Faltesek, Larson lead Wolves

by Tom Coombe
Photos courtesy of Micah Larson
A ninth-place finish told only part of the story on Wednesday for Ely’s high school boys track team at the subsection competition.
The Timberwolves, who fielded one of their smallest rosters in recent history, had a day full for individual bests and improvement, and managed to send three individuals and a relay to next week’s Section 7A meet, set for Thursday, June 10 at Cloquet.
Senior Emmett Faltesek was fourth in the 800 meter run and continued his charge toward a potential state meet berth, while junior Micah Larson sprinted his way to sections in the 100 dash.
Sophomore high jumper Jake Cochran also moves on, and Cochran joined Leo Stalmer, Jon Hakala and Gabriel Pointer on a 7A qualifying four-by-800 relay quartet.
Add numerous other solid showings and it was a good event for the Wolves.


Girls punch tickets to 7A

by Tom Coombe
Photos courtesy of Micah Larson
Four third-place finishes were the highlights of a solid subsection meet for Ely’s high school girls track team.
While the Wolves finished fifth overall on a sunny Wednesday at Aurora, they punched a whopping 11 tickets to the June 10 Section 7A Meet at Cloquet.
That includes nine individual slots and two relays, with junior Annikka Mattson and sophomore Zoe Devine qualifying in three events each.
“The girls had a great day with several personal bests,” said head coach Eliza Vistica. “Many girls moved up several spots from where they were seeded to qualify for sections.”
Mattson sprinted to a third-place finish in the 400 meter dash (1:05.21), while Devine placed third in the 3,200 run in 12:56.18.
Junior Ande Visser qualified for sections by taking third in the discus (96-1), and
Ely advanced a four-by-800 relay team that took third in 10:45.8.


Ely outslugs and outscores Deer River, 27-24

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s high school softball team experienced both ends of the offensive spectrum, in a matter of five days.
After failing to get a base runner against Cherry’s Lauren Staples, who fired a five-inning perfect game in a May 21 game at Ely, the Wolves turned things around in amazing fashion on Tuesday.
Ely came out slugging, building a 17-1 lead and then hanging on for a 27-24 victory at Deer River.
The Wolves (9-8) played at Two Harbors Thursday and seem likely to go on the road Tuesday when the Section 7A playoffs begin.
Barring an unanticipated shift in the standings, the Wolves will be seeded fifth in the north half of the section and travel to play number-four Littlefork-Big Falls. A win puts the Wolves into the double-elimination phase of the tournament, which starts June 3 at Grand Rapids.


Wolves defeat NE Range in five

by Tom Coombe
After a rough outing on Monday, the Ely Timberwolves bounced back with a vengeance.
Mason Davis’ three-run double fueled a six-run fourth inning and Ely went on to a 12-2, five-inning victory over rival Northeast Range Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Field.
The Wolves improved to 8-9 and rebounded from a disastrous Monday, when they fell 21-0 in five innings to Eveleth-Gilbert.
Junior Bryce Fairchild and sophomore Logan Loe combined to contain the Nighthawks, and the Ely offense warmed up after a pair of quiet innings against Northeast Range lefty Isaac Hendrickson.
Davis, who also scored twice, walked with the bases loaded to make it 3-1 and Drew Marolt’s two-run single provided some cushion.
In the fourth, the floodgates opened as junior Jacob Towley singled in a run and Davis followed with his key blow.


Softball team pulls off rally

by Tom Coombe
A seventh-inning rally produced the Ely Timberwolves’ most dramatic win of the spring.
Ely scored three times in the bottom of the seventh, with two coming home on Katrina Seliskar’s infield groundout to give the Wolves a 7-6 high school softball win over Mt. Iron-Buhl on Monday afternoon.
The Wolves, who evened their record at 5-5, trailed by a run when Seliskar came to the plate with runners at second and third with one out.
The tying run came home on Seliskar’s grounder to second, but Sydni Richards kept right on coming after the throw to first and she beat a high throw from the first baseman to give the hosts a walkoff victory.
The slide capped off a huge day by the senior, who was three-four-four with two runs scored and a run batted in.
Charly Flom was two-for-four with three runs scored, while Madeline Kallberg had two hits.


Ironmen advance to regionals

The Vermilion Ironmen accomplished two of their goals, fell short of a third and will begin work on another this weekend.
Two wins last weekend assured the community college baseball team of a winning season and the program’s first regional playoff berth since 2010, as well as a second-place finish in the Northern Division.
Masterful pitching performances by Jakob Wiirre and Steven Peterson helped the Ironmen gain a split with rival Itasca, and Vermilion finished the regular season with a 19-13 record.
Wiirre fired a three-hitter with eight strikeouts in Sunday’s 5-2 victory, while Peterson went the distance and tossed a four-hitter the day before, as VCC beat the Vikings 4-2 in Grand Rapids.
The Ironmen opened play in the Region 13 Playoffs Friday at St. Cloud, taking on MN State-Fergus Falls in the double-elimination event. A date with top-seeded and nationally-ranked St. Cloud Tech would come with a first-round win.


Ely boys take first at Chisholm

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s high school boys track team outpaced three other small-school squads at an Apr. 29 meet at Chisholm.
The Timberwolves picked up their first win of the season with the help of five first-place finishes - including a pair by sophomore Jake Cochran.
Cochran won both the 1,600 meter run and the high jump as Ely piled up 62 points and beat runner-up Silver Bay as well as the host Bluestreaks and Bigfork.
Emmett Faltesek cruised to a convincing victory in the 800 run, freshman Leo Stalmber picked up his first varsity win in the 400 dash, while junior Micah Larson won the triple jump.
Ely also had a pair of winning relays - the four-by-200 quartet of Faltesek, Larson, Cochran and Jon Hakala as well as the four-by-800 combination of Stalmer, Silas Solum, Tory Hughley and Ben Cavalier.
The full lineup of Ely point scorers were:
• 100 dash - 5. Larson, 12.6;
• 400 dash - 1. Stalmer, 1:04.38; 5. Hughley, 1:12.22;


Softball team nabs first win

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s high school softball team picked up one win in its first week of action.
New head coach Cory Lassi scored his first victory leading the program Apr. 23 at Babbitt, where the Timberwolves pounded Northeast Range 19-1 in five innings.
The day before, Chisholm defeated the Wolves 14-1, while Ely was on the short end of a 4-2 decision to Mesabi East on Tuesday, on the artificial turf at Aurora.
Junior Katrina Seliskar has been strong in the circle early on for Ely.
She struck out six batters in three-and-a-third innings while gaining the win in relief against the Nighthawks.
Seliskar was also on the short end of a pitching duel with Mesabi East’s Jasmine Heikkila, who limited the Wolves to four hits and fanned 11.
In defeat, Seliskar was equally brilliant and allowed only two earned runs on three hits while recording 10 strikeouts.


Ely’s baseball, softball teams finally debut

by Tom Coombe
Neither the Ely Timberwolves’ softball nor baseball teams had played yet this season as of Wednesday, but there’s little doubt both high school squads had already done battle with their two most difficult opponents of the spring.
First COVID-19 and then Mother Nature have proven to be more than formidable foes for the Wolves.
It was a COVID outbreak at the high school that sent students into distance learning from mid-March until Apr. 12 and sidelined Ely teams.
And since practice has begun, the Wolves have had to dodge rain drops, bundle up against biting winds and even waited for snow to melt.
The cold weather prompted some postponements early this week, but both Ely teams were slated to play their season openers as of deadline.
The softball team, under first-year head coach Cory Lassi, was slated to host Chisholm with a Friday visit to Babbitt following to take on Northeast Range.


Softball team has new coach

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s high school softball team will take the field for the first time in nearly two years on Thursday.
And new faces will abound.
The Timberwolves, who open up at home with Chisholm (see schedule), will bear little resemblance to the team that closed out the 2019 campaign.
Cory Lassi has stepped in as the program’s new head coach, while only a handful of Wolves have varsity experience heading into the 2021 campaign.
Covid-19 robbed Ely of its 2020 season, while the 2019 unit boasted several key players who have since graduated.
“We’re going to be really young,” said Lassi, who took over after longtime coach Tom McDonald stepped aside. “We have 20 girls out, but 11 of those are seventh or eighth-graders so we’re going to rely heavily on our girls who are returning, whether they were starters or got time in JV.”
Two Wolves boast multiple years of starting experience.


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