DETROIT LAKES — Top finishes were abundant for the Brainerd Warriors and Little Falls Flyers in Tuesday’s Fergus Falls Invite that was moved to Maplelag.
Brainerd’s boys team won its second meet of the season and the Warriors’ Riley Nelsen, Zean Baker and Noah Baker finished in the top six. The Warriors scored 382 points to nip Bemidji by two in an event that featured seven teams in a mass start, 4.6-kilometer-skate race.
“We’ve been going back and forth with Bemidji so today was another showdown, kind of a race between section rivals,” Warriors co-head coach Chris Hanson said. “Only two points separated us, you can’t get too much closer.
“They had one boy ill, and one of our top scoring skiers (Gerrit Garberich) broke a pole. He came back to the start, we gave him a new pole, and he finished second to last, but we still pulled it out.
“It will be interesting at the end of the season between Brainerd and Bemidji if everybody is full strength.”
Nelsen finished second with Zean Baker trailing him by a second. Noah Baker was sixth, Matt McDonald 10th and Connor Gunsbury 12th for the Warriors.
“Riley and Zean had a chance to chase down a ranked skier in Jake Richards (of Detroit Lakes),” Hanson said. “It was such a blazing fast course that the race was over in less 12.5 minutes for those guys.”
In the girls meet, Brainerd’s Allison Kosobud was the winner, helping the Warriors to a second-place finish behind Little Falls, which scored 20 more points.
Other top 20 finishers for the Warriors were Sarah Fairbanks (8th), Gabriella Haire (11th) and Michaela Quast (20th).
“Fortunately for Allison and Sarah they didn’t have any falls, which helped them place as high as they did,” Warriors co-head coach Mary Claire Ryan said. “It was exciting to have Allison win the race and beat two of her competitors from Little Falls (Mattia Hendrickson and Chelsea Rutz). One or two of them are usually ahead of her.
“It was a good finish for Gabby. She’s a ninth-grader who’s stepping up and working hard on her technique and conditioning. To get 11th was great. The other good news was our other freshmen and sophomores were all bunched together. .... Even though they were back there at least they’re pushing each other and improving their times.”
Ryan said the race started early due to 50-degree temperatures.
“It was really warm,” she said. “We’re not used to this. They usually delay the start here because it’s too cold. Today they moved it up because it was too warm. That’s been the study in contrast of our year.”
Hendrickson finished second and Rutz third for the Flyer girls. Maria Hauer was seventh and Kaitlin Geisenhof ninth for the Flyers.
Nathan Almen in ninth place and Preston Zimny in 10th were top finishers for the third-place Flyer boys.
Monday’s Little Falls Invite, a pursuit race, has been moved from Camp Ripley to Mt. Itasca in Coleraine due to lack of snow.
Boys team scores: 1-Brainerd 382, 2-Bemidji 380, 3-Little Falls 354, 4-Detorit Lakes 345, 5-Trek North 315, 6-Ottertail 251, 7-Deer River 86
Individual winner: Jake Richards (DL) 12:23
Brainerd results: 2-Riley Nelsen 12:27, 3-Zean Baker 12:28, 6-Noah Baker 13:27, 10-Matthew McDonald 14:04, 12-Connor Gunsbury 14:22, 20-Sam Guida 14:45, 30-Benjamin Hanson 15:31, 44-Gerrit Garberich 22:26,
Little Falls results: 9-Nathan Almen 13:54, 10-Preston Zimny 14:00, 14-Mathew Massmann 14:22, 16-Brian McNamara 14:32, 24-John Gottwalt 14:52, 36-Levi Hintz 15:44, 37-Gunnar Kleinschmidt 15:52, 39-Michael Carle 16:08,
Girls team scores: 1-Little Falls 383, 2-Brainerd 363, 3-Bemidji 348, 4-Trek North 338, 5-Detroit Lakes 326, 6-Ottertail 236, 7-Deer River 72
Individual winner: Allison Kosobud (Brd) 14:46
Brainerd results: 8-Sarah Fairbanks 15:39, 11-Gabriella Haire 16:22, 20-Michaela Quast 17:35, 26-Sara Whiteman 17:57, 27-Anne Grabowski 18:05, 28-Tori Johnson 18:11, 33-Serena Schreifels 18:29
Little Falls results: 2-Mattia Hendrickson 14:52, 3-Chelsea Rutz 14:55, 7-Maria Hauer 15:39, 9-Kaitlin Geisenhof 15:46, 14-Josie Lange 17:11, 21-Chloe Houle 17:27, 36-Kristen Gotfredson 18:58, 37-Alishia Olson 18:59
Next: Brainerd in Little Falls Invitational at Mt. Itasca, Coleraine, 10 a.m. Monday.