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Ely, Weekend skiing, Tuesday's RAce .... & the other stuff...
Jan 13, 2012, 12:20 pm

Time Change for Proctor Invite at Mt. Itasca-  on Tues. Jan. 17. START TIME is NOON.  (due to forecasted temps). Bus leaves ME: 8:45, E-G: 9:05, VA: 9:30.  



Saturday's meet in Ely was a refreshing change for a couple of reasons: 1) skiing on real snow, it felt - right!  2) An actual 5k + course for our V / JV guys & gals- which was noticeable to some of our skiers- to put some more Kilometers on- in your spare time... congrats to Sam Johnson for his first place podium victory!  Also kudo's to Coach Jenna on her first place finish for the 42k SISU Race in Ironwood, MI on Saturday!  Check out Saturday's results at www.boreal.org/~durfee.  And... 


It was great to see some of our team skiers out on Sunday-"putting the exrta's in", on the trails, and helping out with the Giant's Ridge Youth Ski Program. 


 A statement that recently caught my eye ...   "Skiing is just you, the work you put in, and the clock. You can't cheat yourself.  If you don't put in the kilometers, you can't go to the starting line thinking your'e going to pull a miracle out of nowhere.  You get exactly as much as you put in". 


  I believe you all know what I am talking about, I have seen you put forth the hard-work and determination in many areas of your lives.  I am glad to have each and every one of you on the ME / VA / E-G Nordic Ski Team.  Let's keep rollin' with the dedicated effort at practice and meets!


 Our new team uniforms were ordered last week.  We will have them in time for the section race! 


TUESDAY- Jan. 17th- we are headed back to Mt. Itasca for the Proctor / Hermantown Classic Sorenson.  Check the meet schedule & line-up pages for more info. 



 We are now in the crux of our racing season. Power and speed will be accompanying our training sessions on a daily basis.  Our schedule will keep moving at a fast clip. Please be flexible with your skier’s calendar. Mother Nature dictates what, when & where. Our season ends in less than a month.


Tuesday’s race at Spirit Mtn. brought about a mixed bag of things… skiing on the alpine hill- the up & down (no flats), around and around- 4 times; (some skiers lost count of their laps), and then the really weird part- skiing in 49 degree weather. Some skiers had a good day, others did not. Let’s look at it as a great training day – with course the way it was! We’ll tuck all that away and use it in our future races.


Our captain’s had an award break for this meet, so the coaches stepped up and filled in. Here are this week’s “Coaches” Awards:


-          Best Finish of the Day: Kaitlyn Babich. She skied right through the finish sign- took it off the posts. Good thing it was only cardboard!


-          Fastest Downhill Skier: Jake Dahl. No one came close to his speeds on the down hills!


-          Nothin’ Left in the Tank: (this is a two for one award): Hailee Jofs & Drew Johnson. They didn’t look like their usual selves skiing this race….



Upcoming on our race calendar:


Ely on Sat. the 14th will be fun! REAL SNOW. REAL TRAILS. REAL CROSS COUNTRY SKIING. What else is more fun on a Saturday in January? Now, we will be looking for some REAL GOOD RESULTS!

Enjoy, because we are headed back to Mt. Itasca on Tuesday, Jan. 17th. The Proctor Classic is scheduled on this day.



Looking ahead, the Varsity will not be going to Bemidji next weekend, (they rescheduled their pursuit race to Tues. Jan. 24th – at MapleLag, in Waubon). That is too far for us to travel and race on a school day. So…we will be implementing our own pursuit race / scrimmage (with hopes of Ely to join us) on Sat. Jan. 21 at Giant’s Ridge. Potluck lunch in between races. Skiers bring one of the following: chips, dessert or salad.


Super Saturday, New Race Suits, Upcoming Meet, Team Jackets....
Jan 8, 2012, 9:02 am

NEW !!!  on SCHEDULE- for Sat. Jan. 14th - SKI MEET in ELY. 11 am.  



Ely Invitational

Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012

Hidden Valley Ski



Varsity Boys/Girls – 5K freestyle

JV Boys/Girls – 5K freestyle

JH Boys/Girls – 3K freestyle


Coaches meeting at 10:30 am


Boys’ Varsity - 11:00 am

The rest of the start times are approximate and will depend on the total number of skiers in the race.

Girls’ Varsity - approx. 11:30

Boys’ JV – approx. 12:00

Girls’ JV – approx. 12:30

Boys’ JH –approx. 1:00

Girls’ JH –approx. 1:30


Awards for 1st-10th place - Var/JV/ JH



Mesabi East Invite Wrap-Up


We acheived some great ski results- and I have noticed our skiers are putting the "extra's" in!  Nice pics in Sunday's MDN of Seth & Rachel too!  Let's keep rolling with these fine performances guys & gals!  Kudo's to the younger crowd- who skied in their first ME Invite- and also showed they know how to ski fast! Results are posted at: www.itiming.com .  Pics have also been added to the photo gallery (thanks RON K.!).  Check out your form- let me know what we can work on this week.  Monday, Jan. 9th- ski- skate technique.  We will not be waxing for Tuesday's race- our skis really like "man-made" snow!


 And I have to say a huge "THANKS" again to all of the ME / VA / E-G parents who didn't miss a beat all weekend.  To see so many families helping out everywhere at the meet....all day, outside, in the snow, up & down the course.....   and at Friday's spaghetti dinner- (thanks to NJ Jofs - for chairing this again) was really appreciated by the coaching staff and the folk's at Giant's Ridge.   Thanks also for providing a great spread of food and beverages for all of us.  These two days couldn't be done without all of you!  THANK YOU for your support!  


Team Ski Jackets- I still have a handful to give out.  If you haven't gotten yours, please pick up & pay for it.  Make your check to: ME/VA/E-G Nordic Booster Club.  $ 31.00 for softshell, $ 17.00 for fleece.



NEW RACE  SUITS !  ....     hope to have them soon!    



  Next race is Tuesday, Jan. 10th, at Spirit Mtn. in Duluth.  This take the place of the Cloquet race. See the below information from the C-E-C coach. Skate race.  Bus will leave ME at 10:00, VA- 10:30, E-G- 10:40.  See Ski Meet Line-Up page. Skier start list & times are posted at:   http://www.boreal.org/~durfee/index.htm



From the C-E-C coach:

I would like to invite your teams to the CEC Invitational being held at Spirit Mt on Tuesday, Jan. 10th. This will be a skate race starting at 1pm. I won't have the course finalized until Friday but it will be multi-laps over sections of the downhill and bunny hills adjacent to the Chalet much like the course used in the Denfield race. I have been assured that the course will be safe even if Spirit needs to close a run. The target is to have ~5k for varsity and JV and ~2.5k for JH. Race bib pick-up will open at 12pm with a coach's meeting at 12:30pm. Bib pick-up will be in the main Chalet nearest the south end. Coach's meeting will be held next to the building by the finish line immediately south of the Chalet. Fees will be $5 payable to CEC Nordic. Spirit Mt. has several places to buy food so that should not be a problem. Buses will need to park in the parking lots so teams should plan to use the Chalet. There is plenty of ro om. Please get your entries to Steve (Boreal Timing) by Sunday PM.





Jan 5, 2012, 9:45 am





1200 SKIERS -all coming to race at our wonderful winter home- GIANT'S RIDGE!

The next 3 days will be busy- be prepared to have a great time!  Lots of high-energy floating around, lots of nice people helping out, and of course- lots of awesome skiers! Our team is ready to go!


Here is a synopsis of the next few days….   




  • ·         similar practice to Wed. but more on the “ race course”  and with pick-ups.   
  • ·         After practice: Mesabi East skiers will ride the Virginia or E-G bus to Biwabik, to set up the Pavilion for the spaghetti feed.  Parents please pick up your skier from there around 6:15-6:30.




  • ·         Remember to bring a dessert for the dinner.
  • ·         Practice only for ME Invite skiers.   Others – ski on your own or help out at spaghetti feed- starting at 4pm.
  • ·         If the course isn’t set up (by Thurs.) we need to ski .   ME skiers- get out asap and get your ski done early, so you can wax right away.
  • ·         WAX
  • ·         Leave the Ridge at 5:30 for spaghetti dinner.  Meet the rest of the team at the Pavilion, eat together.   Help with clean-up.
  • ·         Get a GOOD NIGHT’s sleep- Saturday will be a super FUN, but long day! 





  • ·         Eat a very nutritious breakfast- you’ll need all the fuel you can get!
  • ·         Team Camp – fitness center, bottom level of Lodge.
  • ·         “Classic” skiers arrive no later than 8:00 am.  Wax testing & warm-up before the 10:00 start.  The course closes at 9:00 am.
  • ·         “ Skate” skiers arrive no later than 11:00 am.   Warm-up once arrived.


            SKIERS   -     bring food/water / granola / gatorade- pre-race type food.

-           bring a blanket/pillow/sleeping bag- something to rest in while you wait for your race.



MY THANKS to the parents for all your continued support – on & off the trails!




Dec 30, 2011, 11:53 pm

The Brainerd Team hosted a “Continuous Pursuit” today at Mt. Itasca.

 Fun! Challenging! Tiring! Better than the Real Pursuit! Those were the comments that were heard- floating around the race course today - .  

The event format provided 10.8k of non-stop skiing for our Varsity skiers. Each skier skied 2 laps of classical, then came into a transition area to switch up their skis (& sometimes poles) to head out for 2 more laps of skating.  


Our Varsity teams fared well within the 15 teams! The boys took home 3rd place (just 6 points out of 2nd place & 12 pts. from 1st) while our ladies managed a nice 6th place finish. The JV & JH skiers also rocked on the podiums, as they had many finishes in the top 20. These races were full- 75 skiers in the boys JH, and 110 in the girls JH. Full results are posted at www.skinnyski.com. Go to the "racing" page, then click on "high school" then, click results page.  Pursuit / JV / JH photos also posted in the photo gallery- compliments of Mr. Ron Kutsi- a Grand Rapids / ME / VA /E-G ski fan!  


Our progress is heading in the right direction as our skiers are getting stronger and faster.  It was a fun way to end our holiday of (Christmas) break, and everyone contributed a solid week of practices and meets. Great job skiers and keep up the good work! The more you ski – the faster you will be! Get out and put some k’s on- over the New Year’s weekend!!


Captain’s Awards for this meet went to:


-          Transitions 101- to our three managers- Wolfie, Julia & Sarah for their outstanding performances as they quickly learned all about “transitions between races”. Skis off, skis on, bindings shut, poles ready, and.... go!


-          Best ski race for a “First Varsity” race- Stephanie. Way to conquer your first Varsity race- a continuous pursuit!



-          Fastest Transition by a ME/VA/E-G skier- Simon. He nailed this event!



Here is a quick look at next week’s schedule. After this, refer back to the calendar, meet schedule, etc. on this site.


Mon. Jan. 2nd- practice, 1-3 pm Ridge

Tues. Jan. 3rd- practice for Varsity. Race scheduled, (only JV / JH will attend), but I don’t have any details yet- Off? On? Where? Stay tuned….

Wed. Jan. 4th – practice. First meeting of Jr. Nordic Club. (4-5:45)

Thurs. Jan. 5th- practice. ME skiers will help with set-up (after practice) at the Pavilion for Friday’s spaghetti dinner.


                 ***   Remember – each family is to bring a pan of bars, cookies, etc. for the dessert table for Friday's Spaghetti Dinner ***  


Friday. Jan. 6th- practice. ski /wax for V/JV. Jr. High- night off. Help with dinner at the Pavilion. We will eat as a team after practice. ME Invite t-shirts will be for sale in the snow shop- check them out!


Sat. Jan. 7th- Mesabi East Invite. Skiers need to report to the weight room in the Lodge by 8am for warm-up & wax testing. Bring food / beverages for the day. All other team members- come cheer on your ski mates- it is a very fun & exciting day!



Deer River results, 12/29 Practice, Brainerd Invite- 12/30, ME Invite Info.
Dec 27, 2011, 8:19 pm

Great skiing at the Deer River Invite.  Our skiers certainly know where all the turns, trees, and hills are now!  Most of our skiers were on the "first page" of results- Jack's favorite line for where a skier finished- and you always want to be on that first page.... :)   Full results will be posted on www.skinnyski.com.  Check them out- and all the other fun and interesting news on this ski site!  New race pics are also posted in the photo gallery.


THANKS for our pics- Jake, Ron & Gary!!   


With the couple of inches of snow that we received over last weekend, we are able to ski on the trails at the Ridge.  So- the ABR trip is cancelled. We will ski at Giant's Ridge on Thursday, and our team was also invited to join the Section 8 folks for a continuous pursuit race on Friday, Dec. 30th, at.....  MT. ITASCA!  This will be great training for our skiers- a 3x3 skate/classic race, and we will not miss the crowds of high school skiers at the Ridge! Check out the race info below, and the team line-up page.



Updated ski week for 12/28- 12/31.

Wed. 12/28 - Remember- no practice. Ski on your own.

Thurs. 12/29- Practice at Giant's Ridge for Varsity / JV.  (first year skiers- take the day off)

Friday- 12/30 - Brainerd Invite- at Mt. Itasca.  Leave ME at 7:30, VA at 8:00 am.  Pursuit race for Varsity. Skate races for JV / JH.

Saturday- 12/31- no practice.  Ski on your own!




December 30th


Location:   Mt. Itasca Coleraine, MN


Start Time: 11:00 a.m.

Format:      Varsity – Continuous Pursuit 3K/3K

                   Varsity ENTRY LIMIT = 7skiers/school

                   JV – 5.4K skate (2 large laps)

                   JH - 3K skate (2 small laps)

Schedule:  10:30 – Coaches Meeting

                   11:00 – Varsity Boys

                   12:00 – Varsity Girls

                   1:00 – Junior Varsity Boys

                   1:30 – Junior Varsity Girls

                   2:00 – Junior High Boys

                   2:30 – Junior High Girls

                   3:00 – Awards

***Times may vary depending on entry numbers***


Mesabi East Invite Info from Race Manager- Deb Maki.


Dear Parents & Skiers:


The ME Invite is right around the corner.   There will be a race – even if there is lack of snow.  John Filander has an alternate plan for his race course if we don’t get 4-6” before the 7th of January.  


Each family is required to have a someone work the spaghetti feed  (which Norma Jean Jofs is coordinating - 229-3663) and there should be at least one parent to work the actual meet.    You can e-mail me back or call 865-8072 to confirm that a parent or other family member can work this race.   All volunteers should be to the Timing Bldg. in the Stadium at Giants Ridge by 9:00 am.   The race is on Saturday, January 7th and starts at 10:00 am.  Here are some of the jobs available:  Tech/Controllers – actually skiing out on the course to check technique, Starters, Asst. Starters, Outside Crowd Control – working out on the course, Timing – outside and inside.    Most of the jobs will be outside and you have to dress warmly.  I do not believe we have to worry about timing chips this year – the bibs are supposed to have built in chips.


I will be waiting to hear from you.

Thank you and Happy New Year to all!



Deb Maki - Volunteer

Race Coordinator

1-800-688-7669, ext 8072


visit us at www.pepsichallengeskirace.com




Christmas Break News
Dec 22, 2011, 11:01 am

Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope SNOW is at the top of your wish list !!  Our practices / meets are a bit messed up, but I think we still are lucky to have what we have at Giant's Ridge.  What we'll be encountering this next week, is LOTS of high school skiers from EVERYWHERE.  Some changes may  need to be made throughout the week, please be flexible... AND- these practices are important!  We always have had ski practice over Christmas Break - make every effort possible to attend. If you need a ride, call a team mate. 


TEAM JACKETS - are in.  If you ordered one, pick it up at practice on Monday, Dec. 26th.  


Also available: 2 new Mens Large softshell Team Jackets, and 1 new Womens Medium fleece jacket if anyone would like to purchase them, let me know.



ABR SKI TRIP to Ironwood, MI. -  Thurs. 12/29 & Fri. 12/30 - If we don't receive an abundance of SNOW!   Varsity / JV.  Sign up on the bulletin board asap.  Leave ME at 8:00 am, VA - 8:30.  Skier's cost- 1 day trail pass (12.00), 2 lunches, 2 dinners. Breakfast included at hotel.



 Practice / Meet update for Christmas Break

Monday- 12/26.  9:30- 12:00.  Meet in the timing building once you have your gear. Skate. Waxing after skiing. Bring a lunch if you want. Dessert will be provided. 

 Tuesday- 12/27. Ski Meet at Mt. Itasca. Deer River is the host. Skate race. Bus leaves ME at 8:00 am, VA- at 8:25.  No stop at Eveleth.  Stop at Pizza Ranch after. 

Wednesday- 12/28. DAY OFF. Find somewhere to ski on your own, with a team mate, family, etc.   Check out your local golf course!

Thursday Dec. 29. Varsity/JV only. See ABR info above.  

Friday Dec. 30th Varsity / JV only.  See ABR info above.  

Saturday Dec. 31- no official practice.  Check out  Ely's GAMES... .  GET OUT and SKI SOMEWHERE !  Happy New Year!!

Monday, Jan. 2- practice at the Ridge. Time to be determined.


Ely Classic results, Next Week, & the shortest day of the year- 12/21.....
Dec 20, 2011, 10:38 pm

The Ely classic meet was well -attended by many teams.  Everyone wants in on the action since we are all looking for the white stuff!  The skiers of ME/ VA/ E-G proved that they are in the mix with the fast and confident skiing they provided today.  Great job skiers! Check out the results at www.boreal.org/~durfee .  Pics of the meet are also online. 

This meet the CAPTAIN's AWARDS went to: Anna Johnson- most falls in a race... Reed Melicher - Best positive attitude after his first classice race...  and Nate Giese- great skate technique performed (ah hem) in a classic race.

The weather forcast for the next week, doesn't look very promising... so, the Deer River Invite scheduled for the 27th, will be held (again) at Mt. Itasca. 


 Maybe we can ski the course backwards this time? Surprised How about without poles for a change-up?   Stay - tuned for more info on this one.


And, we can't forget this VIP date:  December 21 "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK!" from the 2011/12 team! THANK YOU - for all you do!!   

Ely Ski Meet
Dec 15, 2011, 9:27 am

The Ely ski meet scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 18th, has been cancelled due to lack of snow.  At this point, it looks like a very good possibility, that this meet will be rescheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 20th, at Mt. Itasca.  More details to come. 


Let it SNOW!  



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