Alpine champ Divine lives up to name

Divine can be defined as extremely good, pleasant or enjoyable. That's exactly what you get in Eden Prairie senior Becca Divine, the girls' Alpine defending state champion. She will have to be extremely good again this season if she is to repeat. The top four finishers and seven of the top 10 from a year ago return. Three seniors — Bailey Donovan (St. Paul Academy), Kathryn Kossack (Lakeville North) and Deirdre O'Neill (Breck) — are in a group vying for the top spot on the podium in their final prep season.

Lakeville abounds with girls' Alpine talent

Lakeville North and Lakeville South have an abundance of talented girls' Alpine skiers. Besides Kossack, who finished third last season, the Panthers also boast the fourth-place finisher, sophomore Peyton Servais. Across town, South welcomes back seniors Lauren Geary and Lauren Nida and junior Hannah Rost, 13th a year ago. Geary missed last season after suffering a torn knee ligament before Thanksgiving. She finished sixth while Nida, a Blake transfer, wound up 17th two years ago.

Chasing defending Nordic state champions

Nordic skiers will try to make a run at the defending state champions, Wayzata senior Mara McCollor and Grand Rapids senior Garrett Beckrich. McCollor won the girls' pursuit crown by over 16 seconds while Beckrich surprised the boys' field with nearly a five-second victory over Wayzata's graduated tandem of Anders Sonnesyn and Luc Golin. Beckrich had a 19-second lead after the freestyle race in the morning before holding off the late-charging Trojans. McCollor and Beckrich will be tough to catch in their final prep meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.