Mpls. skiers fare well at state

Washburn boys alpine took second; Southwest girls alpine took third

Minneapolis Public Schools sent over a dozen alpine skiers to the state meet on Feb. 13. All photos courtesy Mark Conway

Pictured above: Front row (left to right): Logan Griggs (Washburn), Charlie Smith (coach), Mark Conway (coach), Avery Taylor (Southwest), Alexander Heath (Washburn), Luke Conway (Washburn), Rachel Tanner (Southwest), Addie Streble (Southwest), Meghan Abel (Southwest), Kelly Bent (coach), Joel Hedrick (coach). Back row: Willie Maahs (coach), Matthew Polland (coach), Willem Robertson (Washburn), Augie Bent (Washburn), Ahnika Berg (Washburn), Elsa Peterson (Southwest), Oliver Mueller (Roosevelt), Zach Bion (Washburn), Wilson Psotka (Washburn), Ella Horgan (Southwest), Mae Niebuhr (Southwest), Anna Smalley (Southwest), Daniel Polland (coach), Gary Griffin (coach), Christine Smalley (coach). 

Two Minneapolis alpine ski teams posted top-five finishes in the Minnesota State High School League meet last week at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, Minnesota. One posted the best finish by a Minneapolis team in modern history.

Washburn High School’s boys alpine team took second in the meet on Feb. 13, marking the highest finish by a Minneapolis team since a group of parents restarted the district’s alpine ski program in 2000-01. Southwest High School’s girls alpine team took third overall, which was its highest finish since back-to-back third-place finishes in 2013 and 2014.

Minneapolis Alpine Ski Team head coach Mark Conway said the Washburn boys came into the meet with the goal of finishing in the top three, after a strong showing at sections the previous week. He said the Southwest girls knew they needed to execute cleanly in order to make the podium, which they did.

“The pressure was on everybody, and they all succeeded,” Conway said. “That’s a really hard thing to do in ski racing.”

Washburn 11th-grader Luke Conway had the highest individual finish of any Minneapolis skier, taking second overall. Washburn 12th-grader Logan Griggs took seventh overall, while ninth-grader Zach Bion took 11th and 12th-grader Alexander Heath finished 60th, helping the boys ensure second-place finish.

“He’s kind of the unsung hero of the group,” Conway said of Heath.

For Southwest’s girls, 11th-grader Elsa Peterson led the way with an 11th-place finish, while 12th-grader Rachel Tanner took 24th, 11th-grader Addie Streble took 38th and 12th-grader Anna Smalley took 49th. The team had three skiers — Smalley, Meghan Abel and Avery Taylor — who had competed in the section meet for the first time during the previous week, Conway said.

Minneapolis also had several skiers competing as individuals in the meet. Washburn 12th-grader Ahnika Berg finished 19th in the girls meet, and Roosevelt High School’s Oliver Mueller took 23rd in the boys meet. Overall, 14 Minneapolis skiers competed at the state meet.

Minneapolis has three public school teams that compete in alpine skiing — Southwest, Washburn and a co-op team of Roosevelt and South. The three teams practice together at Hyland Hills. Combined, they had a total of 113 athletes this year, Conway said.

Conway said the unified team depends heavily on parental involvement, noting how the district doesn’t provide busing to practices. He said parents are active in organizing equipment swaps to ensure the kids have the proper gear.

“It’s a tremendous effort by our parents to keep this program going,” Conway said. “It just wouldn’t be able to function without their work.”

Conway also noted the efforts of the team’s eight paid and 15 volunteer coaches, noting how the volunteers work to ensure the skiers receive the individual or small-group instruction necessary to advance in the sport.

Minneapolis’ cross-country ski teams also fared well at state last week, with both the Southwest girls and boys teams posting top-six finishes. Tenth-grader Sudie Hall led Southwest’s girls team with a 19th-place finish, as the team took sixth, while 12th-grader Henry Hall led the boys with a ninth-place finish to help them take fifth. Washburn also had three girls competing individually in the cross-country meet, led by 10th-grader Etta Leugers, who took 33rd.

The Washburn High School boy's state alpine team (from left to right): L-R: Zach Bion, Luke Conway, Logan Griggs, Alexander Heath, Willem Robertson, Augie Bent, Wilson Psotka. Photo courtesy Mark Conway
The Washburn High School boys state alpine team (from left to right): Zach Bion, Luke Conway, Logan Griggs, Alexander Heath, Willem Robertson, Augie Bent, Wilson Psotka. Photo courtesy Mark Conway
Members of the Southwest girl's alpine team at the section meet (from left to right): Meghan Abel, Elsa Peterson, Rachel Tanner, Anna Smalley, Avery Taylor, Addie Streble, Ella Horgan, Mae Niebuhr. Photo courtesy Mark Conway
Members of the Southwest girls alpine team at the section meet (from left to right): Meghan Abel, Elsa Peterson, Rachel Tanner, Anna Smalley, Avery Taylor, Addie Streble, Ella Horgan, Mae Niebuhr. Photo courtesy Mark Conway

2019 state ski meet results (Minneapolis Public Schools skiers)

Boys alpine

Luke Conway, second

Logan Griggs, seventh

Zach Bion, 11th

Oliver Mueller, 23rd

Alexander Heath, 60th

Willem Robertson, 71st

Augie Bent, 74th

Girls alpine

Elsa Peterson, 11th

Ahnika Berg, 19th

Rachel Tanner, 24th

Addie Streble, 38th

Anna Smalley, 49th

Avery Taylor, 55th

Meghan Abel, 73rd

Boys cross country

Henry Hall, ninth

Victor Sparks, 26th

Stas Bednarski, 31st

Jacob Rochelle-Share, 42nd

Charlie Grabow, 45th

Cooper Camp, 100th

William Munnich, 122nd

Girls cross country

Sudie Hall, 19th

Zoe Camp, 23rd

Etta Leugers, 33rd

Kasia Bednarki, 40th

Lily Richmond, 58th

Katy Scott, 60th

Lilly Song, 84th

Ella Endo, 95th

Ella Hoch Robinson, 100th

Erika Peterson, 113th

Kate Dwyer, 132nd

Ava Cole, 158th

Zach Bion
Zach Bion
Augie Bent
Augie Bent
Alexander Heath
Alexander Heath
Addie Streble
Addie Streble
Rachel Tanner
Rachel Tanner
Avery Taylor
Avery Taylor
Meghan Abel
Meghan Abel
Anna Smalley
Anna Smalley
Elsa Peterson
Elsa Peterson
Ahnika Berg
Ahnika Berg
Willem Robertson
Willem Robertson
Logan Griggs
Logan Griggs
Oliver Mueller
Oliver Mueller
Luke Conway
Luke Conway
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