Olson 7th, boys 12th at state

by Tom Coombe
Luke Olson saved his best for last, and the result was another high finish in the state cross country meet and a personal record to boot.
The Ely senior finished seventh in Saturday’s Class A state meet at Northfield, the same as he did a year ago.
Olson’s time of 16 minutes. 4.5 seconds, however, was his best and good enough to be right at the top of the field in some years.
The seventh-place finish by Olson capped a chilly day on the campus of St. Olaf for the Ely boys team, which finished 12th among 16 Class A squads. The Wolves had qualified as a team on the strength of a second-place finish in Section 7A the week before.
Olson, a state track champion earlier this year, won all-state recognition for a third straight year and was part of an elite pack at the head of the Class A boys race.
At the 1500 meter mark, reports from the course indicated that Olson was in fourth place.


Wolves’ upset bid falls short

by Tom Coombe
For the second time in as many years, Carlton stood in the way of Ely’ quest for a berth in the Section 7A finals.
But the top-seeded Bulldogs knew they were in for a battle Wednesday.
The defending Section 7A champions survived a first-game scare and a third-game hiccup while pulling out a 25-22. 25-11, 23-25, 25-18 victory at Hibbing’s Lincoln Gymnasium.
Ely, which finished 25-4, fell in the 7A semifinals to the Bulldogs just as it did in 2018, but the rematch was far more competitive than last year’s Carlton sweep.
The state-ranked Bulldogs (27-2), who haven’t lost to a 7A team in more than two years and hadn’t lost as much as a set since Sept. 20, were caught flat-footed early on as a revved-up Wolves team jumped out to a 13-8 lead on some big hits by junior McKenna Coughlin.
Carlton weathered the storm and rallied, setting the tone for the match.


Boys run their way to state

by Tom Coombe
Luke Olson was the Ely Timberwolves’ only participant in last year’s state boys cross country meet.
This year, he’ll have plenty of company.
Led by Olson, who took third overall in his final Section 7A meet, the Ely boys finished second as a team and punched their own ticket to next weekend’s state competition at Northfield.
Olson, an all-stater in his junior year, set a strong pace on a blustery Thursday in Cloquet as the Wolves went toe-to-toe with 7A champion Greenway but came up three points shy of the section title.
Junior Emmett Faltesek took eighth while junior Jasper Johnson and sophomore Gabriel Pointer also cracked the top-20 to help spur Ely’s second-place team finish.
Nobody will advance from the Ely girls team, which was eighth in 7A, but ninth-grader Zoe Devine was in the mix for a state berth and settled for 17th overall.


VCC trap team third in state

by Tom Coombe
The newest team at Vermilion Community College nearly won another state title.
After finishing first in 2018, Vermilion settled for an oh-so-close third at the second annual Minnesota Community Athletic Conference state clay target championship, held earlier in the month at Grand Rapids.
Vermilion won the MCAC’s inaugural state title in clay target, also known as trapshooting, last fall.
It was nearly a repeat performance as VCC’s t op five shooters nailed 473 out of 500 targets, just five behind champion Alexandria Tech and one shot away from runner-up Pine County Tech.
Vermilion also had the state’s JV champion, with Brandon Quern of Gonvick nailing 96 out of 100 targets to take first place.
Kendra Fink, who hails from Apple Valley, won the novice division with a score of 79.
Vermilion’s overall top five included both Quern and Carter Smith of Hibbing, who tied for sixth overall at 96.


The School is Alive with the The Sound of Music

If a person is walking down the halls of the Washington Elementary school any afternoon or evening, they will likely hear students singing one of the heartwarming songs of The Sound of Music, this year’s high school musical.


At home for the playoffs

by Tom Coombe
The Ely Timberwolves hope the best is yet to come.
A school-record 23 victories could be just an appetizer for the high school volleyball team, with the main course to be served in the upcoming Section 7A playoffs.
After advancing to the final four in 7A a year ago, the Wolves will look to replicate that or even top it as the postseason begins Wednesday with an opening round game - in the friendly confines of Ely’s high school gymnasium.
Seeded second in the north half of 7A, Ely (23-3) will take on either seventh-seeded Nashwauk-Keewatin or number-10 Northeast Range at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Those two teams meet in a Monday play-in round encounter.
A victory for the Wolves would give them another home matchup - this one a Friday night quarterfinal with third-seeded Cherry (17-5) looming as a possible opponent.


Pasmick first in home finale

by Tom Coombe
Brooke Pasmick made the most of her last home meet.
The Ely senior claimed victory in the 100 yard breaststroke Tuesday and gained one of four first-place finishes for Northeast Range/Ely, which pushed visiting Virginia to the limit but fell short 51-42 in dual meet action.
A Parents’ Night crowd at the Babbitt pool cheered the Nighthawks on as they looked to knock off the Blue Devils.
Pasmick’s win in the 100, which came in 1:09.87, brought the Nighthawks to within six points at 41-35, but Virginia swept the last two events to cement the victory.
Earlier in the meet, Lily Tedrick won the 100 butterfly in 1:10, while Morgan McClelland picked off a first-place finish in the 500 freestyle (6:37.28), with nearly 10 seconds to spare.
Tedrick and McClelland also teamed with Cedar Ohlhauser and Abby Koivisto to win the 200 freestyle relay in 1:56.81.


Injuries can’t slow Wolves

by Tom Coombe
Even at less than full strength, the Ely Timberwolves are one of the most formidable teams in Section 7A.
That was evident earlier this week, as the high school volleyball team dominated two opponents even as it missed key players.
Senior standout Brielle Kallberg was out with an ankle injury for wins over Northeast Range and Lakeview Christian Academy, while fellow senior Jenna Merhar was also absent for Tuesday’s sweep of LCA.
The temporary absences did little to slow the Wolves, who got a boost each night from freshman Rachel Coughlin.
Coughlin had eight kills in both matches as the Wolves improved to 15-3 for the season.
“Offensively, Rachel started getting power behind her hits,” said Ely Head Coach Andrea Thomas.
The Wolves powered past Northeast Range Monday, winning 25-13, 25-6, 22-25, 25-12 at Babbitt.


Ely CC teams place second and third at chilly home meet

by Tom Coombe
Minus their leading runner, the Ely boys weren’t able to defend their championship at Tuesday’s Ely Invitational.
Senior Luke Olson did not compete in the annual home meet and the Ely boys settled for third place, just a point behind runner-up Eveleth-Gilbert and two back of Virginia, at the Ely Golf Course.
Freshman Zoe Devine’s fifth-place finish sparked the Ely girls team to a second-place showing, behind only International Falls.
The annual home event was held on an overcast day with prime running conditions, but chilly 40-degree temperatures that forced spectators to don an extra layer of clothing to stay warm.
Olson, who won a state track title during the spring and has a string of individual wins to his credit this fall, returned to Ely late Monday after a college visit and sat out the home meet.


Wolves show progress, but fall to South Ridge

by Tom Coombe
The Ely Timberwolves dropped their third straight game, but the Sept. 13 meeting with South Ridge was truly a sign of progress.
The Wolves trailed 8-6 at the half before falling 32-6 to the Panthers on a rainy Friday night at Ely School Stadium.
South Ridge (2-1) had a few anxious moments before finally putting the Wolves away.
Ely’s fans had a lot to cheer about early on, when the Wolves scored their first touchdown of the year - on special teams.
Sawyer Klingsporn scored his first varsity touchdown when a South Ridge punt snap went into the end zone.
The Ely junior pounced on it and the Wolves had their first lead of the year.
Logan Young, who was part of a multifaceted South Ridge ground game, scored from 10 yards out in the second quarter and Matt Clark’s two-point conversion gave the Panthers a two-point lead at the half.


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