by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Elk River had its first Alpine Skier this year in freshman Nicholas Leonard, who attached to Coon Rapids’ team but competed as an Elk.
Leonard started downhill skiing five years ago with his dad, Paul, as his coach, and continued at Trollhaugen Race Academy, which has weekly all-day sessions.
“I’ve always loved it — the speed, and the fact that I picked it up really quick,” said Leonard. “I’m trying to get better, and the coaches suggested a high school team would be the next step.”
In his final meet this year, Leonard placed 44th among 96 varsity skiers. He was the Cardinals’ No. 2 JV skier for the season. Coon Rapids coach Dan Pinewski said Leonard has “a ton of potential” with the drive and energy to become “a very tough competitor.”
He did not compete at sectionals because Elk River is in a different section than Coon Rapids and he would have had to go alone with no coaches.