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Boys Alpine Skiing: State Meet Recap

Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2023 - 6:29 PM

West Lutheran senior skier Josh Nelson

West Lutheran senior Josh Nelson battled the rain to capture the Boys Alpine Skiing State crown on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Giants Ridge. He made school history by becoming the first individual state champion.

A steady rain posed an unexpected challenge to West Lutheran senior Josh Nelson on the second run of the Minnesota State High School League’s Alpine Skiing State Tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Giants Ridge near Biwabik. He entered the run with a lead over the rest of the 88-skier field, but figured the rain would present some strategical maneuvering as it soaked into the snow on the course.

He quickly found out that wasn’t the case. Instead of the rain wreaking havoc on the snow, it was blinding his goggles.

“My goggles were clear coming out of the start, but by the first gate, there was so much water on them,” he said. “I couldn’t see the course nearly as well as I should have. I kept my composure. I trusted my skis and my feel for the course.”

Nelson’s calm second run, combined with the fastest time of the day in the first run, paved the way to the boys individual championship and a spot in West Lutheran’s history book. His time of 35.82 seconds on the first run and 38.51 on the second gave him a two-run time of 1 minute, 14.33 seconds. That was three-tenths of a second faster than Stillwater junior Cash Jaeger, who was second in 1:14.63. Hastings junior Jackson Reents was third overall in 1:14.89.

Nelson’s time on the second run was fourth-fastest in the field. Benilde-St. Margaret’s junior Simon McMahon actually had the quickest second-run time at 38.37, but he finished eighth overall.

“It was a pretty fun day,” Nelson said. “State is always fun. With all the tents and energy, it’s pretty cool. I am happy with the way I skied, always going for it, and it worked out.”

Nelson beamed when his history-making feat was discussed.

“It’s pretty awesome,” he said. “To be able to get West Lutheran’s name out there is pretty cool. It is a great school.”

Nelson’s aunt is Tasha Nelson, who skied on the World Cup circuit and raced at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002 as a Team USA member.

Minnetonka captured the team title for the second consecutive season. The Skippers compiled 170 points, 21 better than Benilde-St. Margaret’s, which was second with 149. Stillwater Area was third at 146. It is Minnetonka’s eighth skiing team title and fourth since 2017.

Scoring for the Skippers were senior JD Landstrom, senior Stephen Reddington, freshman Oscar Anderson and freshman Steve Conlin.

Minnetonka Alpine Ski Team

Minnetonka won the Boys Alpine Skiing Team Title for the fourth time since 2017 and eighth time overall on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023 at Giants Ridge.

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Girls Alpine Skiing: State Meet Recap