By Ryan Schleicher – Sun FOCUS Newspapers
Over the hills and through the snow to Giants Ridge we go—OK, maybe not the correct words to the song but they rang true for one local school as they traveled to Biwabik Minnesota to take part in the 2012-2013 Nordic Ski state meet.
Irondale earned their right to represent the Section five at the state meet by winning the conference title by edging Osseo by one point. At the state meet, Tyler Gilbert and Bjorn Adelsman led their Irondale Knights against the best boys Nordic ski teams in the state.
The Knights, who haven’t been to state in 24 years could have been overwhelmed by joy, shock and disbelief of their accomplishment—but they weren’t. The Knights had a chip on their shoulder, and were looking to prove their worth to other teams from all corners of the state. Mission accomplished?
Depends on who you ask. Irondale tallied a total of 341 points on the toughest course of the season good enough for a fifth place team finish, a point behind St. Cloud Tech, who finished fourth and four points behind Forest Lake, who finished third. Other finishers were St. Paul Central (eighth), Eagan (seventh), Hopkins (sixth), Ely (second), and champion Eden Prairie.
Gilbert and Adelsman from Irondale both qualified for the single relay events as well.
Gilbert finished fifth overall, tallying a combined freestyle and classic relay times of 30:29.3.
Adelsman finished in the 16th spot, with a time of 31:08.8.
On the girls side, Mattie Watts from Irondale impressed onlookers by finishing fifth overall in the individual relays with a time of 34:45.1. The girls Nordic ski team from Irondale did not qualify to compete at the state meet, as Roseville won the girls conference meet. Roseville finished third overall.