Rian Hutichison, Thor Linnerooth and Savannah Stone are headed to the state Alpine ski meet as they qualified during Tuesday’s Section 5 meet at Afton Alps in Hastings.
Stone led all Warrior skiers with her third-place 1:01.70. Linnerooth placed 12th with a 1:00.92 and Hutchison finished 14th in 1:01.34.
The top two teams and the top 10 individuals not on those teams advance to state.
“Rian has missed state by one the last two years,” said Warrior head coach Jim Ruttger. “This had to be his year. He’s a senior and this would have been his last high school race. He had a remarkable second run to move up six spots.
“Thor moved up seven spots from 19th to 12th with the ninth fastest time on the second course. To have both those guys slide in there, I can’t remember when we’ve had two individuals from the same team qualify.”
Stone found herself in fourth place after her first-run time of 30.09. She moved up one spot with a 31.61 on her second run. That was the third fastest time for the second run.
“It was a really good run,” said Stone of her first attempt. “The course was a really nice set. There wasn’t anything too challenging on the first run so I just decided to go for it and see what happened. The second run I knew I was in fourth place but the girl ahead of me was only 2/100ths of a second ahead so I made my goal to try and get top three. I just wanted to make it down nicely.
“It was a good meet because this was my highest finish at sections. I was pretty excited to get on the podium and I’m going to state with two really good guys so it should be a lot of fun.”
Stone tied Gina Engel for the school record for highest finish in a section meet. She also matched Taryn Ruttger’s school record for three state tournament appearances.
“All year she has skied stronger on her second run and she made up a couple 10ths on the girl that finished fourth,” said Ruttger. “The two girls in front of her are both seniors and the girl who won it just came back from Switzerland representing the United States in the junior world championships. So that shows you the competition we have in this section.”
This will be Stone’s third trip to state. Last year, as a freshman, she placed 17th. Her first trip to state resulted in a 72nd-place finish.
Linnerooth was in 19th place after the first run, but stormed back with the ninth fastest time of the second run to jump seven spots. The junior skied a 28.76 on the second run compared to a 32.16 on his first run.
“I felt very good just to get a solid first run in and have a good time to set me up for the second run,” said Linnerooth. “That gave me the confidence to ski a good, clean second run. The snow conditions was staying good and my skies were working with me. I just got it all together.”
Hutchison moved up six spots thanks to a successful second run. The senior’s first run time of 32.27 placed him 20th. He shot up to 14th with a 29.07 on his second run. That was the 13th fastest time.
“The first run I got a little sideways, but it wasn’t too bad considering I just don’t ski well there,” said Hutchison. “Sitting there in 20th I just said either I’m going to go for it and make it or ski conservative and not make it. It ended up pretty well.”
The Warrior girls team placed seventh as Mara Williams finished 31st and Hollie Garry was 36th.
The Brainerd boys finished fourth. Will Feyder placed 32nd in 1:05.72 and Andy Whiteman placed 34th and Micheal Smith placed 35th.
“We’re very pleased with the boys result,” said Ruttger. “That team exceeded our expectations today. Five of our six guys skied like crazy and when you look at that field, Minnetonka had four guys in the top 10. To finish fourth in a strong field is quite an accomplishment.
“Same with the girls all six of our girls had great runs. For them to finish seven wasn’t what we were expecting.”
Boys team scores: 1-Minnetonka 393, 2-Orono 361.5, 3-Hopkins 342, 4-Brainerd 320, 5-Blake 317.5, 6-Benilde-St. Margaret’s 311, 7-St. Cloud 308, 8-Minneapolis Southwest 304, 9-Lakes Area 275, 10-Breck 250, 11-Wayzata 246, 12-Minneapolis Washburn 212, 13-Maple Grove 170, 14-Mound Westonka 160, 15-Armstrong 114, 16-Robinsdale Cooper 107
Individual winner: Peter Albertson (Minnetonka) 57.11
Brainerd results: 12-Thor Linnerooth 1:00.92, 14-Rian Hutchison 1:01.34, 32-Will Feyder 1:05.72, 34-Andy Whiteman 1:06.49, 35-Michael Smith 1:06.61, Taylor Finger DNS
Girls team scores: 1-Minnetonka 341, 2-Benilde-St. Margaret’s 332, 3-Blake 331, 4-Orono 312, 5-Minneapolis Southwest 306, 6-Wayzata 304, 7-Brainerd 267, 8-St. Cloud 261, 9-Annandale 203, 10-Hopkins 188, 11-Mound Westonka 146.5, 12-Armstrong 143, 13-Maple Grove 134.5, 14-Breck 129, 15-Lakes Area 126, 16-Waconia 98
Individual winner: Maisie Ide (Blake) 58.69
Brainerd results: 3-Savannah Stone 1:01.70, 31-Mara Williams 1:10.46, 36-Hollie Garry 1:11.51, 47-Marissa Bjerkness 1:14.10, 52-Ashley Fitterer 1:16.03, Emily Aga 1:16.72
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.