BIWABIK, MINN. – Four siblings and 23 previous state meet appearances in the rearview mirror and finally, the Ide family of Blake can claim a state champion.
Senior Nellie Ide, the last of three sisters and one brother to have competed in the Alpine skiing state meet, skied perhaps the best two runs of her high school career Wednesday to win the girls' individual title in a combined time of 1 minute, 13.63 seconds. Her time was faster than the boys' winner as well.
Ide said the twin runs at Giants Ridge Ski Area, named Innsbruck and Helsinki, perfectly fit her style.
"I was feeling confident and focused on having fun," Ide said. "The course was perfect both times. It was like my ideal course. I could just ski quickly and go for it."
Ide's older siblings — Maisie, Tessa and Roscoe — had all competed in the state meet in the past. Maisie was favored to win in 2011 but a spectacular fall in the first run ended her hopes.
"We've had Ides come through here for a super-long time," Nellie said. "It feels good to end it on a strong note as the last Ide coming through. They were saying, 'Leave a good legacy for the Ides.' "
Orono senior Rosie Hust became the meet's hard-luck kid, finishing second for the third consecutive year.
Hust was considered a favorite to win the meet and skied well, just not as fast as Ide. She acknowledged that another runner-up finish was frustrating, but took solace that at least it was Ide who beat her.
"It gets a little bitterer every year," Hust said. "At least it was to my best friend."
Hust and Ide often room together when traveling to national meets.
"This year, we've spent 100 percent of the time together," Ide said.
"I've spent more nights sleeping in the same bed as Nellie than in my own bed," Hust said with a grin. "We travel a lot together."
In the post-meet interviews Wednesday, Ide was asked if winning the meet means she gets more than friendly bragging rights.
"I think maybe one night, she'll have to sleep on the floor," Ide said with laugh.
Chisago Lakes won the girls' team championship with 152 team points, just ahead of runner-up Lakeville North at 143. Senior Elizabeth Frischmon led the Wildcats with a fourth-place overall finish (1:16.94).
Boman wins boys' title again
Officially, Elliott Boman skis for Northfield. He is a senior at Cannon Falls, but competes under the Northfield banner as part of a cooperative between the schools.
Boman, a senior, won his second Alpine state championship in three years, conquering Giants Ridge's twin slalom courses in a combined time of 1:14.53.
"I'm bringing the small town to a big place," Boman smiled.
Boman won the 2015 championship, then took a year off from high school skiing to train under the Federation Internationale de Ski banner.
"I had to make a decision. I wanted to see if FIS would overtake high school," Boman said.
He still skis on the international circuit but was able to squeeze in high school skiing thanks to the efforts of Northfield coach Johnny Ostberg.
"He made it super easy," Boman said. "I only had to show up for three meets and then qualify for sections. I didn't have to go to any practices because he knew I was getting the time in and practice needed with other coaches on the FIS level."
While he has traveled the world and skied at a high level, Boman said winning the high school state championship held special meaning.
"It ranks pretty high," Boman said. "It's a pretty big accomplishment."
He credited his FIS training for his victory Wednesday.
"It's crazy to be able to go to Austria and ski," he said. "And then you come here and say 'Dang, that really helped.' "
He won't get much time to enjoy his victory, however. Boman is off to Colorado on Thursday to ski in another FIS competition.
"I get the car ride home and then maybe a little time at school, and then I'm gone," he said.
Chisago Lakes senior Anders Brown finished second (1:14:61) in what was the last competitive race of his career. Brown, a stellar baseball player, said his ski racing days are over.
"That's it for me," he said. "I'm pretty happy. I nailed a solid second. I had a good day."
Minnetonka took the boys' team championship, outpointing runner-up Edina 166-151. There was a three-way tie for third between Cook County, Stillwater and Breck, each with 141 points.
Minnetonka's top finisher was senior Sergi Piguillem, who finished seventh overall in a time of 1:17.98.