CAMP RIPLEY - Hannah McAllister advanced to her third straight state meet and teammates Amanda Finstad and Pat Mangan became state meet rookies Wednesday.
The trio of Brainerd Warriors Nordic skiers placed within the top eight individually at the Section 8 meet to advance to the state meet Feb. 13 at Giants Ridge.
The Little Falls Flyers girls' team continued its brilliant season by claiming its fourth straight section crown. The girls won't go alone as Phil Prosapio and Luke LeBlanc will represent the boys' team with their first state meet appearances.
McAllister placed fifth overall with a 37:45 pursuit time. The senior started with a sixth-place 20:17 classic time. She snagged a third-place skate time of 17:28 to move up a spot.
Molly Binger of Little Falls placed third in the classic race Wednesday at Camp Ripley during the Section 8 Nordic ski meet. Binger finished fourth overall and helped the Flyers to the section title. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey» Purchase reprints of this photo.
"It was a pretty good classic race, but it was pushing single-digit temperatures at race time," said Warrior head coach Nicole Kellerman. "Her skate race was amazing. That was the fastest and strongest I have ever seen her ski."
Finishing ahead of McAllister was the Flyers' duo of Jackie Thelen and Molly Binger. Those two, along with Beth Hauer and Kayla Meyer, helped Little Falls to a 20-point win over second-place Grand Rapids.
Thelen finished second overall with a first-place classic time of 19:11 and a fourth-place skate. Binger was fourth overall. She posted a third-place classic and seventh-place skate.
Hauer finished with a sixth-place pursuit time of 38:25 and Meyer was eighth in 38:44.
Megan John provided Little Falls with insurance by finishing 10th and Manon Gammon-Deering was 15th.
The top team and top eight individuals not on the winning team advanced to state and that was music to Finstad's ears.
The junior just missed state last year, but jumped into the final spot with her 18:21 skate time.
Brainerd High School senior Hannah McAllister survived the cold weather Thursday at the Section 8 Nordic ski meet at Camp Ripley. McAllister advanced to the state tournament with her fifth-place finish and can expect temperatures in the 30s for Thursday's practice. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey
» Purchase reprints of this photo.
"She was the last person that came in to qualify and you could tell she knew it when she crossed the finish line," said Kellerman. "After the classic she knew she had to pass one person and she did in the last half kilometer of the skate race."
Grand Rapids won the boys' title with the Flyers finishing second. Prosapio placed sixth individually and LeBlanc was eighth.
Prosapio opened with a sixth-place classic time and withstood an 11th-place skate. LeBlanc skied to a 34:09 pursuit time.
Mangan jumped two spots after starting with a 13th-place classic. The senior's 15:39 skate time was good for eighth in that disciplne and 11th overall.
"He was the seventh individual to advance so he just barely made it," said Kellerman. "After his classic race he was sitting in eighth individually, but ended up skiing an amazing skate race. He ended up passing sombody as he came in."
Boys team scores: 1-Grand Rapids 379, 2-Little Falls 359, 3-Bemidji 356, 4-Brainerd 304, 5-Detroit Lakes 303, 6-Alexandria 297, 7-Otter Tail Nordic 241, 8-Mora 227, 9-Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 156, 10-Battle Lake 100, 11-Deer River 65
Individual winner: Conrad Roberts (BL) 16:47-14:41 - 31:28
Brainerd results: 11-Pat Mangan 18:48-15:39 - 34:27, 22-Tyler Vanderlinden 19:38-17:08 - 36:46, 33-Zean Baker 20:38-17:12 - 37:50, 34-Josh Murrey 20:21-17:58 - 38:19, 35-Ross Duval 20:36-17:47 - 38:23, 37-Michael Montgomery 21:53-18:22 - 40:15, 39-Ty Hadrits 22:16-18:20 - 40:36
Little Falls results: 6-Phil Prosapio 17:50-15:57 - 33:47, 8-Luke LeBlanc 18:31-15:38 - 34:09, 15-Noah Hecht 18:55-17:05 - 36:00, 16-Andrew Geisenhof 18:52-17:10 - 36:02, 19-Adam Kempenich 19:50-16:28 - 36:18, 26-Gilly Stoy 19:27-17:58 - 37:25, 27-Alex Houle 19:52-17:35 - 37:27
Girls team scores: 1-Little Falls 384, 2-Grand Rapids 364, 3-Bemidji 234, 4-Brainerd 234, 5-Mora 270, 6-Alexandria 261, 7-Detroit Lakes 261, 8-Otter Tail Nordic 158, 9-Northwest Home School 98, 10-Deer River 94, 11-Battle Lake 76, 12-Long Prairie 48
Individual winner: Addie Byrne (GR) 19:20-17:04 - 36:24
Brainerd results: 5-Hannah McAllister 20:17-17:28 - 37:45, 13-Amanda Finstad 21:44-18:21 - 40:05, 30-Jenna Ruzich 24:37-21:07 - 45:44, 32-Tina Borgstrom 25:27-22:30 - 47:57, 36-Micaela Hallan 26:36-23:00 - 49:36, 38-Arianna Brown 26:59-22:53 - 49:52, 46-Rachael Howard 29:19-23:20 - 52:39
Little Falls results: 2-Jackie Thelen 19:11-17:44 - 36:55, 4-Molly Binger 19:38-18:06 - 37:44, 6-Beth Hauer 20:30-17:55 - 38:25, 8-Kayla Meyer 20:29-18:15 - 38:44, 10-Megan John 20:56-18:31 - 39:27, 15-Manon Gammon-Deering 21:51-18:55 - 40:46, 42-Kassandra Almen 28:24-23:21 - 51:45
Next meet: Brainerd, Little Falls in state Nordic meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik Feb. 13.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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