Seven Brainerd Nordic skiers qualified for state and the Warrior girls' and boys' teams were runners-up Wednesday in the Section 8 meet at Maple Lag near Detroit Lakes.
Four Warrior girls advanced, including Christina Roberts in pursuit (a combination of classic and freestyle disciplines), Rebecca Mueller in pursuit, Hanna Stadem in classic and Ashley Schmolke in freestyle.
In the boys' meet, Brainerd's Chris Woodard qualified for state in pursuit, Ty Hunt in classic and Derrek Matson in freestyle. Tim Wasland of Little Falls qualified in pursuit.
The Brainerd girls amassed 736 points, 49 behind champion Grand Rapids, which is ranked second in the state.
"Our girls skied extremely well against a very powerful Grand Rapids lineup," Warriors coach Chris Hanson said.
Hanson thought Roberts skied better in her freestyle leg than she did in her classic race. Roberts, who finished fourth in pursuit, will make her fourth state skiing appearance.
"Christina traditionally is stronger in classic," Hanson said. "She will combine those two at the state meet after a real strong finish Wednesday. She's looking to place well against statewide competition."
The other three Warrior girls will make their first state skiing appearances. Rebecca Mueller was seventh in pursuit, Stadem 12th in classic and Schmolke ninth in freestyle.
"Ashley is a second-year skier coming off a very successful cross country running experience, as well as Hanna," Hanson said. "Hanna and Rebecca can look forward to trying to repeat this experience next year, in Hanna's case the next two years. Ashley is making the most of her senior year, with two state meets already and track still to go."
In the boys' division, Brainerd scored 731 points, finishing behind fourth-ranked Grand Rapids by only 13 points.
"I told the guys I'm motivated to come back next year already and make a run for the section title," Hanson said. "We've got the talent, we've got the personnel to do it."
Woodard placed fourth in pursuit, Hunt sixth in classic and Matson fifth in freestyle.
"It was nice to see Chris compete with the top kids," Hanson said. "His classic was strong, he skated even stronger. He was the third-fastest freestyler out there, the fourth-fastest in classic. He was in very strong company. All three guys ahead of him are ranked skiers. You're talking seconds separating them.
"Ty picked a good time of the season to start skiing well. He's also a repeat state participant. Again, he can look forward to another year."
Matson is the only senior boys' qualifier.
"Derrek is making the most of his high school skiing career," Hanson said. "He saved his best for the last race of the day. His only shot was to pull through with a big skate race and he did. It was good timing to put together one of his best races this year."
Team scores - 1-Grand Rapids 785, 2-Brainerd 736, 3-Alexandria 689, 4-Bemidji 684, 5-Fergus Falls 561, 6-Detroit Lakes 557, 7-Little Falls 550, 8-Hillcrest Academy 198
Classic champion - Kari Lunemann (GR) 22:25
Brainerd classic - 4-Christina Roberts 23:48, 7-Rebecca Mueller 25:25, 12-Hanna Stadem 26:01, 15-Katherine Mueller 26:45, 25-Anna Mangan 29:44
Little Falls classic - 23-Jocelyn Januschka 29:22, 28-Angela Kempenich 31:05, 34-Courtney Stone 33:26, 35-Jenny Barnes 34:25, 37-Laura Herzog 35:05, 41-Julie Thelen 38:28, 43-Laura Newman 40:13
Freestyle champion - Brynden Manbeck (GR) 19:34
Brainerd freestyle - 3-Roberts 20:48, 8-R. Mueller 21:23, 9-Ashley Schmolke 21:46, 14-K. Mueller 22:42, 18-Erika Dumbeck 23:31, 19-Stadem 23:31, 23-Mangan 24:46
Little Falls freestyle - 28-Januschka 25:36, 33-Kempenich 29:10, 36-Barnes 29:30, 40-Herzog 30:43, 41-Stone 31:02, 44-Thelen 31:49, 45-Newman 34:21
Pursuit champion - Lunemann (GR) 42:01
Brainerd pursuit - 4-Roberts 44:36, 7-R. Mueller 46:48, 14-K. Mueller 49:27, 15-Stadem 49:32, 23-Mangan 54:30
Little Falls pursuit - 25-Januschka 54:58, 31-Kempenich 60:15, 34-Barnes 63:53, 35-Stone 64:28, 37-Herzog 65:48, 39-Thelen 70:17, 42-Newman 74:34
Team scores - 1-Grand Rapids 744, 2-Brainerd 731, 3-Bemidji 676, 4-Alexandria 657, 5-Little Falls 643, 6-Detroit Lakes 591, 7-Fergus Falls 579, 8-Deer River 457, 9-Battle Lake 196
Classic champion - Chris Ziegler (DL) 19:06
Brainerd classic - 4-Chris Woodard 20:22, 6-Ty Hunt 20:51, 14-Titus Goodew 21:55, 17-Derrek Matson 22:06, 18-Justin Grunewald 22:12, 29-Ben Endreson 23:48
Little Falls classic - 9-Tim Wasland 21:13, 10-Jared Asmus 21:22, 27-Cody Reckstad 23:30, 33-Eric Englehart 25:04, 36-Chris Thielen 26:50, 38-Chase Gomez 28:04, 41-Will Delaney 30:25
Freestyle champion - Tyler Gerling (GR) 17:10
Brainerd freestyle - 3-Woodard 17:27, 5-Matson 17:55, 13-Nick Mangan 18:37, 15-Hunt 18:48, 23-Goodew 19:42, 24-Endreson 19:50, 25-Grunewald 19:51
Little Falls freestyle - 6-Wasland 17:56, 14-Asmus 18:43, 32-Reckstad 20:46, 34-Englehart 20:59, 37-Chris Thielen 22:05, 42-Gomez 23:59
Pursuit champion - Ziegler (DL) 36:23
Brainerd pursuit - 4-Woodard 37:49, 8-Hunt 39:39, 10-Matson 40:01, 18-Goodew 41:37, 19-Grunewald 42:03, 26-Endreson 43:38
Little Falls pursuit - 6-Wasland 39:09, 11-Asmus 40:05, 28-Reckstad 44:16, 33-Englehart 46:03, 34-Chris Thielen 48:55, 37-Gomez 52:03, 40-Delaney 54:43
Next meet - State meet Feb. 13 at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
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