FERGUS FALLS — Gabriella Haire will have something to build on for next season.
The Brainerd Warriors sophomore just missed a shot at the state Nordic ski meet last week. Instead of sulking, Haire rebounded and won the skate portion of Friday’s Central Lakes Conference championship.
Teammate Allison Kosobud won the classic helping the Warrior girls to the CLC title. The boys team finished second behind St. Cloud Tech. That was the same order as last week’s Section 8 meet.
Because of weather, the conference meet had to be rescheduled after the section meet.
That’s what pushed Kosobud to her winning time of 19:03. Teammate Victoria Johnson was second in 21:06.
“It’s my senior and I wanted to go out with a win,” said Kosobud. “Plus, coach (Mary Claire) Ryan really pushed hard to actually have a conference championship. They were debating between canceling it all together and she wanted all the seniors to have a chance to have a final conference meet so I wanted to make it count for her.”
Disappointed with how the section meet turned out, Haire attacked the course with vigor.
“I was hoping Sarah (Fairbanks) and I could go 1-and-2 and get a perfect score,” said Haire. “We got into the lead pack and when I got the chance I pulled ahead. I was pretty confident going in because skate is my better technique. I’ve been able to do well in that so I felt I had a pretty good chance.
“With about a half a kilometer, I skated by a big group of our team and I had a huge smile on my face. I was pretty happy. It was a good way to pick me back up after sections.”
Fairbanks finished third with Sara Whiteman in fourth. Those three earned all-conference, while Maren Hadrits, who placed seventh, was honorable mention.
Kosobud, Johnson and Anne Grabowski in fifth were all-conference in classic.
“The girls looked incredibly strong,” said Warriors co-head coach Chris Hanson. “They were pretty much dominant. Every girl looked confident. It was an odd deal with our conference meet after our section meet, but our girls handled it really well. Allison Kosobud dominated the field. She won by more than two minutes. She skied like a skate meet skier should ski.”
Brainerd’s Zean Baker finished second in the boys classic race. Gerrit Garberich was fourth. Both earned all-conference, while Ben Hanson, who finished sixth, was honorable mention.
Noah Baker placed third and Connor Gunsbury was fourth in the skate race to earn all-conference.
“It’s been awhile since we’ve done as well as we did today,” said Hanson. “We had a conference wining team, 11 all-conference skiers and two more honorable mention skiers. Overall it was an impressive day. This was a good confidence builder going into the state meet and to quote one of my other skiers, it was a good confidence builder to carry over into next year. It’s nice to hear your kids talking about next year already rather than being exhausted and glad the season is over.”
Boys team scores: 1-St. Cloud Tech 117, 2-Brainerd 111, 3-Alexandria 100, 4-Willmar 80, 5-St. Cloud Apollo 66, 6-Ottertail 59
Individual skate winner: Cory Rouw (SCT) 14:30
Brainerd skate results: 3-Noah Baker 15:05, 4-Connor Gunsbury 15:37, 11-Sam Guida 17:03, 12-Robb Pike 17:18
Brainerd JV skate results: 1-Sam Nesheim 17:29, 3-Mac Brink 19:01, 4-Gab Raguse 19:29, 7-Caden Johnson 20:35
Individual classic winner: Chris Rouw (SCT) 16:21
Brainerd classic results: 2-Zean Baker 16:30, 4-Gerrit Garberich 17:21, 6-Ben Hanson 18:17, 9-Evan Schreifels 18:42
Brainerd JV classic results: 2-Luke Nordquist 22:24, 3-Will Schultz 24:09
Girls team scores: 1-Brainerd 117, 2-Alexandria 103, 3-St. Cloud Apollo 85, 4-Ottertail 83, 5-St. Cloud Tech 81, 6-Willmar 58
Individual skate winner: Gabriella Haire (Brd) 17:30
Brainerd skate results: 3-Sarah Fairbanks 18:15, 4-Sara Whiteman 18:36, 7-Maren Hadrits 19:33
Brainerd JV skate results: 1-Lydia Herath 20:09, 2-Madeline Quast 20:57, 3-Faith Watson 21:52, 4-Anja Smith 22:40
Individual classic winner: Allison Kosobud (Brd) 19:03
Brainerd classic results: 2-Victoria Johnson 21:06, 5-Anne Grabowski 22:55, 10-Emily Nelson 25:00
Brainerd JV classic results: 3-Katie Pernula 24:50, 5-Erin Peterson 26:09, 7-Emma Anderson 28:22, 9-Haley Anderson 28:56
Next: Brainerd in state Nordic ski meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik Feb. 14.