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It's a wrap! End of Season Banquet was GREAT !!
Feb 22, 2016, 8:55 am


It was wonderful to connect with skiers and their families at our end-of-season banquet yesterday! We were glad to share our memories with all of you, and we are looking forward to creating many more in the 2016/17 ski season!

Our evening was full of good food, great conversation, heartfelt stories, funny gag gifts (thanks to our Senior Captains!), deserving awards and gracious thank you's.  

This team takes "a village" - and I thank everyone who lends a hand throughout the snow / ski season, and to those that contribute during the off season!  

Coach Cj


THANK YOU 's & recognition:




Letter Awards were received by 23 skiers!  Your attitude, dedication, determination and hard work was front & center all season long.

Way to Go!


2016 MSHSL Nordic State Ski Meet Awards:  Emma, Anna J, Spencer, Josh 

2016 MSHSL Nordic All State Award:  Anna J 

2015/16 Most Improved Boy Varsity Skier: Chaz

2015/16 Most Improved Girl Varsity Skier: Anna G. 

2015/16 Most Improved Boy JH Skier: Tylen 

2015/16 Most Improved Girl JH Skiers:  Hannah & Callie P 

2015/16 Rookie of the Year:  Brandon

2015/16 SKI Award "Success, Kindness, Inspirational": Katelyn L.  





Much THANKS to the following individuals...  


COACHING STAFF:  Mariah Peterson, Paul Carland, Jack Greenlee, Jack Jeffery, Debby Boknuk, JoshPeterson  


WAX TECHS: Keith Johnson, Jack Greenlee, Dan Koschak


BOOSTER CLUB OFFICERS: Sandy Tardiff, Karen Babich, Lisa Krog 


FAVORITE GIANT'S RIDGE FOLKS: John Filander, Pepsi Deb Maki, Austin Dane 


BEST GROOMERS: Todd Roswald & Chris Shuck 






SCHOOL SUPPORT STAFF: ME / VA / EG School Administration & Transportation Deptartments 


* One of our highlights is always remembering one of our past skiers, with a dedication and scholarship.  It has been 7 years since Dan Zamlen passed away.  His memory lives on, within the hearts of our skiers, coaches and families.  

The 2016 Dan Zamlen Scholarship recipients were:  Spencer K and Kaitlyn B. 


The creed below is a piece that Dan had received at one of his high shool end of season ski banquets, and consequently favored.  It is with his love, team spirit and honor, that we shared it at last night's banquet.  Thank you, Sally & Dale. 


The Optimist Creed 

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think of only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthususaistic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at tall times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.




 A few more notes for the end of the season ---


Equipment / Uniforms:  need to be returned to Coach Cj's house.


Pepsi Challenge Ski Race: is this Saturday, Feb. 27 at Giants' Ridge. Race, volunteer or do both! 


Team Bowling Contest: sometime in the next 2 weeks!


Spring Magazine Drive: Saturday, April 23rd at Earth Fest.  Save & Pick Up any & all glossy paper!



WEEK # 14, & the end is near...but so what !! We've got lots of great skiing ahead...!
Feb 7, 2016, 4:16 pm


Sunday, Feb. 21st:

End of Season Banquet: 5 -7 pm at the Biwabik Pavilion. (Set up at 4pm)

 Jr. Nordic Club / Families / Grandparents, siblings - are all welcome!

 Potluck:         A - F: dessert

                        G - M: main dish

                        N - Z: side dish/salad


- return equipment / uniforms, etc. 

- Awards, video, and more




The excitement rolls on this week as we head into our final week of ski racing! We have had a great season, and expectations are not topped out yet! 

Way to go to our Section Teams, we were close!  Both teams finished at 3rd place, including a tie breaker for the boys team with Proctor / Hermantown.  This has a lot to be said as the majority of these teams in this section are equally outfitted with fast & tough skiers! 

Two teams advance to the State Meet, Ely & Duluth East both took the honors respectively.  After the teams are taken out of the mix, the next 6 individuals (not on a winning team) earn a State berth.  Congratulations to Anna J, (2nd), Emma (8th), Josh (9th) and Spencer (4th).

Thursday is the State Meet and a day for our skiers along with everyone else in Section 7,that will put on an exciting show of ski racing! 

GOOD LUCK to all of our JV / JH skiers at Monday's Championships!  Quick TAG OFFs for those CB RELAY skiers on Wednesday!  And SUPER FAST SKIS to all of our State Meet skiers! 


  Wish them well! These skiers will be racing at the 2016 MSHSL Nordic State Ski Meet!  



Keep scrolling down, this team is still locking in some important dates & events!


Monday, Feb. 8th:

-JV / JH Championships at Spirit Mtn in Duluth.  1 pm start.  Freestyle race.  Skiers race by grade level for Junior High.  5/6th grade, 7th, 8th grade for a 3.7 k course.  The JV skiers (9th grade & up) will race a 5.1k loop.  This is a super fun place to race and GOOD LUCK to all of our skiers! 

More details on the race line up page on this site. 

- 4-6 pm Practice for State & Charlie Banks Relay skiers                             


Tuesday, Feb. 9th:  

 4-6 pm Practice for State skiers. Wax for CB Relays.

- Jr. Nordic Club meets 

- All skiers welcome to attend practice.  This is the last day of transportation for EG / VA skiers.  Equipment & Uniform return will be at our end of season banquet. 

- Decorating for Nordic State Meet Banquet at Mesabi East.  5:30-7:30 pm.  Call Sandy at 229-2199 for more info. 


Wednesday, Feb. 10th:

8:15 am-  PEP FEST- at Mesabi East, line-up at 8:05 near Memorial Gym.  I hope that the EG / VA skiers can attend this.  A request was sent to the EG / VA athletic directors.  More details to follow on this. 

*Wear your team jacket  and/ or 2016 section 7 shirt.  Bring your medals. You will be introduced. 


9:00 - 10:00 am-  CB Relay ski teams & section teams: brunch - Coach CJ's house.

10:00 am - leave for Giant's Ridge. WAX PREP.  11:30 - Warm up for relays. State Skiers: Practice / WAX.

1:00 pm - Charlie Banks Relays 

5:00 pm - arrive at Mesabi East for State Banquet / Program.  State Meet apparel will be sold beforehand at Mesabi East. 

5:30 pm - Program in auditorium

6:30 pm - Dinner


Thursday, Feb. 11th:

2016 Nordic State Ski Meet, 10 am 

8:00 am- skiers report to Giant's Ridge.  Team camp in Lodge.

10:00 am- Girls Freestlye race

11:00 am - Boys Freestyle race

1:30 pm- Girls Classical race

2:30 pm - Boys Classical race

Awards to follow 


Saturday, Feb. 13th: 

The Book Across the Bay race / tour. This is an after season ski event for 7th graders & up.  As of last Friday, we have 14 skiers attending.  This is a 10k race or tour, across the bay of Lake Superior from Ashland to Washburn, WI.  It takes place at dusk, so skiing is by candle - lit lumaries and the stars in the sky!

The biggest bon fire you'll ever see, along with a tent full of food & music, greets us at the finish line.   A person can skate, classical ski or even snowshoe this event.  (and there aren't any hills!) ;) Online registration is $ 20.00 & all the info is here at this website: http://batb.org/registration.html .  Space is still available if you'd like to come.  Lodging is at the AmericInn in Ashland.   $ 30.00 for lodging per person.   Bring your skis and swimsuit for a day & evening of fun with your teammates! 

Leave Coach CJ's house at 10:00 am on Saturday morning. Stop for lunch on way.  Check into hotel around 1:30?  Ski race starts at 6 pm.  Return to Aurora area around 1 pm on Sunday. 


Tuesday, Feb. 16th:  

4-6 pm.  Annual Hot Dog Roast on the trails.  Games & Smore's too. 

Jr. Nordic Club meets.

* No transportation for EG / VA skiers.  Please carpool! * 





Jan 30, 2016, 3:24 pm


Going, going, gone.  That statement pretty much sums up our practice and race season! 

The Ely Pursuit Invitational was snowy & fun, and a mixed bag of results.  We'll get it right this week!  :)  Find your skier's name at Steve's Timing: http://www.boreal.org/~durfee/index.htm

Thursday is the big dance for our Varsity skiers.  They've put the time in, and their preparation is complete.  They are ready to fire off their racing know- how, on the challenging courses at Giant's Ridge. 

The JV & JH teams will tackle their own championships on Monday, Feb 8. at Spirit Mtn.  


We have lots going on in these next few weeks- here are some dates to keep in mind.


Monday, Feb 1-  Practice.  Section Teams meet at Timing Building at 3:30. Bring your red/black team warm up jacket. Pictures & team meeting is planned before your workout.


Tuesday, Feb 2- Practice. Jr. Nordic Club Day. 


Wednesday, Feb 3- Practice. PRE SECTION SPAGHETTI DINNER for all skiers in Timing Building, (5 pm).

                                 Waxing for Section Teams.

                              -  SECTION 7 T - SHIRTS will be available for purchase. All skiers are welcome to buy one!

                                 Long Sleeve: $ 18.00,  $ Short Sleeve 14.00





Thursday, Feb 4- SECTION 7 RACE.  10 am.  Skiers need to be at team camp (lower level Lodge) by 8am.

  - POST SECTION DINNER for skiers & parents (after awards) in Lodge restaurant. Bring $$ 

 * SkinnySki's Minnesota SECTION PREVIEW* at this link: http://www.skinnyski.com/racing/display.asp?Id=38416

- NO PRACTICE for JH / JV teams



Friday, Feb 5 -  Practice. JH / JV teams will wax.


Monday, Feb 8 - JV / JH CHAMPIONSHIPS at Spirit Mtn in Duluth. 1 pm. 


Tuesday, Feb 9- Thursday, Feb 11. STATE MEET EVENTS. More info to come.  



Saturday, Feb. 13th-   is an event that our team and families have done - post season, and is on our calendar again: 

The Book Across the Bay is the upper Midwest's most unique winter event, open to skiers and snowshoers of all ages and ability levels. The 10-kilometer course, which is groomed for both classic-style and skate skiing,

starts in Ashland and ends in Washburn, and follows a route not on land, but over the frozen surface of Lake Superior, the world's largest lake. The event is held at night, and the course is lit by the stars above and up to 1,000 candles in ice luminaries that line the entire route.   The finish lines hosts a tent with a band, food and beverages. Here is the Book Across the Bay website: http://batb.org/registration.html   

** Skiers & families are invited to sign up.  Transportation is a combination of skiers, parents, & coaches. The team doesn't have access to school vehicles post - season.

** Lodging is one night in Ashland at the Americin Inn, returning to the  VA / Aurora area early Sunday afternoon.   


And, lastly- Congratulations to all skiers who were nominated for winter homecoming!  Friday were coronation days  .At Virginia HS, Katelyn was crowned queen! Then at Mesabi East-  Katy O was the princess, along with king candidate Spencer. 

Spencer first raced at Ely, (placed 2nd in the freestyle by 3 seconds), then left before the second race to attend ME homecoming.  He presented himself in full ski gear, from racing suit & hat, to ski boots and a homemade skier sash for the ceremony. Way to show your team support !!  




                      -  Thursdays' SKI TEAM HOMECOMING CELEBRATION -  Katelyn & Spencer 





Week # 12. Last regular season race. We are ready!
Jan 24, 2016, 4:03 pm


We've been having some terrific practices these past weeks, and the dedication and work ethic of this team shows! Seeing so many skiers out on the weekend- working on their "stuff"- is just what us coaches like!!

Great job ... YOU are putting in the "extra's", and giving it all you got, day in & day out.  YOU make it fun! 


The Duluth East Invite Pursuit was just what we needed to restart our race mind and body.  It was a perfect day for racing with warmer temps and a well groomed course.  We are looking forward to our full "squad" at our next race!  The results for the DE Invite are here: http://www.boreal.org/~durfee/duluth_east_pursuit_1_22_16.pd


A few noteworthy THANK YOU's as of late....


THANKS to Ron Kutsi for taking such wonderful photos of our team, and giving a ton of support with it! Lots of pics are posted on the team's Facebook Page.  The Photo Gallery (on this site) is also updated with this season's pictures!

THANKS also to this season's wax techs- Jack G, Keith & Dan- for putting the time in- to speed up our waxing parties. (and to make our skis super fast!)

More THANKS to our great captains, for providing the team with weekly "Captain's Awards".  These are regular smile - makers at practice! :) 







Some notes ...


* Our team is in need of empty wine / champagne type bottles.  We need about 30 by Sunday, Jan. 31.  These will be sprayed with glitter and used as centerpieces at the State Meet Banquet.  Remove label and send with your skier to practice. 

* The Minnesota Youth Ski League Sunday ski program, at Giant's Ridge, is in need of volunteers to help the coaches.   Sign up at practice.  This group meets from 2-3 pm at the Timing Building.  



Get ready for our last regular season meet this Friday in Ely at Hidden Valley.  All skiers (ME / VA / EG) load the bus at MESABI EAST for this meet.  Bus leaves ME pool parking lot at 8:00 am. The bus will drop VA / EG skiers off at the VA school after the meet is over. 

Here is a look at Week # 12! 


Monday Jan. 25-Thursday Jan 29, PRACTICE's. 

- Varsity / JV skiers bring classic & skate equipment every day.  Waxing will begin on Wed (2:30) & Thurs. (3:30) for Friday's Pursuit skiers. 

- Jr. NOrdic Club meets on Tuesday, Jan. 26th. 4-6 pm w/ Mr. Josh Peterson


Friday Jan. 29:  SKI MEET 

Ely Wolves Pursuit Invitational, 11:00 am at Hidden Valley.

JV/ JH races also. 


Week # 11. ( WHAT???) ( HOW??? )
Jan 17, 2016, 12:51 pm


Fun, hard, no glide, slow skis, & cold were the comments at Saturday's Marshall sprint / relays!  It wasn't an easy race, (in any way),  but consider this one, as another notch in your training log! 



THE NORDIC SKI TEAM of MESABI EAST / VIRGINIA / EVELETH-GILBERT .....    1) shows up & performs in the toughest conditions. 2) laughs, cheers, & studies together in their waiting periods. 3) always portrays good sportsman- like traits. and 4) makes us coaches PROUD.


Only two regular season ski meets left to our calendar, and then we hit our stride with the Section, JV & JH Championships.  Stay healthy, rested, and focused!  


    ** Cold ski racing is upon us.  Check out some tips on the "Coach's Corner" page for preventing frostbite **

 * Need more homework? Check out the videos on the TOKO Wax site to brush up on your wax skills. http://www.toko.ch/en/usage *



Here is what we are doing this week. 


MONDAY Jan. 18: Varsity / JV Practice & Supper - 2pm at Giant's Ridge.

                                  Bring: Skate & Classic gear, and $$ money.

                                  We'll eat supper in the chalet together after practice.

                                  Wear your thickest woolies!

                                  This is the warmest part of the day, we'll bundle up and get it done.


TUESDAY-THURS, Jan. 19-21: V / JV / JH Practices, 4-6 pm.  

                            JR. NORDIC CLUB meets 4-5:30 on Tuesday's.

                                  * No practice for 6th graders on WEDNESDAYS. 


 FRIDAY, Jan. 22:   Ski Meet at Snowflake Nordic Center in Duluth.

                                    Pursuit race for Varsity.  Regular races for JV / JH. 

                                    Bus leaves ME at 7, VA at 7:20. EG at 7:30. 



   Marshall Sprints / Relay Race.  We did enjoy the nice warm school for the day! :) 



                                                    6th grader - Zach- frosty & fast




Jan 13, 2016, 10:17 am




         Check out the V / JV 2015-16 ski poster!  The final version will include "Mesabi East Area Nordic" !  Looking good & fast skiers!




BRRR! It is cold. But this is the norm for us skiers! 

Many of our newbies, are caught off guard for the cold weather for our practices & meets, and coaches are lending them extra gear to stay warm. 

Two items that are worn by many skiers, and are super helpful when competing in the cold are: BUFFS (neck warmers) & MITTENS / LOBSTER MITTS .(wind proof/ fully insulated) A good pair of ski GLOVES are best for racing, but for practice or warm-ups, they aren't warm enough on cold days.

The Snow Shop at GR stocks all of these, and you get a discount there too.  :) 




Attending ALL practices and meets is necessary to get the results we want at the Section Meet.  Work together as a team. Make EVERY practice COUNT! DO the EXTRA’s- ski / do strength on your own!! Stay rested & healthy!  There is less than 3 weeks left to our regular season!! Now is the time to make sure your equipment is on par and right for you.  Are your skis slow? Have you been using them since 8th grade??  They could be maxxed out, and have no life left to them.  Or are you still using team equipment ? Third year & up skiers,  if your'e working hard, but not getting the results you should have, let's figure it out. 



Our last couple of meets are showing we are heading in the right direction, but lots of work is yet to be done.  

The results for the CEC INvite are here:   http://www.boreal.org/~durfee/cec_invite_1_12_16.pdf   The ME Invite results are here: http://www.superiortiming.com/2016/01/mesabi-east-invitational-xc-2016/

Good job to those that skied in both races! Whether your first, last or in between, you are doing something good for yourself- for your body & mind!  

Keep SKIING- and results will come. 



Coming up:

Saturday, Jan. 16: Marshall Sprints (SKATE) in Duluth, at Marshall School. V/JV/JH. 11:00 start. Bus leaves ME at 7:30 am, VA at 7:50 am.  EG skiers come to VA. Arrive back in VA around 6 pm.

                             * UPDATE on race- see SKI PAGE LINE-UP on this site *


THANKS to everyone for all your help with the Mesabi East Invite!

We have the best Booster Club around & it shows!  We had lots of special crews! From those who made meatballs on Thursday, to the next round of parents who cooked, served, & dished spaghetti (to 300 +) on Friday, and then those that came back Saturday to help with course control, bibs, water, timing, and more.  Kudo's to our wax tech's of the season- Keith & Jack G.  We would not have such all around results, if it wasn't a TEAM effort!  Our booster club is top notch and it shows!! 



ME Invite photos.  Action photos are on the Team Facebook page.  Check them out! 



Jan 7, 2016, 7:57 am


The Korkki Nordic meet consisted of lots of interesting comments and results.  In the end, it was a fun day.  Glad to see sooo many on our race line-up.  The first time racers did well!  Parents, we have our own personal awards the following day after a meet.  Ask your skier if they have received a "Captain's Award" yet!    


You'll find the results here at this link for Steve's Timing: http://www.boreal.org/~durfee/th_invite_1_5_16.pdf




   Most of these skiers raced for the first time!  NICE JOB!!


  More pictures are posted on our team's Facebook page. Check them out!  :) 




 Thursday, Jan. 7th:   Practice

* Leave your race skis in the Timing Building after Thursday's practice *   Waxing will begin early on Friday, with skiers arriving to wax at 3 pm. 


Friday, Jan. 8th: Spaghetti Feed & Wax Day 

Those not skiing in the ME Invite, will still have a regular practice.  The team will leave for the Spaghetti Feed between 5:30-6:00 pm. This is for ALL team members, (not just ME Invite skiers)  We will eat as a team.  $ 5.00 donation is the requested amount for each skier. Carpooling from GR, and riding the VA bus to the Biwabik Pavilion is the usual mode of transportation for our skiers. Your skier will need a ride from Biwabik to home.  There will not be a bus for this.

* Desserts- get them to the feed before practice.  The VA / EG ski bus could stop in Biwabik before going to GR, to drop your items off at the Biwabik Pavilion.  



Saturday, Jan. 9th is our big home meet, the Mesabi East Invite at Giant's Ridge.

There are 1,000 + skiers racing, it will be a super charged, eventful day!

Check out the Race Line Up page for your skier's start time. 

Here is a link to the start list: http://superiortiming.com/

Your regluar race theme is needed: Food, Water, Gatorade, blanket, etc.

* DRESS WARM!* We haven't skied in these temps yet this season...   It is going to be a COLD one.  Hats / Buffs  are needed.  Extra buffs & Warm Skin will be available. *

 Here is the predicted forecast:
A 20 percent chance of snow showers before noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 12. Northwest wind around 10 mph




Sunday Afternoons till March:   

The Minnesota Youth Ski League group that meets on Sunday afternoons is looking for ski help.

You skier can earn volunteer hours by doing this.  On top of that, these little skiers really admire & look up to our team members!

The actual ski time is 2-3 pm.  Arrive at 1:30 at the timing building at GR.  A sign up sheet is posted. Thanks in advance for your help! 


TOKO Water Belts ( $30 or $24) and Team Hats / Headbands ($ 28 / $23)  are still available for purchase. 


Looking ahead to next week, we have our usual practices with a couple of meets thrown in.


Tuesday, Jan. 12th: CEC ski meet at Pine Valley in Cloquet.  11 am start.

                               Jr. Nordic Club 4-5:30 pm at GR 

Saturday, Jan. 16th:  Marshall Sprints at Marshall School in Duluth.  11 am start.



Thanks to all ski families for helping out this weekend, and to our booster club president - Sandy, and treasurer- Karen, the cheifs of the Spaghetti Feed & more.  




The team has received a ton of compliments on our new team jackets, and we love them!  A huge SHOUT OUT & THANKS to Jan & Gary at TEXTILES PLUS in Eveleth! 



SKI CAMP, PRACTICES & First Week of January
Dec 26, 2015, 3:32 pm


The days are getting longer, and the trails at Giant's Ridge are looking good!

Today's practice was just what we needed.  Good snowy kilometers with an anbundance of daylight!


Here is what we have going on during the school break, and the first week in Janurary:


Dec 28, 29, 30th Maplelag Ski Camp for 7th grade & up. A race w/ other high school teams, during this time, is on the schedule too.  THERE IS STILL ROOM - IF YOU WANT TO COME WITH!


Here is the website for Maplelag.  www.maplelag.com 


Here is what you need to bring: 

  • Sleeping Bag / pillow or sheets & blanket
  • Ski clothing.  2 sets of everything if possible.  Gloves, hats, shirts, base layer.  We ski twice a day!
  • Team jacket & race uniform.
  • Classic & Skate skis, boots, poles.  Bring rock (B) skis if you have them also.
  • Water bottle – waist pack.  I have extra’s if you want to borrow one.  Let me know.
  • Swimsuit / towel / personal hygiene stuff
  • Snacks, music, headphones / speaker
  • Trip Persmission form


Dec. 31, 1 – No formal practices, but you need to get out and ski on your own.  Call up a ski buddy or two.  Make a plan to get some kilometers on those skis.  If your skis are at Giant’s Ridge, find John Filander to open up the shed for you.  He is there every day. Or check out some other area trails...  Big Aspen (north of Virginia), any golf course, etc.  The more time you spend on skis, the better & faster ski you will become! 


Jan. 2nd -  Varsity / JV practice: 11:00 am-2:30 pm. Pursuit TT. Meet in Timing Bldg. Food will be served in between races.  Bring your own beverage. This practice is a must to attend. All other ski team members welcome to ski at this time also.



Jan. 4thpractice, 4-6 pm.


Jan. 5thV/ JV / JH Ski meet at Korkki Nordic near Two Harbors. *Bus leaves ME at 7:30 am. VA / EG skiers come to ME to board bus*

             - Jr. Nordic Club - first session


Jan. 8th / 9th – The Mesabi East Invite & Spaghetti Feed weekend.    This ski meet is the largest in the country, with over 1200 ski racers.  Our Varsity & JV skiers will be racing.  I hope to see all of our other skiers at this meet & at Friday’s spaghetti feed  to help,  cheer & support our home event! 

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