VAAST girls 2nd, boys 4th at Hibbing Invite

Virginia Area's Toby Johnson digs his skies in to complete a tight turn during his first run in Thursday's Hibbing Invite at Giants Ridge.

BIWABIK — The Virginia Area Alpine Ski Team had a solid day on the slopes Thursday at the Hibbing Invite.

The girls team finished second with 153 points, while the boys took home fourth with 167 points.

Jacob McCarthy led the Blue Devil boys with a total time of 1:17,93 after two runs, enough for sixth. McCarthy’s first run clocked in at 39.04, which was fifth fastest, and his second run stopped the clock at 38.89, which was seventh fastest.

Teammate Chris Jacklen was the next highest finisher for the VAAST boys, finishing in 13th with a combined time of 1:21.17 (40.75+40.42).

Four skiers scored for each team. Next for VAAST was Toby Johnson, taking home 22nd with a combined time of 1:27.08 (43.21+43.87). Rounding out the scorers for the Blue Devils was Kyle Skinner in 44th with a combined time of 1:30.02 (45.16+44.86).

“Jacob’s two runs were very aggressive today,” said VAAST head coach Benji Neff. “The boys team all skied solid runs but didn’t quite have enough to edge out Cook County to make the top three teams.”

Cook County finished third on the boys side with 183 points.

On the girls’ side, Mia Schuchard was the top skier for VAAST, finishing in 12th place with a combined time of 1:29.32. Schuchard’s first run of 43.36 was seventh-best for first trips down the hill. She followed that up with a second run time of 45.96.

Azalea Ray was second best for VAAST, finishing 15th overall with a combined time of 1:33.29 (46.25+47.04). Just behind her was Mackenzie Deppe in 18th place with a time of 1:34.48 (47.43+47.05) and rounding out the VAAST scorers was Emma Crum in 22nd with her time of 1:38.15 (49.54+48.61).

“The girls’ took second to a power house team in Brainerd,” Neff said. “We didn’t do quite as well on the individual side, but the girls team still held together to have a solid day.”

Overall, Brainerd won both the boys’ and girls’ meets with the boys scoring 218 points and the girls scoring 210.

The Virginia Area Alpine Ski Team will hit the slopes again Saturday, Jan. 18 for the MLK Invite at Giants Ridge.

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