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Game of the Week: Alpine skiing Suburban East Conference opener

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GAME OF THE WEEK

Who: PWER alpine skiing

What: Suburban East Conference opener

Where: Welch Village

When: Thursday, Jan. 3, 5 p.m.

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Thank goodness for the cold and the snow right? While not everyone may appreciate Minnesota winters, downhill skiers sure do.

Today, the PWER (Park, Woodbury, East Ridge) alpine skiing teams hit the slopes for their first Suburban East Conference meet of the season.

In District 833, the alpine program was dubbed the PWER alpine team as of 2009. The Park, Woodbury and East Ridge teams currently practice together, compete in identical races and are administrated by the same staff, but race as individual high schools.

Since the very beginning, the East Ridge alpine teams have stood out.

The East Ridge girls are led by senior Elizabeth Koprucki, who won every SEC meet last season on the way to being conference champ. As a team, the East Ridge girls took third place in the SEC. Koprucki went on to finish second in the state meet. As a team, the Raptors girls were fifth in the state.

On the boys side, East Ridge graduated just one senior and return freshman Jack Midtlien fresh off a state-meet appearance as an eighth grader. Midtlien recorded two top-five finishes in SEC action last year and finished 29th in the state competition last year. Also helping lead the Raptors this season are freshman Holton Sailer, senior Drew Del Toro and junior Oliver Kennedy on the boys side and Morgan Maxwell, Karla Brady and Abby Eggers on the girls side.

For the Park girls team, which was eighth in the SEC last year, Stefanee Iverson, Lauren Jones and Julia Deshler have looked good early in non-conference meets and will help lead the Wolfpack. For the Park boys, which took 10th in the SEC last year, Dan Rogers and Lane Crose are expected to compete with the SEC's top skiers, while Brian Buckner and Alex Bruss have fared well early on as well.

For Woodbury, Nick Bruesehoff leads the boys team along with Ben Miller. The Royals finished seventh at the final SEC meet last year. For the Royals girls, who were fifth in the SEC last year, Cheyenne Warren, Madison Wall and Sydney Johnson are among the skiers to watch.

The SEC opener is Thursday, Jan. 3, at Welch Village. The meet starts at 5 p.m.

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