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Knights skiers begin season at Mount Ripley

(Norway Ski Team photo) Norway ski team freshman Finnley Lutz races to a third place finish in the Knights season opener at Mont Ripley in Houghton on Thursday.

HOUGHTON — Norway High School’s co-op co-ed ski team kicked off the 2020-21 season with a race in Houghton at Mont Ripley Ski Hill. The race format included three individual races, two giant slalom and one slalom race with two runs in each event.

Marquette, Houghton, Ironwood and Norway competed in Thursday’s event.

Norway’s girls team placed second in the slalom and third in both giant slalom races. They were led by the consistency of junior Gabby Carey. She finished second in the slalom and had a pair of sixth place finishes in the giant slaloms.

Freshman Finnley Lutz made the podium in the first giant slalom taking third place in her high school race debut along with a 12th and 14th place in the other races.

Junior Brooke Bittinger finished with an eighth in the slalom as well as ninth and 11th places in the giant slalom events. Sophomore Maria Fornetti took 11th and had a pair of 12th place results in her three races, while freshman Megan Bittinger took 13th in all three events.

Sophomore Peyton Johnson rounded out the girls team with a pair of 16th place finishes.

On the boys side, senior Jake Munn raced to a third place in the first giant slalom and sophomore Max Mayol Massagues finished 13th in the second giant slalom.

“We had an OK day of racing overall, but we have the potential of doing so much better,” said Norway head coach John Bittinger. “We knew this hill was a difficult one for our team with the steepness and length of the courses, but the way we have been skiing in practice we had hoped for a little better start to the season. We did have a few bright spots in the race which included the podium results for Jake, Finnley and Gabby.

“We believe they will see a big step change in the results starting Thursday at our home race. We lost a bit of confidence in Houghton and skied a little conservative and inconsistent, but we are confident as a team they will come together and earn the results they have worked for.”

Norway hosts a four- school race at Pine Mountain on Thursday.

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