After a two-year hiatus, the Brainerd Warriors girls' nordic ski team recaptured the Central Lakes Conference championship Thursday at Deer River.
It was the Warriors' fifth title in seven years.
The Warriors knew they would have to rely on a certain amount of luck in order to take home the top prize. Brainerd's 108 points was just the right amount as it slipped past a St. Cloud Tech team that finished second with 107. Alexandria, third with 104, showed how close the race was.
Brainerd head coach Pat Lanin knew the championship could have gone to any team and that his team was fortunate to have escaped with such a close win.
"I'm very pleasantly surprised," Lanin said. "It was a very close race. The top three teams were only separated by four points."
Lanin believed that it was the Warriors' hard work that enabled them to return the championship hardware to Brainerd.
"Winning the conference championship is always something you shoot for and hope for," Lanin said. "We knew it would be extremely close. It ended up being scary close."
Warriors sophomore Christina Roberts captured the individual championship in the 5-kilometer classic race with a time of 17.17.
"Christina was wiped out in the last part of the race," Lanin said. "She really worked the other girls over in the hills. That's where she won it.
"The course was a very technical, physical course and Christina was able to handle the hills."
Also helping the Warriors' cause was Greta Biersach, who was fifth in the classic race with a time of 19.07. Biersach's finish earned her all-conference honors.
The Warriors also received a lift in the 5km freestyle race as Anna Mangan finished third with a time of 15.53, gaining all-conference status. The Warriors' Emily Powers just missed all-conference honors as she finished seventh at 16.34.
Girls team scores -- 1-Brainerd 108, St. Cloud Tech 107, 3-Alexandria 104, 4-Little Falls 84, 6-Willmar 78 (tie breaker), 6-Sartell 79, 7-St. Cloud Apollo 41.5
Individual 5km Classic winner -- 1-Christina Roberts (B) 17.17
Brainerd classic results -- 5-Greta Biersach 19.07, 12-Kelli Jensen 19.58, 15-Rebecca Mueller 20.29,
Little Falls classic results -- 6-Nancy Silbernick 19.23, 13-Emily Gustafson 20.13, 14-Kayla Kluver 20.24, 19-Jolene Januschka 22.10.
Individual 5km Freestyle -- 1-Christina Fisher (W) 14.45.
Brainerd freestyle results -- 3-Anna Mangan 15.53, 7-Emily Powers 16.34, 9-Erika Dumbek 16.53, 16-Audree Goodew 18.13.
Little Falls freestyle results -- 8-Megan Germscheid 16.47, 13-Holly Fuechtmann 17.54, 19-Jenna Herzog 18.58, 24-Jenny Barnes 21.58.
Next meet -- Section 8 meet at Grand Rapids 10 a.m. Wednesday.
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