot of inner-team challenging for that third spot on the team. It's been a lot of fun seeing them compete so far this season."
The Laker girls finished in 57th out of 80 teams, with eighth grader Berit Ramstad-Skoyles leading the way with an impressive 66th place finish and a time of 23:02.2 in the freestyle.
Andrea Weiss followed in 132nd in freestyle, while Shannon Goetz was 157th in classic, followed by Miranda Olson in 168th and Celeste Koppe in 174th.
"Berit improved over 50 places in the same meet from last year," Josephson said. "Andrea (Weiss) also improved from last year's meet. Berit just needs a little more work on technique and she'll be ready for sections."
The Lakers will in St. Cloud Thursday for their next meet.
Detroit Lakes at Mesabi East Invite at Giant's Ridge, Saturday, Jan. 9.
Boys' team results (top 5 of 78 teams): Eden Prairie 687, Forest Lake 668, Wayzata 666, Osseo 637, Ely 634. 38. Detroit Lakes 387.
DL freestyle results: 5. Jake Richards 15:44.7; 34. Dylan Ramstad-Skoyles 17:08.9.
DL classic results: 159. Stephen Sinclair 22:55.6; 169. Hunter Schleske 23:51.7; 171. Christian Tigges 24:00.2.
Girls team results (top 5 of 80 teams): Roseville 721, Stillwater 715, Duluth East 681, Ely 676, Eden Prairie 668. 57. Detroit Lakes 229.
DL freestyle results: 66. Berit Ramstad-Skoyles 23:02.2, 132. Andrea Weiss 25:17.4.
DL classic results: 157. Shannon Goetz 26:39.4; 168. Miranda Olson 27:30.3; 174. Celeste Koppe 28:21.6.