ST. PAUL, Minn. – Irondale senior Mattie Watts took home first place in Thursday's State Nordic Ski Meet, but how she won it is still being talked about.

"I'm never going to live this down," chuckles Watts. "It's a great story."

When the classic ski portion of the race was about to begin, Watts looked around and couldn't find her skis. Thankfully, her friend Marshal Landrum from Como Park High School let her quickly borrow his skis.

"I just grabbed them and ran to the starting line," she recalls. "They were fast, but they weren't comfortable."

Nordic skiing experts compare her experience to figure skating with skates that are two sizes too big.

Still, Watts won the race by six seconds and has a great story with Marshal.

"He actually had me sign his skis," she says. "It's a great memory."

Watts says a little family miscommunication was to blame for her skis not being at the starting line.

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