For the first time since 2002, the Elk River girls nordic ski team has advanced to the state tournament. The Elks finished in second place at the Section 5A tournament and will compete at the state tournament on Feb. 13 at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, Minnesota.

“It’s super exciting for everybody, head coach Zach Varty said. [I’m] excited that they get to go to the state meet and ski one more race. I’m happy to see them rewarded for their efforts.”

In addition to the girls team qualifying for state for the first time in 18 years, senior Jadon Purcell qualified for the state meet as an individual in the boys race.

Varty said he wants the Elks to enjoy the experience and focus on the process, not the results.

“I don’t have too many expectations for the state tournament,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll be back next year.”

Zimmerman dance team’s berth is second in three years

For the second time in three seasons, the Zimmerman dance team will be heading to the state tournament.

After appearing in the 2018 tournament at Target Center in Minneapolis, the Thunder finished second place at the Section 5-2A meet at North Branch High School on Feb. 1.

Co-head coach Stephanie Feld said making the state tournament again proves that Zimmerman is no fluke.

“Making it again proves that this team has been pushing and working super hard every year. We want to go and do our very best performance.”

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