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Feb 3, 2013, 7:23 pm

THIRD PLACE on the PODIUM for both Varsity teams on Saturday!  We'll take it, but keep our sights on second! A very exciting day for our guys & gals at the Cook County Ski Invitational.  We had several new skiers take part in the first half of the pursuit race, along with many top 15 finishes also in our Jr. High division. Everyone put in a tremendous effort on an (not - so- easy) and longer than usual course. Think of it as another piece of our speed play for this week's Section Race and the upcoming JH / JV Championships.  Check out the results at: www.boreal.org/~durfee. Our Section Team is listed on the team line-up page.



 We only have 2 weeks left on our ski team calendar! It gets kind of crazy & busy with all the end of the season events, but we’ll stay on top of our ski game in every which way!


Here is a glimpse of our upcoming schedule…


Monday 2/4 & Tuesday 2/5: Varsity / JV Skate & Classic practice. Bring both sets of everything. Section courses will be skied. JH – Skate practice. Jr. Nordic Club. Bring your money for your Section 7 T-shirt.


Wed. 2/6: Section Team – wax. Skate practice for JV /JH.  TEAM DINNER for all ski team members during practice in the sports dorm.


Thursday 2/7: SECTION 7 MEET, 10:00 am. Skiers need to be at GR at 8:00. Team camp will be in the Lodge’s Fitness Center. All other skiers need a note from your parents in order to be excused from school if you want to attend the meet.


Friday 2/8: V/JV/JH practice (last regular JH practice, until the Feb. 19th gathering)  


Monday 2/11: JV / JH Championships at Spirit Mtn. 1:00 pm. Skate Race.  Practice for everyone else at GR, 4-6 pm.


Tuesday 2/12: V/ JV practice for those skiing Charlie Bank’s Relay’s & the State Meet. Jr. Nordic Club.


Wednesday 2/13: Charlie Bank’s Relays, Giant’s Ridge. 2 teams of 4 boys, 4 girls. State Meet Banquet, 6pm.


Thursday 2/14: STATE MEET, 10:00 am, Giant’s Ridge. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!  


Tuesday 2/19: last official ski team get-to-gether. Annual “ride the chairlift, ski to the shelter, & hot dog roast” day. Equipment and uniform turn in day also. Last Jr. Nordic Club



Sunday 2/24: Team Banquet, 5 pm, Biwabik Pavilion. More info to come.



We are looking forward to the above timeline, knowing that our team has come a long way, and excited to see what the tournament results will bring!








Great Attitudes, Cook County, T-Shirts, Warmer Schedule!
Jan 27, 2013, 12:59 pm



The CC ski meet has been changed to Saturday, Feb. 2 with a start time of 11:00 am. 

Bus leaves the Mesabi East pool parking lot at 7:00 am.  VA / E-G skiers need to provide their own transportation to Mesabi East on this day.  We will not be driving to VA / E-G for any pick-ups / drop-offs.  We should arrive back at Mesabi East around 7:00 pm.  More info on the ski line -up page.  The start list will be posted on Friday.




Way to prove yourselves guys & gals at the Duluth East Invite on Friday! For our Varsity folks, it was the first Pursuit race of the season. This format consists of doing two 5k races- the first race being a skate race. Where you finish in this race determines your starting position for the second race- a 5k classic. Congrats to all of our skiers at all levels- varsity, junior varsity and junior high! We don’t have a huge team, but we do have the right skiers to make it work….


My biggest compliment though, goes out to all of our skiers, for showing and giving their 100 % in their personal race, along with giving their 110 % + for demonstrating their positive and caring attitudes as a team!


Results can be found at: http://www.boreal.org/~durfee/duluth_east_pursuit_1_25_13.pdf (Steve’s Timing.com)



Dedicated ( & warmer !) training this week, will precede our next ski meet – which is the Cook County Invitational in Grand Marias.


This again is a pursuit race for our Varsity skiers, and a classic race for JV & Junior High.

This ski meet is also the one where the Eveleth-Gilbert & Virginia skiers come to Mesabi East to board the bus. The bus will be in the pool parking lot, load time is 6:30 am, leave time is 6:45 am. I will check with the VA transportation to see if Bob will provide a bus. (I don’t remember if we have asked for this before) If that isn’t a plan, hopefully some carpooling can be utilized for this day. We will arrive back at Mesabi East between 7 and 8pm.  


The Section 7 T-Shirt design is a wrap, and pre-orders will be taken at practice.  Two shirt options are available: Gray long sleeve ($ 20.00) or gray short sleeve ($ 15.00) Order by Thursday, Jan. 31.   The top part of the design is the front of the shirt, the bottom of the design is the back of the shirt.   Deer River will be added, Hibbing will be taken off. 



 Here is what we have going on this week Jan. 28-Feb. 1.


Monday / Tuesday: Skate practice. Working on the Silver trails with speed and tempo, along with transitions.  Captains Awards.

Wednesday: Classic ski.

Thursday: Classic ski – section course & Wax; Jr. Nordic Club session.

Friday: Cook County Ski Meet. All skiers board the bus at Mesabi East, 6:30 am.  

Super Team, Smart Skiing, GRYSL, Jr. Nordic Club & Schedule
Jan 20, 2013, 1:20 pm


COLD ????

Wed. Jan. 23: -6 balmy degrees....


YES it was fresh out on the trails today..... and an eye-opener for many skiers on our team, at how S... L...O...W.... the snow is at these temperatures. 

Didn't need kick, didn't have glide, and no-one was standing around bsing ..... Wink 

But it was good to have the team back together, if even if it was - just trudging along on our skis!  You guys are TOUGH!!  Check out the frosty get-ups! 


Bring on the sun-block and sunglasses,  tomorrow we're skiing with a high of.. an intense 2 degrees!








Due to the continuing extreme cold weather and windchills, ski practice is cancelled for today, Tuesday, January 22. 

I encourage everyone to visit their school’s fitness center to get some sort of indoor workout in if possible. 

See you on Wednesday. 

Stay warm! 

Cheri Johnson

Coach, ME / VA / E-G  Nordic Ski Team

229-2413, 750-7904





Where has the season gone? It seems like we were just starting out … with 39 skiers…   (all accounted for yet!)   …dry land training…. equipment fitting.... waiting for snow...technique sessions….girls' team sleepovers... endurance plans…waiting for more snow....bus rides… ski meets…. holiday practice….ski trips… &… new team friends from the schools of Mesabi East, Virginia & Eveleth-Gilbert.


With less than 3 weeks to go to the Section, JV / JH Championship races, our team has seen some outstanding progress, and is sure to encompass more in the upcoming ski meets.   Many of our skiers have moved around on our team, whether to a Varsity / JV class, or just to a different group within practice.  EVERYONE is skiing well, and it is exciting to see!! (kudos to our 16 newbie’s!) Keep up the great practice attendance, keep putting in those extra’s-(that I drone on about)- and you’ll turn the corner with your skiing, sooner than later. Along the same note, our “super managers” (Wolfie & Julia),are always there when we need to get it done- in the wax shop, at the meets, taking splits at practice, etc.  Thanks to them and to our “can’t race right now skiers” - (Kaitlyn & Juliana) for lending a hand with Coach Mariah’s group.  Captain's- Simon, Seth, Sam, Emma H, & Stephanie are also noted to the weekly roll call of leadership and fun.  “TEAMWORK” is definitely happening, in all ways possible!


It was an exciting day for our ski guys & ski gals yesterday at the Ely / Proctor / Marshall Classic Invite.

Our training is paying off, as the results are very convincing that-we can provide some disturbance within the section! Check out the standings at:  http://www.boreal.org/~durfee/proctor-ely-marshall_cl_1_19_13.pdf. (Steve’s Timing)



This time of the season is when we need to really concentrate on lots of: REST, GOOD NUTRITION, FLUIDS, TIME MANAGEMENT, SMART SKIING – (Nordic, alpine, boarding) etc. to stay healthy and strong.   At this stage, with our terrific race outcomes, we can’t afford to lose anyone from the team due to illness or injury.



The Giant’s Ridge Youth Ski League is very appreciative of your help. Remember to sign up for your favorite Sunday. Two sessions (one hour each) are listed within the team’s lettering guidelines.


Recently, our Jr. Nordic Club welcomed 5 new members to the scene- Anna, Sarah, Andrew, Kaden, & John, along with Coach Josh, to our Thursday practices. These young skiers are lots of fun, and taking everything in with their weekly sessions. 



Here is a look at this week's schedule:


MONDAY -1/21: practice cancelled due to extreme cold temps/wind-chill.

TUESDAY – 1/22 -THURS. 1/24: practice as usual. Speed / Continuous Pursuit / Technique / Wax

FRIDAY- 1/25: Duluth East Pursuit Race. Pursuit for Varsity. Regular Races for JV / JH. Line-ups posted later in the week.



Bring extra layers for Tues / Wed practices- it will still be c..o..l..d..!





Invite= Done. Results= Posted. Changes= got them too.
Jan 13, 2013, 9:25 pm

Another Mesabi East Invite wrapped up! 


All of our skier’s raced very well given the icy & (dicy!) conditions. The course was certainly tougher than the trails, but it was a race none the less. All in all, the race added another component to our training plan. Results are at this website: http://my2.raceresult.com.   (SuperiorTiming.com)


Front page sports sections are always a bonus for nordic skiing, and one of our skier gals- Stephanie Madzey – got her picture in Sunday’s Mesabi Daily News.

Nice looking double pole release too!




  My THANKS goes out to all of the ski parents & skiers who contributed so many hours to our team- on & off the trail for this big weekend! The spaghetti feed went off without a hitch, (thanks Peggy, Erika & Norma) and everywhere I turned, there were ski parents & alumni skiers outside at all the various check points needed to run a successful race.  The yummy food and snacks were also a hit - THANKS to those who provided such a nice spread of soups, fruit, cheese, crackers, coffee & cocoa. And... the skier posters were outstanding, thanks to all of our ski friends who shared the day with us!


I hope everyone is warmed up by now…  again, THANK YOU so much for your support!!


Make sure you check out the photo gallery too.  New pictures will be posted from the CEC & ME Invites.  My thanks always- to one of our biggest fans on the course- Ron Kutsi. 


The never ending changes, in the sport of Nordic Skiing, continues….




  • The Proctor Invite scheduled for Tuesday has been cancelled due to poor snow conditions. Instead, we will get a full week of solid training in. 
  • The Marshall Sprints are also cancelled due to their unskiiable trails.
  • ON FOR SATURDAY 1/19!   The newly listed, banned together schools of ELY, PROCTOR & MARSHALL CLASSIC SKI MEET. Racing begins at 11:00am. Check the ski meet line-up page for the current info. Start list will be posted later in the week.


Most of the trails are intact at GR, so we will be back in the woods for Monday’s practice- which will be CLASSICAL technique.


Let’s keep the cold weather, but bring on the snow !




Mesabi East Inivte UPDATE....
Jan 11, 2013, 9:58 am


ME Invite / Spaghetti Feed Update # 2  (noon- Friday, 1/11)


RACE WILL BE HELD !!    Laughing


        Not sure of the course.    Two options:   1) Trails or 2) Alpine hill (like last year)


-          Waxing:  3:00 pm today at Giant’s Ridge


-          No skiing today.


-          Spaghetti Feed:  As planned by the organizers.  Eat as a team between 5-5:30.  



See everyone later! 

Cheri J.




Good Morning skiers & parents,


An update as of 9:00 am, Friday, Jan. 11th.


-          ME Invite: no final decision has been made yet.  Rain / Snow / Travel…    Race organizers are looking at all options at this point.

-          Waxing: we’ll have to wait and see what the road conditions are like for this afternoon to get to the Ridge.

-          Spaghetti feed : meatballs are made, Pavilion is set –up. Worst case scenario, (the feed / meet is off- due to all weather related issues) we freeze the sauce / meatballs for a fundraiser during / after our ski season; give to Pepsi Challenge Race; etc.


Please stay tuned to your emails / website.


Cheri Johnson

Coach, ME / VA / E-G Nordic Ski Team

229-2413, 750-7904





Get Ready & Get Going!
Jan 5, 2013, 9:08 pm


January brings into play the “GUTS” of the season, as the kids know I refer too.    



Up until now, we have worked on: building our base for endurance & stamina, instilling technique (over & over, and we’ll keep perfecting it), and racing to determine our strengths and weaknesses. Next up, we’ll be adding the speed role to our skiers practices for a bit more intensity on the race course.  



Results from Korkki look good and as we all know- it is a unique ski trail system and a ton of fun to ski. Racing on the other hand, with today’s equipment, (compared to the wooden skis back in the day…) brings another aspect to:  intact equipment, staying upright, and skiing safely. All ok, except for one broken pole… Check out the results at www.boreal.org/~durfee, and check out some of our gal skiers in their retro spandex race suits in the photo gallery. 



Captain Awards for this meet were presented at Friday’s practice, courtesy of Capt'n Simon.  


Isaac Krog:  Best Attitude for day! 

Megan Williams: Best Attitude for her very first ski race! (a 4k to boot!)  

Spencer Krog: Best Win! Spencer easily won the JV 6k. 

Reid Lesar: Best for being wild & crazy and... skiing a good race. 



Saturday’s Technique with Jack was beneficial for several of our V / JV skiers (and this coach) as they acknowledged the necessary skills, to accessorize their own ski performance. THANK YOU JACK!  


Remember to sign up for the Giant's Ridge Youth Ski League.  1 hour for 2 Sundays. These young skiers look up to you! Wear your team jacket when helping out.



Our upcoming schedule will consist of: 


Monday, Wed, Thursday: V/JV - Training for ME Invite – skate & classic- depending on what race V/JV skiers are committed to. All others – ski practice with Coach Mariah.  Wednesday:  Team Jackets will be handed out.   Thursday: First Jr. Nordic Ski Club session!


Tuesday: CEC Invitational at Pine Valley in Cloquet for V,JV, JH & new skiers. Note a change in departure time: Bus leaves ME at 8:00 am, VA- 8:30, E-G- 8:40. Skate race. See ski meet line-up page for more details.


Friday: V/JV- ski & wax. All others: Spaghetti Feed Fundraiser at the Biwabik Pavilion. Eat as a team around 5:30. Remember your dessert duty- pan of bars or cookies, cupcakes, etc for the feed.  


Saturday: V / JV - Mesabi East Invite at Giant’s Ridge, 10:00 am.  Classic skiers arrive at the Ridge at 8:00 am. Skate skiers - 11:30. See meet-line up page for details.

JH & first year skiers- come out to support your teammates and see what this big ski race (1200+ ski racers) is all about!   


Ski with your heart, and ski as much as possible.. but be rested and on top of your game for Saturday.


This week will be crazy busy, and super fun!  















Practice, GRYSL volunteering, Korkki Meet
Jan 1, 2013, 12:58 pm

Happy New Year Skiers!


It’s been a great holiday break session with our team practices, with lots of folks putting their time in at Giant’s Ridge. Our ski trip to Maplelag consisted of many kilometers on trails and lakes-all in a superb setting - with a return date in Dec. 2013 already on the books!



Thanks to all the adults- Coach Ben, Debbie, Jeff, Keith, Jack & Sandy who joined the team trip and for all the help you provided!


Mother Nature is still on our side, and allowing us to follow our meet schedule as of now….


Team pics are here, and our team jackets should be arriving this week.


The volunteer sign-up sheet for the Giant's Ridge Youth Ski League is posted on the bulletin board. Skier's: pick your Sunday's on when you can assist with this important club. Wear your team jacket when helping out.



After school practices will resume on Wed. Jan. 2 at 4pm, with Classical skiing.


The Korkki Nordic Ski race is still on for Thursday, Jan. 3rd. This is a wonderful “old school classic” race, with a narrow trail system set deep in the pines located near Two Harbors.  We haven’t been to Korkki in a few years due to snow problems, so many of our skiers will get to experience a totally different & unique race format. The race starts at 1pm. Check the line-up page for more info.  ** leave Mesabi East at 9:00 am (instead of 9:30 am), VA - 9:30 am, E-G - 9:45 am. **


Friday - 1/4: practice.

Saturday - 1/5: practice for V/JV. “Technique by Jack ” Noon start. Classical.  


Let's keep rollin' - guys & gals- Varsity, JV, Jr.High & our 16 super skier Newbies!









Dec 24, 2012, 11:14 am


Hello ski fans! 


The ski trip to Maplelag Nordic Ski Center for this weekend is ON!


They received 2 inches of snow on Monday, and the trail reports are- very good skiing.  We’ll take that and the predicted snow flurries on Friday & Saturday. 


 ** We have had some skiers cancel, so if anyone is interested- Varsity, JV, Junior High or first year skiers – come join the fun!  **


We will be leaving Mesabi East at 8:00 am on Saturday & Virginia High School at 8:30 am. We are staying 2 days & 2 nights, returning on the afternoon of Monday, Dec. 31.  The cost is 65.00 for both days/nights, 6 meals, and ski pass, per skier.  The booster club is picking up the rest of the tab.


 Bring:  a sleeping bag, pillow, all ski equipment, ski clothing, swimsuit, SNACKs, Gatorade, etc.   


We will be  skiing lots of trails (64k), hot tubbing in the State’s largest hot-tub, taking sauna’s & steam rooms, movies & even ice-skating.  This is all available.  Here is their website for more info. http://www.maplelag.com/ 



** If you haven’t signed up, and want to go, let me know asap. **  I will base our numbers on the current sign –up list (with a deduction for those skiers who have talked to me about not going). 


Let it snow! 


Cheri Johnson 

Coach, ME / VA / E-G  Nordic Ski Team 

229-2413, 750-7904, kcj@frontiernet.net











We are back to some great training and wonderful ski conditions these past few days.  


Saturday's - "technique by Jack" session proved more than helpful- our Varsity skiers said it was fun to boot!  (thank you Jack)   Let's keep all the improvments on track and we'll have no problem placing where we need to be.  Front page results are good, and we've done that, but now it's time to reach higher.  Top 15 for all Varsity can be done!!   The rest of the clan took off and completed the "Gold Trail"  - a 15k course of despicable ups... along with the thrill of glorious downs.  My challenge to all of you during this break- to tackle the GOLD- and discover one of my favorite trail's...  


 Ryan & Josh looking forward to the GOLD descent and.. finish!



SKIER'S - we are very fortunate to have fantastic skiing conditions at Giant's Ridge. With the frosty trees, it is a winter wonderland!  For the little amount of snowfall that we have received, the grooomers are working some magic and providing us with incredible snow conditions.  Grab a teammate and put in the extra's!!  Your competitors are out there too..! 


The MAPLELAG ski trip scheduled for Dec. 29/30 is looking bleak.  Their ski reports are: thin snow, lake skiing, etc.  Not what we are looking for at this time of the year.   A couple of options that are being tossed around- a trip to Ironwood, Michigan to ski the ABR / Wolverine Trails- either the weekend or a day trip. This area got an early xmas gift of much needed snow, and the trail system is a ton of fun to ski.   The Maplelag folks will keep our deposit to use at another date..  Stay tuned, we will take off for ...   somewhere. 


SKI PRACTICE over the holiday is mainly for the Varsity / JV skiers, but I will be available at GR after these sessions, so if any of our junior high or first year skiers want to come out for some additional training, just let me know and we'll hook up. (after 12:30 pm) JH / new skiers: if you can't get to GR, just get out- anywhere- your local golf courses are a good place to ski.  Work on the basics.  BALANCE- is number one on the check list.  The more time on skis, the faster skier you'll become.


 Check the ski calendar for the times and days.  Dress warm, the forecast predicts cold weather and bring your gear- clothes & equipment to the TIMING BUILDING.  We will be meeting there for our practice sessions this week. 


Results from the Duluth East Holiday relays in Ely last week are posted at www.boreal.org/~durfee.  A good showing by lots of our young skiers, and a recovery of sorts for lots of our veteran skiers who have been down and out with the (crud). 


Remember to put SNOW on top of your wishlist and Merry Christmas! 





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