WELCH - In what coach Jim Ruttger termed a "hallmark day for our program," the Brainerd Warriors Alpine skiing team won the overall title at Friday's Welch Village Invite for the first time.
The invitational is billed as the largest high school Alpine skiing event in the country. Thirty-five teams from Minnesota and Wisconsin competed along with more than 400 racers.
"This was a hallmark day for our program as Brainerd was the overall winner," Ruttger said. "We upset Stillwater, last year's defending overall champion, to claim the traveling trophy."
Brainerd's girls' team finished in second place and its boys' team was fourth. The overall winner is determined by adding the scores from the boys' and girls' teams.
Squad one teams are the premier teams that ski the longer Bakke course.
Brainerd's squad one girls' team of Taryn Ruttger, Ari Cibuzar and Andrea Cibuzar had the second-highest team score for that course. Taryn Ruttger was the highest finisher in sixth place, one place higher than her last year's finish. Ari Cibuzar, competing in her first Welch Invite, finished eighth.
The girls' squad two team of Kenzie Ostrowski, Leah Knutson, and Kirsten Hibbard skied the shorter Twister course. Knutson placed second and Hibbard was 14th.
In the boys' event, the squad one team was Tom Lyscio, Thomas Ruttger and Bror Linnerooth. Thomas Ruttger was the top finisher with a 12th-place finish. Lyscio was 13th.
The squad two team was Zach Skogen, Jake Morey and Joe Ohlin. Morey finished sixth and Ohlin was 32nd.
"It's the highest finish ever by our girls' team," Jim Ruttger said. "Last year they finished third. It's the highest finish by our boys' team. Last year they finished seventh. It's the highest finish by a girl on the squad one course and it's the first time we have had two girls in the top 10 in the squad one race."
Girls team scores (35 total teams): 1-Hastings 395, 2-Brainerd 382, 3-Northfield 381, 4-Wayzata 356, 5-Eden Prairie 343
Boys team scores (35 total teams): 1-Mankato East 390, 2-St. Thomas Academy 377, 3-Stillwater 355, 4-Brainerd 353, 5-LaCrosse Central 336
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