Prep athletes of the week: State title means a lot to Irondale's Watts

  • Updated: February 18, 2014 - 6:48 AM

Mattie Watts, Irondale Nordic skiing

MATTIE WATTS

Irondale • Nordic skiing

After the freestyle portion of the state Nordic ski racing meet, Watts, a senior, was asked about the race’s importance to her. With a skiing career that has taken her across borders, continents and even oceans, she was diplomatic in her response.

“It’s a big race, but it’s not the biggest race for me,” she said. She had just completed an impressive first leg and held a lead of nearly 23 seconds heading into the classic-style portion of the meet.

Three hours later, Watts’ smile told a different story. Despite racing on borrowed skis — she had misplaced her classic skis and had to use those of a friend — and falling during the race, she held off friend and rival Vivian Hett of Burnsville to win the girls’ individual state title, becoming Irondale’s first state Nordic skiing champion.

“This is amazing,” she said. “I was skiing pretty good, but I was kind of freaking out because I wasn’t used to the skis, and I know how good she is. I’m just so happy to win this. It feels incredible.”

CARLY BULLOCK

Blake • hockey

The sophomore’s goal-scoring binge continues. She had two goals in a 5-1 victory over Mound-Westonka and a goal and an assist in a 6-4 victory over Breck in the Class 1A, Section 5 final. Bullock has scored at least one goal in every game since the start of 2014, a string of 14 in a row.

MEGAN GREINER

Minnetonka • Alpine skiing

The senior was nearly flawless in Wednesday’s state meet, parlaying a tremendous first run of 35.76 — the only girl under 36 seconds the opening run — and a smooth second run into her first state title. Her time of 1:18.28 was enough to outpace teammate Erin Olejnik.

ANNA HOUSE

Mounds View • gymnastics

The senior set a personal-best score of 37.6 to win the all-around competition at Thursday’s Class 2A, Section 5 meet. In doing so, she took first on balance beam (9.6), tied for first on vault (9.4), tied for second in the floor exercise (9.57) and was third on the uneven bars.

ZAK KETTERSON

Bloomington Jefferson • Nordic skiing

Going into the state meet at Giants Ridge as the favorite, the sophomore lived up to all expectations, completing the two portions of the pursuit competition — freestyle and classic — in a combined time of 32:52.7. His time was more than 10 seconds ahead of runner-up Nick Gardner of Mounds Park Academy.

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