Ely skiers sweep at home

by Tom Coombe
There were six races - and six Ely victories - on Tuesday at Hidden Valley.
No matter the level or gender, the host Timberwolves swept at the Ely Invitational, winning each Nordic skiing race.
In the varsity event, junior Zoe Devine and senior Gabriel Pointer scored convincing wins at a small meet that brought northern rivals Mesabi East and Grand Rapids to town on a cold, windy and overcast morning and afternoon.
Ely skiers were also first in the junior varsity contests, with Claire Blauch and Silas Solum bagging first-place finishes.
Junior high skiers Aila Harding and Oliver Hohenstein also won their respective races to complete a dominant day for the red-and-white.
The races served as a tune-up of sorts, as Ely’s top skiers will take part in Saturday’s Mesabi East Invitational at Giants Ridge - which serves as the state’s largest regular season event and is held at the site of the section and state meets.
The Wolves are in a busy stretch, with a Jan. 11 meet at Two Harbors and the Jan 15 Duluth Marshall Sprints also coming up.
Both Devine and Pointer followed up pre-Christmas victories at the Grand Rapids Invitational with repeat first-place showings.
Devine was first among 18 varsity girls, completing a 5.6-kilometer course in 18:58.9, nearly a minute-and-a-half in front of runner-up Aubree Skelton, a Mesabi East ninth-grader.
Phoebe Helms of Ely was fourth in 20:52.9, with Sydney Durkin (seventh, 21:53.8) and Gracie Pointer (eighth, 22:03.5) also making the top-10.
The Ely girls edged past Grand Rapids by three points to take the team crown.
In varsity boys action, it was a one-two Ely sweep with Pointer winning in 17:08.1 and fellow senior Jon Hakala placing second (17:38.4).
Ely senior Micah Larson was fifth in 18:29.7, although Mesabi East claimed four of the top-seven slots to win the team championship.
Other Ely results were:
JV Boys (5.6K)
1. Silas Solum, 19:39.8;
2. Otto Devine, 20:22.3;
3. Dylan Durkin, 20:42.4;
4. Liam Lacey, 21;14.6;
6. Nathan Hoffmeister, 22:54.1;
7. Tory Hughley, 23;23.7;
8. Leo Stalmer, 23:40.4;
12. Henry Lowe, 26:48.3
13. Milo McClelland, 28:06.1
14. Robert Towley, 33:06.7;
15. Zach Robbins, 35;15.3
JV Girls (5.6K)
1. Claire Blauch, 22:03.4;
2. Rena Johnston, 23;53.7;
3. Anna Dunn, 23:55.7;
5. Cedar Ohlhauser, 24:39.8;
6. Anna Larson, 25:58.8;
7. Juliet Stouffer, 26;14.4;
8. Morgan McClelland, 26:26.8;
11. Esther Anderson, 27:04.9;
12. Raymus Cavalier, 27:52;
Junior High Boys (3.1K);
1. Oliver Hohenstein, 14:30.5;
2. Caleb Larson, 14:44.0;
3. Aksel Skustad, 15:08.3;
4. Wyatt Devine, 15:34.6;
7. Brooks Brenny, 17:01.2
9. Tyde Brecke, 17:59.3;
10. George Sponholz, 18:24.3;
14. Nolan Anderson, 19:38.8;
16. Blake Houde, 21:21.5;
17. Oren Solum, 23:05.2;
Junior High Girls (3.1K)
1. Aila Harding, 16:42.5;
2. Addison Forsman, 17:49.0;
5. Elsa Ellerbroek, 18:50.8;
6. Alyssa Ice, 18:52.4;
7. June Nelson, 19:04.4;
8. Molly Brophy, 19:13;
9. Sova Meyer, 19:20;
11. Mattie Lindsay, 19:51.4;
12. Alison Poppler, 20:03.6;
15. Stella Koivisto, 22:27.3;
16. Hannah Ice, 22:59.0;
19. Selam Houle, 23:25.5;
20. Lizzie Merriman, 24:34.3;
24. Lyla Kelley, 37:57.0.