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Nordic Ski Championships Didn't DisappointSubmitted: 02/10/2013
Nordic Ski Championships Didn't Disappoint
Story By Marisa Silvas

RHINELANDER - Local skiers provided plenty of excitement in the Nordic Ski Championships.
Sunday's race was pursuit style, with a staggered start designed to have the State Champs cross the finish line first.

A big crowd came out to the Northwood Golf Club in Rhinelander to catch the action. Even the Hodag was on hand to meet and greet the fans.

On the boys' side, Rhinelander's top finisher was Lou Bassette holding steady at 39th overall.



Claire Tracy had a strong day. She passed 10 competitors to finish 25th overall. Hillary Wall finished 29th.

Freshman Mack FitzPatrick led the Lakeland boys. He gained ground today and finished on the podium in 4th place. Will Bodewes took 11th, Lucas Paulson 13th and Michael Orlowski 19th overall.

The T-Bird ladies had a day to remember. Delaney FitzPatrick started in second place, 47 seconds behind the leader. She skied strong, made a pass and came out of the woods in first place. Delaney is your state champion winning by 10 seconds.

Erin Bolger moved up a couple spots and finished on the podium with 6th place. And Sophia Annis came in 11th overall- all very impressive performances.

In team scores Lakeland also came up big. The boys finished in third place in the state, and the lady T-Birds took the top spot.



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EAGLE RIVER - The World Championship Snowmobile Derby kicked off in Eagle River Friday morning. 

You might think of snowmobile racing as a sport for adults, but people of all ages are competing. Kids as young as four years old came out Friday to ride their tiny sleds through the finish line. 

On Sunday, all eyes will be on the riders lining up for the world snowmobile championship race. But before those riders came into the spotlight they started as kids. 

"My first race was when I was five," said Maverick Woyke. 

At just 12 years old, Woyke has been racing for seven years. 

"We went and watched a race and he had so much fun watching he decided he wanted to start racing," said Maverick's dad Jesse Woyke. 

Maverick traveled to with his dad from Buffalo, Minnesota to race this weekend in Eagle River. He's no stranger to traveling for the sport. 

"We've been Jackson, Wyoming, Winter Park, Colorado, Deadwood, Duluth, Shakopee in Minnesota, we kind of go all over," said Jesse. 

Maverick isn't the only veteran in the field, many of the young riders have been riding almost as soon as they could walk. 

"I've done this race as long as I can remember. Probably since I was four or five," said 11-year-old Tyler Poker. 

It's a tradition to come to Eagle River at this time of year, and for a lot of these kids, it's a family tradition.

"We were eating dinner and Dad asked me if I wanted to come race, and I said yeah, and then this happened," said 11-year-old Reece Bollmann. 

They travel from all over Wisconsin and the Midwest to have fun, but also to compete. 

"I've been to this race four times now and I've won it the last three times so I'm hoping for a fourth," said 14-year-old Kyle Thome. 

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"[My favorite part about racing is] the jumps because it's so much air and it's just a blast," said Bollmann.
 
But of course the best part?

"Well, getting off of school," said Poker. 

Many of the kids will spend the weekend watching other riders after they finish their races. And the ultimate goal is to be right there on that Sunday championship starting lineā€¦one day. 
 
"If we could get there that'd be awesome," said Thome. 

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