Tonka skiers race to state Alpine title
Winning state Alpine skiing championships is nothing new for the Minnetonka High program.
Still, every state title is special, and head coach Steve Lindemer was as happy as ever when the Skipper girls won state Feb. 13 at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
Since he became the Skippers’ head coach in 1998, Lindemer has won three state boys Alpine titles. The girls title last week was the second of his tenure.
“We won the state girls title three years ago and missed by one point last year when Hermantown was the champion,” said Lindemer.
The Skippers were in sync on their first run at the 2013 Feb. 13, but on the second run the first Skipper down the hill fell victim to misfortune.
Megan Greiner, Minnetonka’s second skier, had a lot of pressure to perform, and she came through. Her fifth-place finish keyed the Skipper victory.
“Megan knew she had to execute,” said Lindemer. “And she really did. She has a sharp mind and focus for racing.”
The other Minnetonka skiers followed suit, and three others placed in the top 20. Anna Ewald finished 13th, while the Gartner sisters, Megan and Marlee, placed 17th and 20th, respectively.
The win at state was gratifying in several respects. State runner-up Blake School had beaten the Skippers by a point in the section meet the previous week. Also, Lindemer was pleased that all of his girls were ready “to go for it.” No one was simply trying to stand.
“There are always a lot of unknowns in Alpine racing,” he said. “For one thing, we don’t race against most of the other state teams very often. Our focus was to ski our best.
“We had an extremely good year with Erin Olejnik and Megan Greiner as our frontrunners. Anna Ewald, the Gartners and Anna Meiusi all skied really strong. Anna [Meiusi] had the 13th fastest run at the section meet. That’s the kind of depth we have. Eight of our skiers were among the top 13 in the Lake Conference this year.”
While the girls were state champs for the second time in the last four years, two Minnetonka boys skied in the state meet. Jon Landa placed 26th and Duncan Hurrelbrink placed 28th.
Blake won the state boys title with Jack McNeill as the leader with his second-place finish. Teddy Ankeny of the Bears finished eighth.
Orono placed third in the boys team standings with Woody Hust placing 11th and Bradford Morrison close behind in 13th place.