Sports

Fri
22
Nov

Dynamic duo leads Ely girls

by Tom Coombe
If high school athletes could qualify for a pension, Erika Mattson and Brielle Kallberg would be vested.
Both senior standouts have been part of the Timberwolves’ varsity team for six years and starters for five, and they provide a potent one-two punch as Ely opens the 2019-20 high school girls basketball campaign Tuesday at Nashwauk-Keewatin.
Mattson has developed into one of the deadliest three-point shooters in northeastern Minnesota while Kallberg, a state track qualifier and an NCAA Division II volleyball recruit, is one of the best athletes in Section 7A.
They’ll team with fellow senior Winter Sainio to provide both talent and leadership to an otherwise young, and relatively inexperienced, Ely team.
“We have a lot of key people back with Winter, Brielle and Erika and then it gets to a lot of youth,” said Ely Head Coach Darren Visser. “We go from three experienced players down to a lot of younger players.”

Fri
15
Nov

Records fall, medals won

by Tom Coombe
A season of growth in the water couldn’t have ended much better for Northeast Range/Ely.
All that was missing from last weekend’s Section 7A girls swimming meet was a bid to state and Ely senior Brooke Pasmick, nearly had that, finishing third in the 100 backstroke and missing out on moving on by less than two-tenths of a second.
NRE also returned home from Hibbing with several medals and a slew of team-record and personal-best performances.
Not bad for a team that had just one senior - Pasmick - and was loaded with swimmers in ninth grade or below.
“Today was only the beginning for a young team like ours,” said Ely ninth grader Lily Tedrick, who earned two medals at section and set team records in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly.

Fri
15
Nov

From Ely to the NCAA

by Tom Coombe
Two Ely Timberwolves are taking their games to a new level.
Seniors Luke Olson and Brielle Kallberg, standouts in an array of sports at the high school, both signed letters of intent this week to play collegiate athletics.
Olson has accepted an offer to join the men’s track and field team at NCAA Division I South Dakota, while Kallberg is set to play volleyball at Minnesota State-Moorhead, an NCAA Division II school.
Signing ceremonies Wednesday in Ely capped a recruiting process that resulted in significant interest in both Timberwolves.
Olson visited several schools before settling on South Dakota, and Kallberg attracted the attention of numerous college volleyball programs.
A state champion last spring in the 800 meter run, Olson becomes the second Ely athlete to currently compete at the Division I level in track, joining 2017 Ely graduate Josh Heiman, a triple jumper at Army.

Thu
07
Nov

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.

Fri
01
Nov

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.

Fri
25
Oct

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.

Fri
25
Oct

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.

Fri
25
Oct

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.

Fri
18
Oct

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.

Fri
11
Oct

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.

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