By Matthew Davis
Champlin Park Rebels Alpine skiing coach Gary Phleger reminded senior Anson Kuznik of his section meet from two years ago before his final run at sections on Tuesday, Feb. 4.
“I reminded him what happened two years ago when he held back,” Phleger said. “He didn’t make it by three one-hundredths. So, I said to him, ‘leave nothing to regret.’”
Kuznik had come just short of reaching state in 2012 on his final run. With steeper competition at this year’s section meet, Phleger encouraged Anson to push himself on the final run.
“I knew did not want to make the same mistake again, just barely missed state,” Kuznik said.
Kuznik came up big on his final run to take 10th place in the Section 7 meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. His finish qualified him for the State Alpine Skiing Meet at the very same course.
“I just pushed myself a little bit more,” Kuznik said about the second run.
Kuznik had an overall time 1 minute, 14.66 seconds between the two runs. He hit 38.99 seconds for his first run, taking 13th. Kuznik took 8th with a time of 35.67 for his second run. He qualified for state a second-straight year and as the lone Rebel on both the boys and girls teams to do so this year.
Qualifying more skiers became extra challenging since Stillwater came in with more depth and Mahtomedi joined the section. It limited the number of places available since the champion, Stillwater, already sends its entire varsity skiers to the state meet.
“To make it to state we knew would be harder because the Stillwater team is a state competitor,” Phleger said.
Anson’s brother, Tony, finished 32nd as the second-highest finisher for the Rebels boys team. The Rebels took 16th out of 20 teams.
“Tony skied really well,” Phleger said.
On the girls side, Rebels skiers Tara and Lisa Dalman took 20th and 22nd respectively. The Rebels took 11th out of 18 teams.
“They both had good, solid runs,” Phleger said.
Wald to represent Rebels at Nordic state skiing
Shannon Wald took 10th individually at the Section 5 meet and will represent Champlin Park in Thursday’s State Nordic Ski Meet.
Wald, a senior, finished with a combined time of 40 minutes, one second in her two races on Wednesday, Feb. 5. She helped her team take eighth overall at Theodore Wirth Park.
On the boys side, the Rebels took 10th out of the 12 teams at the meet. Freshman Ivan Ivens had the top finish for the Rebels at 26th, and Luke Crandall took 41st.