Sisters, together again: Meet the Metro Girls Alpine Skier of the Year

Nobody casts a shadow over Vivien Pihlstrom now.

Pihlstrom won the girls Alpine skiing state championship in February, matching the feat that sister Ava pulled off three years ago and making them the first sisters to each win the championship.

With that state medal hanging around her neck, Pihlstrom is the Star Tribune Metro Girls Alpine Skier of the Year.

She is Blake's fourth Alpine girls skier in the past nine years to win the state championship, joining 2016 and 2017 champions Maddie Dekko and Nellie Ide along with Ava.

"It's nice to be up there with my sister," Pihlstrom said. "This year has been super rewarding."

Pihlstrom, who was coming off a third-place finish in 2023, set the tone at the state meet from the outset. She opened a lead of more than a half-second with a time of 40.50 seconds on her initial run at Giants Ridge despite bobbles that could have been costly.

"I made some mistakes at the end of my first run," Pihlstrom said. "I was able to overcome those flaws."

It impressed Bears coach Robbie Massie.

"I was very impressed with Vivien's skiing and her athletic recovery through the last hairpin at the bottom of run one," Massie said. "That gave everyone a scare, but she did not lose much speed. She was mentally prepared to put her best foot forward to win."

In large part, skiing success comes thanks to her figure skating background. She has long competed in figure skating and continues to do so, even during the skiing season.

"Figure skating helps build the power in my legs, balance and keeping my edges," Pihlstrom said. "It also helps with my nerves."

She posted the second-fastest time (40.16 seconds) on her second run, joining Ava as a state medalist with a time of 1 minute, 20.66 seconds.

"I am so proud for both of us," Pihlstrom said. "This is an incredible achievement."