Senior Gracie Thomason and sophomore Anna Phleger were both named captains for the Champlin Park girls Alpine skiing team this year.
The winter season has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Tim Walz made an executive order to pause prep sports in November, and that order didn’t end until Jan. 4.
But while practices could resume this past Monday, games and matches are not going to be given the green light until Jan. 14.
Of course, the season will be shorter with just five conference races and a section tournament. The Minnesota State High School League still hasn’t made postseason plans. In the fall, teams were only allowed to have section meets.
Thomason and Phleger will be looking to lead the Rebels in the first race at 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, at Wild Mountain Ski and Snowboard in Taylors Falls.
Phleger is the top returner for Champlin Park after earning an All-Northwest Suburban Conference selection last season. She finished 18th overall, and she needed a big comeback in the second run of the final conference race to just make the cutoff for all-conference.
She wasn’t able to finish at the 7A section meet at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik, but Phleger is definitely a candidate to push for an individual state berth.
Thomason was 50th in the conference and was a captain last year as well. She was 88th in the 7A section meet.
Sophomores Lucy Gauthier, Brooke Murray and KC Dublin are other skiers that raced last season. Maddie Schindlbeck and eighth-grader Hannah Driver also competed.
Gauthier was 64th overall in the conference, and she was the third best on the team. Murray was 76th, and Dublin finished 79th.
Schindlbeck was 81st, but she was a beginner who showed potential in the races she finished. Schindlbeck actually led the Rebels in the 7A section meet, just ahead of Thomason.