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Michigan High School Skiers Shine at Mesabi East Invitational

Tue, Jan  8, 2008 - By Blair Orr

(Biwabik MN, Saturday January 5) Over 1,200 middle school and high school
skiers competed over the 5 kilometer classic and freestyle courses at
Giant's Ridge in Minnesota. The race is the nation's largest high school
Nordic ski meet. Of those hundreds of skiers only 19 were from Michigan,
yet they managed to ski well and place high in the standings.

For their small representation, the Michigan skiers dominated the boy's
varsity freestyle. The event was won by Marquette Superiorland's Tom
McFadden in 15:07.6, followed by teammate Zach Wagner in 4th (15:34.9) and
the Copper Country Ski Tigers' Jay Woodbeck in 6th (15:45.2). Kai Sharp
(14th) of the Copper Country was the top Michigan skier in the boy's
varsity classic. Anders Nienstaedt of Iron Mountain, skiing for
Superiorland, was 39th (18:15.2) in the classic.

Olivia Orr finished 6th
(18:14.1) in the highly competitive girl's freestyle race which was won by
three-time junior national champion Jessie Diggins of
Stillwater. Superiorland's Katie Holway was less than a minute back in
21st (19:12.2). Kirsten Fjeldheim had a great race, finishing 11th in the
girl's varsity classic, only 0.3 of second out 10th. Louise Oppliger of
the Ski Tigers medaled in the girl's JV classic with an 8th place

Seventh grader Evelyn DeLong of was 21st in the girl's JV
freestyle. Her time of 22:33.4 would have placed her in the middle of the
varsity field and made her the top varsity freestyle skier on some of the
Minnesota teams.

The results are a tribute to a small but dedicated group of athletes, great
coaching, and lots of snow in the UP.

Boys Varsity Classic

1. Matt Pierce (Hayward) 15:37.6
2. Erik Fagerstrom (Eden Prairie) 15:55.5
3. Hans Nygren (Lakeville South) 15:59.4
14. Kai Sharp (Copper Country) 17:26.5
39. Anders Nienstaedt (Superiorland) 18:15.2
73. Elias Featherly (Copper Country) 18:55.1
82. John McFadden (Superiorland) 19:08.1

Boys Varsity Freestyle

. Tom McFadden (Superiorland) 15:07.6
2. Grant Cook (Duluth East) 15:21.6
3. Ben Brodin (Forest Lake) 15:28.5
4. Zach Wagner (Superiorland) 15:34.9
6. Jay Woodbeck (Copper Country) 15:45.2
128. Al Toczydlowski (Copper Country) 18:48.8

Boys Team Results (65 Teams)

1. Minneapolis Southwest
2. Wayzata
3. Forest Lake
9. Superiorland
21. Copper Country

Girls Varsity Classic

1. Libby Ellis (Mpls Southwest) 18:59.6
2. Corrine Malcolm (Hayward) 19:21.0
3. Annie Dehmlow (Forest Lake) 19:46.9
11. Kirsten Fjeldheim (Superiorland) 20:14.1
75. Emily Humes (Copper Country) 22:51.0
104. Ruth Oppliger (Copper Country) 23:52.7

Girls Varsity Freestyle

1. Jessie Diggins (Stillwater) 16:41.4
2. Lynn Duijndam (Roseville) 17:42.3
3. Danielle Berndt (Kennedy) 17:44.2
6. Olivia Orr (Copper Country) 18:14.1
21. Katie Holway (Superiorland) 19:12.2
79. Madelyn Shoup (Copper Country) 21:18.5
129. Jane Gregg (Copper Country) 23:24.4

Girls Team Results

1. Minneapolis Southwest
2. Stillwater
3. Little Falls
29. Copper Country

Copper Country Girls Junior Varsity: 131 pts, tie for 14th place.
Classic: Louise Oppliger (8th, 22:53.1), Rachel Toczydlowski (44th,
26:10.4), Freestyle: Evelyn DeLong (21st, 22:33.4), Kara Donahue (81st,
27:09.3). Superiorland did not have a JV team.