Fourth-ranked Little Falls and third-ranked Grand Rapids skied to team titles in the Brainerd Invitational Nordic meet Friday at Northland Arboretum.
Little Falls paced the girls' meet with 380 points and Brainerd was fourth. The Flyers' Beth Hauer was the individual champion. Brainerd's Hannah McAllister skied to a third-place finish.
In the boys' meet, Grand Rapids scored 381 points to secure first place. Little Falls was fourth and Brainerd sixth.
Fourteen teams competed in what was essentially a preview of the Section 8 meet in February. All but two Section 8 schools participated. Including varsity, junior varsity and junior high participants about 260 skiers competed at the arboretum.
Pat Mangan of Brainerd skied up a short hill to reach the finish line in the Brainerd Invitational Nordic skiing meet Friday at Northland Arboretum. Mangan placed seventh in the boys' varsity race.
Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey
"It was one of our biggest turnouts for this race," Warriors coach Nicole Kellerman said. "It was chilly to start, so we put Vaseline on their noses but the (snow) conditions were perfect and there was no wind."
McAllister was clocked at 20:15 to finish behind Hauer (19:27) and Addie Byrne of Grand Rapids (19:43). Teammate Amanda Finstad was sixth (21:20).
"Hannah has consistently stayed about a half-minute to minute behind Addie," Kellerman said. "Hannah's been chasing her. She's been very consistent in her racing, and so has Amanda, who's been in the top 10 this winter. That's been one of her goals."
Brainerd's Jenna Ruzich was 30th and Tina Borgstrom 39th to round out the Warriors' scorers.
Brainerd's Hannah McAllister placed third in the girls' varsity race Friday at Northland Arboretum.
Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey
"Jenna's been doing biathlon in Alaska the last two weeks," Kellerman said, "and I think she was a little tuckered out, but she skied very well.
"The girls are racing consistently. We're just trying to find the right combinations. We were extremely close to Bemidji (two points). Grand Rapids and Little Falls continue to be on top. That's where their programs are at right now."
In addition to Hauer, Flyers scoring were Jackie Thelen (5th), Kayla Meyer (8th) and Molly Binger (9th).
In the boys' race, Brainerd's Pat Mangan skied to a seventh-place finish. Tyler Vanderlinden was 37th, Ross Duval 38th and Michael Montgomery 43rd.
"That was an improvement for Pat," Kellerman said. "I think he's actually peaking at the right time.
"Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of depth (on the boys' team). Tyler, Ross and Michael ski similarly. They're doing a nice job. Once we get a full team for sections we'll do OK but because of our lack of numbers it will be tough competition for them."
Scoring for the Flyer boys were Philip Prosapio (10th), Luke LeBlanc (12th), Adam Kempenich (17th) and Drew Geisenhof (29th).
Boys team scores: 1-Grand Rapids 381, 2-Bemidji 358, 3-St. Cloud Tech 343, 4-Little Falls 336, 5-Alexandria 284, 6-Brainerd 278, 7-St. Cloud Apollo 269, 8-Willmar 223, 9-Detroit Lakes 177, 10-St. John's Prep 141, 11-Ottertail Central 106, 12-Battle Lake 100, 13-Buffalo 77, 14-Mora 53
Individual winner: Conrad Roberts (BL) 16:11
Brainerd results: 7-Pat Mangan 18:16, 37-Tyler Vanderlinden 21:26, 38-Ross Duval 21:27, 43-Michael Montgomery 22:26
Little Falls results: 10-Philip Prosapio 18:25, 12-Luke LeBlanc 18:33, 17-Adam Kempenich 19:11, 29-Drew Geisenhof 20:25, 40-Noah Hecht 21:44, 42-Gilly Stoy 22:20
Brainerd junior varsity: 12-Josh Murrey 21:51, 24-Cole Sundquist 24:10, 29-Luke Surma 25:05
Girls team scores: 1-Little Falls 380, 2-Grand Rapids 372, 3-Bemidji 328, 4-Brainerd 326, 5-Buffalo 276, 6-Mora 262, 7-St. Cloud Apollo 250, 8-Alexandria 242, 9-Willmar 191, 10-St. John's Prep 149, 11-Tech 127, 12-Deer River 97, 13-Ottertail Central 85, 14-Battle Lake 81
Individual winner: Beth Hauer (LF) 19:27
Brainerd results: 3-Hannah McAllister 20:15, 6-Amanda Finstad 21:20, 30-Jenna Ruzich 24:57, 39-Tina Borgstrom 26:18
Little Falls results: 5-Jackie Thelen 20:52, 8-Kayla Meyer 21:36, 9-Molly Binger 21:40, 15-Megan John 22:16, 21-Manon Gammon-Deering 23:17, 26-Mariah Hauer 24:02
Brainerd junior varsity: 2-Micaela Hallan 24:56, 7-Tomi Majerus 25:50, 9-Rachael Howard 27:07, 20-Emily Dumbeck 30:13, 35-Laura Huss 33:41
Next: Brainerd at Detroit Lakes pursuit meet 11 a.m. Tuesday.
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