Mark Femling's first state Alpine ski meet didn't end as he blueprinted it, but a strong second run down the Helsinki slope at Giants Ridge in Biwabik made it better than 22 others.
Before his final high school descent Thursday, the Brainerd Warrior senior, in 26th place after the first run, knew what he needed to do to move up in the standings.
He shaved 2.18 seconds from his first run for a combined 1:11.56 time and 18th place.
"I just figured it was my last race of my senior year so I might as well do good," said Femling. "We've skied there so many times. It was just like every other time."
His second-run time of 34.47 was one Femling could live with.
Brainerd coach Jim Ruttger said the second course was set up for Femling's style. Wider turns and longer straight stretches helped Femling fall three spots shy of his ultimate goal of breaking the top 15.
"My second run was really good," said Femling. "I was really happy with my second run. I wasn't too happy with my first run. I was just happy to get the second run done with."
The course wasn't set up much different from the three previous meets Femling competed at Giants Ridge. All three times Helsinki was used, but Femling said the course wasn't in the best condition.
The boys' and girls' team events raced before the individuals, creating less than pristine conditions.
Nerves, a little different set up, and the pressure to see how he stacked up against the better racers in the state, added to Femling's apprehensive first run.
"My first run was really slow, probably the slowest I've ever had on Helsinki," Femling said. "I didn't feel good on it at all."
Femling's 18th place is the best finish for a Brainerd boy. The previous best was recorded by Kyle Goochey two years ago.
Katie Majka holds the best finish for a Brainerd girl with a seventh-place showing two years ago.
"I thought it just wrapped up the season pretty nicely," Femling said about competing at state. "I was just happy to be there and ski on it. The competition was quite a bit better than I thought it would be.
Senior Nelson Carlson of St. Thomas Academy won his third state meet, winning it outright for the second time. His first championship came as a freshman. He shared the title as a sophomore and finished fourth last year.
Individual Boys results
1-Nelson Carlson (St. Thomas Academy) 1:03.81
2-Michael Holmberg (Benilde-St. Margaret's) 1:04.93
3-Robbie Massie (The Blake School) 1:05.34
4-David Priest (Virginia) 1:06.29
5-Pat McCool (Bloomington Jefferson) 1:06.70
6-Peter Sims (Hopkins) 1:07.43
7-John Brine (Stillwater Area) 1:07.67
8-Ryan Nintzel (St. Thomas Academy) 1:08.05
9-Eric Bryan (St. Thomas Academy) 1:08.22
10-Isaiah Kinzer (Chisago Lakes Area) 1:08.71
11-Collin Bone (Burnsville) 1:08.75
12-Mike Shideman (Edina) 1:08.93
13-Brad Erickson (Hill-Murray) 1:08.97
14-Joel Bischoff (Duluth Marshall) 1:10.26
15-Aaron Flynn (St. Paul Central) 1:10.35
16-Jason Duran (Wayzata) 1:11.18
17-Alex Albers (Northfield) 1:11.23
18-Mark Femling (Brainerd) 1:11.56
19-Johnny Monson (Minnetonka) 1:11.71
20-Pat Gaddie (Duluth East) 1:11.84
21-John Polasik (Stillwater Area) 1:12.09
22-Stuart Lindgren (Richfield) 1:12.76
23-Kellen Johnson (Mounds View) 1:13.34
24-David McClellan (Hibbing/Chisholm) 1:13.89
25-Paul Eck (Irondale) 1:16.00
26-Ryan Tierney (Stillwater Area) 1:16.56
27-Pat Klingen (Eden Prairie) 1:17.69
28-Braedon Hill (Lakeville) 1:19.86
29-Dan Seim (Hopkins) 1:21.49
30-Chris Speltz (Cretin-Derham Hall) 1:21.69
31-Kevin Landwehr (Blaine) 1:23.88
32-Ryan Moen (Forest Lake) 1:34.32
33-Dave Fischer (Champlin Park) 1:38.29
34-Ben Wexler (Benilde-St. Margaret's) 1:54.79
35-Ross Stensrud (Chisago Lakes Area) 2:04.23
Charlie Simacek (Benilde-St. Margaret's) DNF
Chauncey Charlson (Woodbury) DNF
Andy Bischoff (Duluth East) DNF
John Turbes (Lakeville) DNF
Nick Gerard-Larson (Duluth East) DNF
Girls Team Results:
1. Duluth East 167
2. Edina 163
3. Burnsville 126
4. Bloomington Jeff. 126
5. The Blake School 123
6. Chisago Lakes Area 120
7. Stillwater Area 116
Girls Individual Results:
1. Claire Abbe, Burnsville 01:11.94
2. Catherine Brown, Benilde-St. Margaret's 01:12.55
3. Katie Lee, Stillwater Area 01:15.07
4. Val Holz, Hastings 01:16.05
5. Sonja Jennings, Duluth East 01:16.10
6. Michelle Cox, Bloomington Jefferson 01:16.22
7. Donna Ceglar, Virginia 01:16.30
8. Ellen Hartman, Visitation 01:16.81
9. Caitlyn Welle, Minnetonka 01:17.07
10. Kaitie Gaddie, Duluth East 01:17.32
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