WELCH - The Brainerd Warrior Alpine skiing team recorded its best finish ever at Friday's Welch Invitational at Welch Village.
Brainerd had an overall finish of third place when combining its girls' and boys' squad one and two results.
"We have never placed that high," Warriors coach Jim Ruttger said. "That result is the one that's most satisfying to me as it shows a complete team effort from all 12 racers."
The girls' squad, comprised of Chelsea Williams, Taryn Ruttger and Anna Goochey, won the meet's premier race, edging last year's champions, Stillwater and Chisago Lakes, in a field of 47 teams and more than 140 individuals.
Taryn Ruttger finished seventh, Williams was 11th and Goochey 31st.
"Taryn's seventh-place finish is believed to be our highest finish out of that squad," Jim Ruttger said. "Chelsea finished just one place off the podium.
"Our squad two team of Leah Knutson, Paige Northway and Katie Hutchison also had strong finishes."
Brainerd's girls' team was third overall when combining its squad one and two girls' results.
In the boys' meet, Brainerd tied or bettered its previous best finish of eighth place.
Scott Agre was runner-up in the squad two race and Zach Skogen was sixth.
"Scott's second-place finish is the highest finish we have ever had from a boy at this race," Jim Ruttger said. "Zach Skogen's sixth place on that same squad was also an incredible result considering he was 16th after his first run.
"Tom Lyscio's 18th-place finish and Ryan Ruttger's 25th-place finish in our squad one group was an excellent finish in a field which included many of the top high school boy racers in the state."
On Thursday in the Duluth East Invitational at Spirit Mountain the Warrior girls' team won and the boys' team was second. Individual results have yet to be verified.
"For our girls' team, that was our third win of a large invitational in the last four meets," Jim Ruttger said.
"For our boys, it was a tough day," Jim Ruttger added. "It was an incredibly difficult course that had many falls. Thomas Ruttger was our only varsity skier who skied two clean runs. For us to finish second as a team when nine of our skiers had falls speaks to how tough the course was for all of the teams.
"Tom Lyscio was defending his title after winning it last year. He was in first place after his first run but a fall on his second run took him out of contention."
Welch Village Invitational
Overall school results: 1-Stillwater 1,345, 2-Chisago Lakes 1,269, 3-Brainerd 1,186, 4-Bloomington Jefferson 1,115, 5-Eden Prairie 1,075
Girls combined (squads one and two)
1-Chisago Lakes 662, 2-Stillwater 658, 3-Brainerd 645, Mounds View 639, 5-Mahtomedi 610
Girls team one
Individual winner: Ajay Gersemehl (North Branch) 1:09.75
Brainerd: 7-Taryn Ruttger 1:15.88; 11-Chelsea Williams 1:16.67; 31-Anna Goochey 1:21.27.
Girls team two
Individual winner: Katelyn Garbe (Chisago Lakes) 38.72
Brainerd: 13-Leah Knutson 41.89; 22-Paige Northway 43.24; 51-Katie Hutchison 47.96.
Boys combined (squads one and two)
1-Stillwater 687, 2-Bloomington Jefferson 631, 3-Chisago Lakes 607, 4-St. Thomas Academy 577, 5-(tie) Apple Valley and Lakeville South 577
Boys team one
Individual winner: Jake Kastner (Lakeville) 1:00.18
Brainerd: 17-Tom Lyscio 1:05.16; 25-Ryan Ruttger 1:07.84; 98-Thomas Ruttger 1:55.16
Boys team two
Individual winner: Andrew Wagner (Chisago Lakes) 36.41
Brainerd: 2-Scott Agre 36.87; 6-Zach Skogen 38.19; 91-Jake Morey 1:04.20.
Next: Brainerd Invitational at Ski Gull 10 a.m. Thursday.
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