Section 6 Alpine Skiing: JM's Pattinson, Earnest-Miller have high hopes
The Section 6 Alpine Ski Meet for boys and girls is Tuesday at Buck Hill in Burnsville. Skiers from Rochester and the area will be competing in the meet, which is a qualifier for state.
What: The Section 6 boys and girls Alpine Ski meet, a qualifier for the Alpine Ski state meet which is Feb. 14 at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
Where, when: Buck Hill, Burnsville. The boys and girls meets both begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Competing schools: Bloomington Jefferson, Burnsville/Shakopee, Chaska/Chanhassen, Eagan, Eastview, Eden Prairie, Edina, Crystal Valley Area, Lakeville North, Lakeville South, Mankato East, Mankato West, Northfield, Prior Lake/Farmington, Century, John Marshall, Mayo, Apple Valley/Rosemount.
Rochester Alpine Ski Team: This team is divided into John Marshall, Mayo and Century for boys and girls. Skiers from Lourdes and the Rochester outlying communities are all paired with JM.
Rochester Alpine Ski Team boys to watch: The team’s strongest skier has been Century’s Soren Creech. The sophomore finished among the top five or so in all of the Big Nine Conference races. The conference meet champion was Wabasha-Kellogg’s Jack Schjolberg, who skis for John Marshall. Both Creech and Schjolberg are potential state qualifiers, which would require an approximately top-15 section-meet finish. A couple of more top skiers from the Rochester Alpine Ski team are Mayo’s Johannes Madsen and Velencciao Zambrano.
Rochester Alpine Ski Team girls to watch: The top two are John Marshall’s Ella Pattinson and Bailey Earnest-Miller. Pattinson and Earnest-Miller, from Lake City, have been dueling all season and both consistently placed in the top four in Big Nine meets. A year ago, Pattinson landed 21st in the section meet and Earnest-Miller 22nd. Rochester Alpine Ski Team coach Nick Sargent believes that if Pattinson skis with abandon, she has a legitimate chance of making it to state. “You have to have an element of risk and just let your skis go fast,” Sargent said. He also believes Earnest-Miller has a shot.