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home : sports : sports May 29, 2016

2/20/2014 3:28:00 PM
Brown earns a top 10 finish at state tournament
Anders Brown takes on the Helsinki course at last week’s state tournament at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. Brown finished in eighth place at the meet. Photo by John Hofstad
Anders Brown takes on the Helsinki course at last week’s state tournament at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. Brown finished in eighth place at the meet. Photo by John Hofstad

Anders Brown had felt nothing but heartbreak in his two trips to the state tournament. Last year, he took a fall on both runs and finished in 81st place. In 2012, as a seventh grader, Brown took a spill in his second run after a quality opening run and finished in 67th place. This year, however, the freshman made the best of his two runs and strung together a phenomenal state tournament at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, MN, to finish in eighth place in the event. On his first run on the Innisbruck course, Brown flew down the hill, carving the snow up on his way towards the finish line. His time of 36.74 seconds left him in a good position, 12th fastest on that course, with his stronger run coming up.

On the second run, the pressure was on Brown. He hadn’t put together a clean pair of runs at the state tournament yet, but this was his chance on the Helsinki course. He shot out of the gate at the top of the hill and blasted through the 12 degree air. However, speed can kill sometimes, and Brown had to be careful not to go into any of the chutes too recklessly. He maneuvered his way down the hil, and with each turn, it became more evident that Brown was going to get his second clean run of the day. After he crossed the finish line in what he knew was a fast time, the time was read at 34.90 seconds, which put him in contention for a podium finish, but he had to sweat out another group of skiers. When a few of the top guys, including meet favorite Tommy Anderson of Eagan and two other top 10 racers in Breck’s Peter Kiesel and Burnsville’s Jack Lindsay, went down, Brown catapulted up to eighth place and into a podium finish. His time on the second run was the eighth fastest of the day.

He combined his two runs for a time of 1:11.64. He was almost two seconds ahead of the next fastest skier, Ben Calvit of Minneapolis Washburn. Louis Nguyen, a freshman from Chanhassan, won the meet with a time of 1:06.97. Brown still has three years left to move up the ladder even higher. Many of the skiers around him are upperclassmen and will be gone in the next few years, clearing up more room for Brown, however, Nguyen is going to be a thorn in Brown’s side for the next three years of skiing, but Brown seem to have a knack from plucking those thorns from his side and flying down the hill. Girls Ellie Frischmon didn’t quite have the smooth-sailing meet she would’ve hoped for at Giants Ridge. Frischmon got off to a quality start, getting in the 18th-fastest time on the Helsinki course, which is her favorite hill according to coach Su Leslie. She was aiming for a top 15 finish if she could put together a strong run on the Innsbruck course. However, a strong run didn’t materialize.

“She ran into trouble on Innsbruck at a diagonal flush into the last section of the hill,” Leslie said. “She handled her disappointment with dignity and cheered on her friends and fellow racers the rest of the day.” The freshman still has three years of skiing left, though, and she has time to atone for the fall and make big steps towards the top of the heap. “The State Meet is where you give it your all on the hill and you either have success or you don't -- especially when you qualify as an individual as Ellie and Anders both did,” Leslie explained. “For Anders the third time was the charm. He'd fallen the last two State Meets and this time he skied great, he read the course and skied it appropriately! To finish in the top ten was his goal and to finish as the 8th fastest at the State Meet is awesome.”

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