Duluth East's Carlson wins gold medal; Minnetonka skis to team crown
Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2022 - 5:37 PM
When Duluth East senior Lauren Carlson took to the slopes at Giants Ridge on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, she knew the final races of her high school career were just in front of her. It was a powerful time of reflection, analysis and motivation to finish strong.
“You realize that this is it, and it makes you not want to leave anything to chance,” she said. “You want to leave knowing you did your very best before moving on.”
Her best resulted in a state championship medal.
Carlson recorded a two-race time of 1 minute, 18.14 seconds to not only edge Minnehaha Academy senior Grace Torgeson by 35-hundredths of a second, but it also erased any lingering memories of her finish in 2021. Carlson did not finish the first run last season and then had a time of 37.68 on the second run which put her among the leaders for that run. It resulted, however, in an 82nd-place finish in an 88-skier field.
Hill-Murray eighth-grader Taylor Voigt was third overall with a time of 1:19.43.
Carlson, the third skier down the hill on the first run, had a time of 38.06 to hold a 25-hundredths of a second lead over Torgeson. Carlson maintained that lead with the fastest time in the second run with a 40.08, edging Torgeson, who clocked a 40.18.
“I came in feeling really great physically, but it comes down to being prepared mentally,” Carlson said. “I was scared a bit after the first run, but I was able to settle in. This feels really great (to win). All of the hours and all of the people helped in getting me to this place.”
Like their boys’ counterparts, Minnetonka won the girls team championship. The Skippers compiled 156 points, six better than runner-up Stillwater. Blake was third with 143.
It was the sixth state crown for Minnetonka and first since the second of two in a row in 2014. Scoring for the Skippers were sophomore Marisa Witte, senior Bella Kelly, senior Stella Pachmayer and freshman Stella Stinnett.