State skiing: Chanhassen, Minnetonka skiers fastest down the course

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 12, 2014 - 9:25 PM

The Storm’s Louis Nguyen won the boys’ individual title. Minnetonka won the girls’ team title.

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Chanhassen’s Louis Nguyen, a freshman, won the boys’ individual title in the Alpine ski meet in Biwabik, Minn. He had the best first run of the day. (Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune)

 

It took awhile, but Chanhassen freshman Louis Nguyen finally admitted to being nervous about competing at the Alpine skiing state meet. But just a bit.

Handling the pressure like a seasoned veteran, Nguyen won the boys’ individual title with a time of 1 minute, 6.97 seconds. Cretin-Derham Hall senior Keillen O’Brien placed second in 1:07.22.

Nguyen had the best first run of the boys’ meet, then ho-hummed his way through the break between runs.

“It’s no different than any other race,” he said after his first trip down the Giants Ridge Innsbruck course.

His matter-of-fact attitude is a big reason for his success, Chanhassen coach Josh Kleve said, adding: “It doesn’t matter to him how big the race is. He approaches every race the same.”

Almost every race.

When Nguyen got to the top of the hill for his second run, held on the adjacent Helsinki course, the nature of the opportunity in front of him became a reality.

“I got a little nervous,” he said. “I was first to go. The best skiers in the state are here. You don’t want to mess up in front of them.”

He need not have worried, bombing a 32.54 on the run.

Nguyen’s older brother Vy, a senior who finished 39th in the meet, was effusive about Louis’ performance.

“He’s been kicking butt,” Vy said. “There’s no stopping that machine.”

Normally, it’s the older brother who is the inspiration for the younger. But in their case, Vy said, it’s the other way around.

“We began skiing at the same time,” he said. “He’s been taking it a lot more seriously, and it shows. If anyone’s following in any footsteps, I’m following in his.”

Best friends, skiers, team

Minnetonka seniors Megan Greiner and Erin Olejnik are not only teammates but best friends. Together, they have taken turns at the top of the Skippers’ lineup. When one finishes first, the other is usually right behind.

For example, Olejnik won the Section 5 title last week with Greiner taking second.

The pattern followed suit Wednesday, with Greiner winning the girls’ Alpine skiing individual championship in 1:18.58. Olejnik was the runner-up in 1:18.59.

  • related content

  • Senior Megan Greiner took first place in the girls’ Alpine ski meet individual comptetition and led Minnetonka to its second team title in a row.

  • The Minnetonka girls’ Alpine ski team celebrated their second team title in a row at Giants Ridge.

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