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That's a WrAP!!
Mar 15, 2021, 7:48 am

There are only 3 rules on this team. 




In that order. 


The State Meet was a star studded event, and Mother Nature provided the stage to make it perfect!  

Giant's Ridge went from looking sad & desolate, to happy & beautiful overnight.  What a treat to provide all the best skiers in Minnesota, a mid winters dream to conclude the 2021 nordic ski season. 


Our team notched an incredible last high school race performance by Lydia too!  Lydia skied her best races of the season, a classic finish at 13th (13.51), followed up by the skate competition at 29th (12:35) to get her overall standing to an awesome 17th place finish for the 2021 State Meet.  This means an ALL STATE status, along with being the 3rd fastest girl in Section 7.  It was a thrill to see her end on such a high note!



What else is up??


RETURN DAY: Tuesday March 16th:  From 3-5 pm, please return all team issued gear. Uniforms, warm ups, skis, boots, poles, bags.  


TEAM PHOTOS:Awesome shots of our team are online through AllisonKate Photography. 


TEAM AWARDS & LETTERS: are finished and will be presented to the recipients soon. 


DAN ZAMLEN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP: The deadline for this application is Monday, March 22nd.  Seniors, please email your essays to coach CJ.  


COACH CJ:  RESIGNATION: effective now.  


The past 16 years that I have been involved as a ski coach, has truly been a gratifying experience, and serving the last 11 years as head coach is immeasurable.  

My enjoyment of coaching so many great student athletes to learn to ski and race, ultimately love nordic skiing, and guiding them to be their best selves - on & off the ski trails - were my top priorities.

Success was always an extra bonus.


Working with Coach Jack, Coach  Austin and all the others, has made coaching fun and rewarding & Section 7 coaches are an incredible group of people to spend the winter months with too. 


With a new season to come, my hopes are that a super sized, wonderful new coaching staff will come into play and continue the tradition of a fantastic ski team, fast ski racers and the best kids to work with,

all year long! 


My appreciation to all of you, who have made this team rock & roll for my 16 years.  



See ya on the trails! 







Week # 10 - State Meet!!
Mar 7, 2021, 12:21 pm


There are only 3 rules on this team. 




In that order. 


Congratuations to both guys & gals Section races last week!  


And a BIG Congrats to Ms. Lydia on advancing to the State Meet this next week!  Lydia placed 10th and will race on Thursday against 159 other super awesome skiers at the State Nordic Meet. 


In the big Section 7 scheme of nordic ski racing, our teams rose to the challenge of fast racing and came as close as we could to the top of our game.  


The classic race brought pretty great results, but the skate race showed that things can go awry as fast they appear.  The season ended with dashed hopes, but our teams will overcome this year's pandemic

obstacles, and come back in 2021/2022, better than ever.  


This current round of warm weather is making things tricky, cross your fingers that the Classic & Silver courses remain intact through Friday, and then we'll all be on to new spring activities. 



Thursday & Friday's meets begin at 1 pm with the Classic race. The Skate race begins at 2:20 pm. 

Only 1 spectator per skier is allowed. 


  1. MSHSL Nordic Ski Hoodies:  Order at   www.mshsl.org/2021-winter-tournament-apparel
  2. The State Meet will be streamed online by SchoolSpace Media at  www.prepspotlight.tv  and produced by Rock Ridge Public Schools.  Price will be $9.99.  Rock Ridge would like participating schools to send a picture of each of your athletes participating at the State Meet.  This picture will be displayed on the live stream when your athlete is on course. 
  3. LYDIA's Classic start time is 34:30





SKI AWARDS (team & letter) are on the docket, and will be presented somehow to the recipients. 

"RETURN DAY", Tuesday, March 16 3-5 pm, all team ski equipment, uniforms & warm ups will be checked back in at the S. Chalet.  



THANK YOU to all others who make this team rock & roll alll season long!! 


Coaches: Jack & volunteers-  Jack G, Brenda, Jenna.

Mesabi East Area Nordic Booster Club Leader: Brenda S. 

Favorite Giant's Ridge people:  Pepsi Deb, Benji.

Team Wax techs: Chad S, Jack G, Keith J. 

Ski Meet volunteers: John F,  Jon W, Todd & Debby, Debbie M, Pepsi Deb, Benji, GR Mountain. Hosts, & Giant's Ridge Nordic grooomers.

School Athletic Directors & Transportation Dept: at ME, VA, EG, MIB. 

Dale & Sally: for the DZ Memorial Scholarship program. 

Butch R: Iron Range Awards.  

Mick & Ansel: for being our go to ski guys at Ski Hut. 

Steve & Alicia: Section 7 Timing pros 

All ski parents - for doing what YOU do best, to keep your skier healthy & smiling. 

Team Photographer & fundraising Ski Mom: Danielle M.   

   *  AllisonKate Photography has captured many incredible shots of the team at three ski meets.  If you haven't seen them yet, check them out. 

      THANK YOU Danielle for providing this service for not just our ski team, but all the others in Section 7 as well!  

     Here are the links to the photos. 












Cheers to sharing all the ski love during the 2021 ski season....   & see ya on the trails!! 


Coach CJ 


It's Goooo TIME! Week # 9!
Feb 28, 2021, 10:24 am


There are only 3 rules on this team. 




In that order. 



Week #9 

Here we go!

Every. Thing. We. Have. Worked. For. 


Section 7 Race – WEDNESDAY MARCH 3rd  at Giant’s Ridge

We are ready!



Last week's racing on our home /Section courses gave us an idea of what we can do for this week's Section race! 👍

We put in lots of extra effort to nail down all of those little mistakes,( that cost us some time on Tuesday), and us coaches are confident that this team is ready to

rock & roll come Wednesday! The teams are mentally & physically set to go!  Now make sure your ski equipment is in top racing form too! 

If you had any little issues regarding poles, (baskets, grips, length) skis (bindings) & boots (nothing broken), it better be taken care of before Tuesday. 


Our JV & JH finished up their season, with tremendous success also.  What was neat to hear, (from race volunteers) was how awesome these young teams 

looked on the race course!! Exciting stuff happening already for next season!  :) If you haven't returned your racing bib to Coach CJ yet, please do so asap.  





GIRLS: Lydia, Aubree, Bella, Liz, Kate, Mia, Maggie; Alternates: Wren & Hannah 


BOYS: Nick, Aaron ,Carter, Connor, Odin, Ben, Noah A; Alternates: Noah M & Patrick 



For the Section Race:

- Skiers arrive at GR by 8:00 am. Bring your classic skis to the Wax Hut. Use your B skis & ski the Classic course with your team. Team jackets - everyone needs to wear one on this day.  

- The usual Team Pasta Dinner is not in the cards this year.  Parents, please fuel up our ski racers with your own Spaghetti Feed at home. 

- Only the Section teams will be in attendance. Due to Covid regualtions, we are allowed 9 boys & 9 girls to be on site.  With Covid precautions & protocol, there will be no mixing of our team with other teams. MASKS need to be in place while outside and in the stadium area, whether you are talking with coaches or your teammates.  Keep your buff up while in the start line, and only after you leave the gate, may you pull it down. 

- Spectators will be allowed and need to follow Covid protocols - mask & social distancing. 

- There will be a bus in the parking lot at the Lodge around 8:30 am.  This is our team camp for the day. ONLY our Section teams will be allowed to use this shelter. The bus will be departing GR at 1 pm, so remove all gear bags by this time. 

- The Wax Hut will be our wax headquarters for this day.  

- No Section T shirts will be sold this year. 



This week of practice & racing: 

Monday, March 1: practice. V / JV skiers return your season racing bibs to Coach CJ. 

Tuesday,March 2:  practice & wax.  

Wednesday, March 3: – SECTION 7 RACE. 10 am start. See race page list for details.

Thursday, March 4: Practice ? 

Friday, March 5: – Practice ? 





See ya on the trails & hopefully the podium too!! 😄


Week #8 - might need sunscreen! ;)
Feb 20, 2021, 4:15 pm


There are only 3 rules on this team. 




In that order. 


WEEK #8 


Nice work to everyone at the CC / TH Grand Marias meet last week! Our large team looked awesome on the trails as they raced the clock with two distinct races of classic & skate. 

It wasn't easy, as the team skied in fresh new snow, but it made for a successful & beautiful day.  Our hosts did an amazing job of pulling off a meet with multiple races, after recieving 3-4 inches of unexpected snowfall! 



It seems as though we just began our ski season, and now we are winding it down. The Jr. High & JV teams will have their last practices and race of the season this week. (No Jr High / JV Championships this year) After Tuesday’s race, this group is free to come to our practice times, until the Section meet. There will not be any official training at this time, but we encourage these skiers to keep skiing till the snow melts. Once everything is said and done, we will collect ski equipment & uniforms. (after the State meet)


The Section boys & girls teams will be decided this week. Determining those teams will factor in: ski meet standings, time trial placements, and practice accountability. The Section meet is Wednesday, March 3rd at Giant’s Ridge.


We’ve come this far, and we’ve accepted all the challenges of the ski season, along with missing the usual traditions of a regular ski season. We’ve learned that the word “compromise” has been the face of (sports) in a Covid year, but we are grateful that we can come together daily to do what we do best – SKI! 


Here’s what we’re looking at in WEEK 8.


Monday; Feb 22nd – practice / wax

Tuesday; Feb 23rd – ski meet at GR 11 am; see race info page

Wednesday; Feb 24th – practice

Thursday; Feb 25th – practice (TT)

Friday; Feb 26th – practice

Saturday; Feb 27th – practice (TT) for Varsity Section teams only; time to be determined. 

Extra SKI TEAM apparel is still available for purchase: Team hoodies  (L & XL)  $80. Team Buffs $18. 

Team Hats $ 25 



See ya on the trails!  

Week # 7
Feb 14, 2021, 9:53 am


There are only 3 rules on this team. 




In that order. 



ZERO… A number we can work with! (Monday’s forecasted day time high)


This past week + of below zero temps threw a wrench into a normal training plan, but the team made the most of it, on skis, inside on a treadmill or bike, and hitting the weights. These skiers are dedicated to their sport and to each other, knowing we have 2 more races before the Section meet, to bring our team status closer to the top of the podium. Us coaches are lucky to have such a fine group of athletes to work with, day in & day out!


Team Photos are set for Wednesday, Feb 17th, beginning at 3 PM.  Wear your team jacket, race uniform, black warm up pants. 


Again, dress warmer than usual for some of our upcoming practices this week, here is what is going on for Week # 7. The details for daily workouts will be in your TeamReach accounts.


Monday; Feb 15th – practice

Tuesday; Feb 16th – practice

Wednesday; Feb 17th – practice / ski pics / wax

Thursday; Feb 18th – Ski Meet in Grand Marias. See all the details on the Race Page.

Friday; Feb 19th – practice




Week # 6 - BRRRRRR 🥶
Feb 6, 2021, 2:21 pm


There are only 3 rules on this team. 




In that order. 


SKI PRACTICE: Wednesday Feb 10th for V/JV only. 

Check back here & on TeamReach for updates on rest of week. 



We're heading into WEEK 6 and it looks like a "bye" week.  😞



But first a recap on last week & what got done.


The First Annual Mesabi East Classic race was held on Thursday.  We have never had a ski meet other than the "BIG MESABI INVITE", which consists of 1200 ski racers from 80 schools. 

This time around, we competed with 3 schools, the Ely Timberwolves & the Denfeld Hunters. The V / JV took on the Classic course challenge, while the JR skied the Northern Lights.  Tremendous 

success was found in each division for our team, which turned into a multitude of ski racing confidence for our guys & gals, young & old. Great job skiers!!


THANKS to all who made this meet go off without a hitch.  From the Giant's Ridge staff, to the GR mountain hosts, to Benji, Jon W, & Deb who manned the Timing Building with their expertise ski meet knowledge. 

All us coaches had to do was wax & coach, and we are grateful to have a top notch support crew by our side! 


Looking at the upcoming week, we head into a deep freeze, and a big icicle is dropped onto our training regime and race outlook…


Practice is cancelled for Monday & Tuesday this week as Giant’s Ridge is closed due to the extreme forecasted cold temps. So what does that mean? It means hitting up your school fitness center, the YMCA or your home gym for indoor cardio & strength. Workouts will be sent via TeamReach.   Other outside options are classic skiing at Big Aspen or Aurora Trails. These trails are secluded and cozy; the windchill is kept at bay, for some sort of ski. Cover everything up but those eyeballs, as frostbite can happen quickly.


The scheduled ski meet at Mt. Itasca (Thursday, Feb 11) is also canceled.


The Pin Cushion meet is still set for Feb 18 & subsequently our next home meet would fall on Feb 23 or Feb 25.


TEAM PHOTOS are scheduled for Wednesday Feb 17th, beginning at 3 pm. Wear your race suit / Warm Up jacket & Pant.  Forms were handed out at Friday's practice. 


We wrapped up the week with a mishmash of housekeeping duties and a cold group ski - like shuffle. With all the layers we were wearing, our body parts weren’t all that flexible! Team awards for our meet & the Ely Invite were doled out, as well as the weekly captain’s awards. Congrats to our home meet first place podium winners – Hudson – JV; Addy – JH. Lydia missed a top podium spot by 2 seconds.


This week’s Captains Awards: 

Addy – first place in JH!

Mckenzie – passed a skier for the first time!



In range next, is staying strong, healthy & fast for the next 5 weeks of the season, when we pull out all the stops and put all of our ski & race knowledge into the crystal ball for the best results yet.


Keep warm & see ya on the trails!




Week 5; practice, wax, race at GR & JD!
Jan 30, 2021, 3:47 pm



There are only 3 rules on this team. 




In that order. 

WEEK #5 already!


We got back into a "classic" groove last week and we'll continue that into this week's race! 


Last week's skiathlon for the V / JV was a treat, as we have not raced this format in many, many years.  Our skiers performed well against two very tough teams, and from what the coach saw, our transitions were the fastest too!  Overall it was a great day at Snowflake, and it's always nice to experience other ski venues.  Looking ahead, we are racing at Giant's Ridge on Thursday, the following week we head west to Mt. Itasca, and in the planning stages is a meet on Feb. 18th at PinCushion in Grand Marias.  A section & state meet are supposedly in the works for the first weeks of March.  Crossing our ski poles that this end of season cumulation will happen.


AND... the queen of Nordic Skiing is back on top of the podium! 

TAke a look at this video clip of Jessie Diggins, delivering her glitter, grit & guts at Friday's WC 10k Freestyle in Falun Sweden! 


Here's the recap: 

An incredible performance by World Cup leader Jessie Diggins on Friday, finally taking down the queen, Therese Johaug, in a very cold 10K freestyle race in Falun, Sweden.

Diggins had the disadvantage of being seeded around the middle of the interval start field and it appeared Johaug was going to squeak out a narrow victory, but Diggins flipped the script in the final kilometer to take the win by 2.1 seconds!


We're onto week #5 of team togetherness and here's what were doing...


Monday 2/1: Practice

Tuesday 2/2: Practice

Wednesday 2/3: Practice & Wax 

Thursday 2/4: Ski Meet at Giant's Ridge -First Annual Mesabi East Area Nordic Triangular with Ely & Denfeld. 11 am. See race page for info. 

Friday 2/5: Practice 



CAPTAINS AWARDS  "QUARTERS" (???) from the Snowflake Race were presented to:


Hudson - for the biggest smile at the finish line.😃

Adrian- the best crash at the finish. 🙃

 Jakob- falling around every corner. 🤦‍♀️
Cameron - passed a girl ski racer for the first time.🙌

 Mia- left her skate skis at Duluth East transition area, instead of Mesabi East.  🤔






FoR SaLe: Extra Team Buffs, $18.00. 

FoR SaLe: Extra Team Hats, $25.00. 



Week #4 - YaHOO it snowed!!!
Jan 24, 2021, 7:00 pm


There are only 3 rules on this team. 




In that order. 


WEEK # 4 !


Time is flying by, and we're making the most out of it! 

The CEC ski meet showed us lots of good ski racing, along with super results from some of our first year skiers.  We also saw lots of stuff that we can improve on to make us faster! 

These kids are great fun to work and the smiles show how much they are enjoying their time together on the snow.  We are looking forward to "full strength" team status coming up in the next week too.  

Let's keep safe and healthy - mask up & more -  we need the team together more than ever in the next 4 weeks. 


It's been a bit cold lately, (but not the usual January temps). 🙌

We will ski into most negative's.  A race can happen up until -4 F.  As the kids found out, once we get out of the stadium, the trails in the woods are quite cozy.

But, to be prepared, please have warm mitts / lobster mitts / handwarmers / toe warmers / glove liners if you are suseptable to cold.  And boys, a pair of winter briefs, will not disappoint when racing in extreme weather. 


The ski apparel is now in, and our kids are looking extra sharp out there! THANK YOU Daniell M for setting this up for the team! 

Because you all look extra sharp, someone recently noticed!

The new owner of East Mesabi Sanitation was skiing last week and promplty took note of our team!  With that came a super nice donation, (because his family loves nordic skiing)  which will bring many sets of new poles to our ski inventory.  What great timing, as we moved into classic skiing and realized our short pole issue.  THANK YOU J Gardner for your kindness & generosity!! 


This is what our schedule looks like this week:


Monday 1/25 - practice 

Tuesday 1/26 - practice. SKiathlon TT  for V & JV. V/ JV Skiers leave both sets of skis in Timing Bldg before leaving practice. 

Wednesday 1/27 - practice & wax.  Wax techs should arrive 3:30-4 pm.  We're always looking for more wax tech Moms / Dads.  If you would like to help out, show up and we'll get you going! 

Thursday 1/28 - Ski Meet at Snowflake in Duluth.  SKiathlon for V / JV.  Skate race for JH.  See RAce info page for details.  

Friday 1/29 - practice. 


                                                 Some of our First Year skier Gals!!! 

Let's make it a great week!


See ya on the trails! 

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