Rain in the Biwabik area made the snow conditions less than favorable Thursday for the state meet at Giants Ridge.
Eight girls and 20 boys either were disqualified or did not finish and the conditions caused havoc for those who did finish.
The Brainerd Warrior girls' team, champions of Section 5, placed eighth and didn't have a skier crack the top 20.
"They were a factor," Warriors coach Jim Ruttger said of the conditions. "They were a factor for every team though. About 20-25 girls went down before the course really started to deteriorate.
"It was just unbelievable. It rained up here for like four straight days. The snow was just saturated. They were salting the course to make it firm up. It never really got to a point where it could take much traffic."
Senior Taryn Ruttger, in 22nd place, paced the Warrior girls. Her run times were 42.22 and 43.98 for a 1:26.20 total.
Brainerd's Taryn Ruttger skied to a 22nd-place finish in the state Alpine meet Thursday at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. Bill Johnson
"It was a pretty difficult course," she said. "It was pretty icy out there. They had to actually salt the course because it was so slushy. There were lots of ruts to deal with.
"I was the 10th or 11th girl down the course so I feel like I got some good snow. I thought I put two good runs together."
Taryn placed 23rd out of 40 skiers in last year's individual state race.
"In this race she was 22nd out of 88 with the new (state) format so she did well," Jim Ruttger said. "You love to see your seniors go out on a high note. When it happens to also be your daughter it was kind of emotional. It might be her last ski race ever, you don't know. She skied clean. It was very satisfying."
Brainerd senior Andrea Cibuzar was 25th, senior Katie Hutchison 68th, eighth-grader Savannah Stone 72nd, senior Arianna Cibuzar 77th and senior Gina Engel 79th.
"Statistically, we thought we had a good opportunity for a third- or fourth-place finish," Jim Ruttger said. "That was our goal. We had kids who skied to that level, they just didn't put two solid runs together.
"Three of our girls went down. On her first run, Gina misread a gate and had to hike back up. Her time didn't factor into our score. Taryn had two solid runs. Andrea was the third one down the course and had pretty solid runs.
"We had the talent to do it, it just wasn't executed, but part of that was the conditions."
In the boys' race, Warrior senior Bror Linnerooth did not finish after a 41.57 first run.
"Bror survived his first run," Jim Ruttger said. "A bunch of guys had already gone down the course. He did really well considering the conditions.
"It wasn't that he fell, he dropped into a rut. One of his skis popped off, and the ski kept cruising down the hill. It was not worth going down the hill to get the ski."
Brainerd junior Ryan Weihemuller was disqualified.
"Ryan got to ski before the course deteriorated," Jim Ruttger said. "One combination at the bottom he misread a little bit and had to hike back up, but he didn't hike back up far enough. He thought he was ready to go so he didn't get a second run."
Team scores: 1-(tie) Lakeville South and Edina 146, 3-Minnehaha Academy 139, 4-Stillwater 134, 5-(tie) Chisago Lakes and Duluth East 122, 7-Blake 120, 8-Brainerd 78
Girls' state champion: Paula Moltzan (Lakeville South) 1:15.68
Brainerd girls: 22-Taryn Ruttger 1:26.20, 25-Andrea Cibuzar 1:26.73, 68-Katie Hutchison 1:42.56, 72-Savannah Stone 1:49.24, 77-Arianna Cibuzar 1:53.23, 79-Gina Engel 2:07.45
Team scores: 1-St. Thomas Academy 159, 2-Hopkins 155, 3-Academy of Holy Angels 148, 4-Bloomington Jefferson 146, 5-Chisago Lakes 132, 6-Minneapolis Southwest 100, 7-Minnehaha Academy, 76, 8-Duluth East 73
Boys state champion: Marc Massie (Blake) 1:09.42
Brainerd boys: Bror Linnerooth DNF, Ryan Weihemuller DSQ
MIKE BIALKA may be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5861.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.