DEER RIVER - Zean Baker was third in the boys' race, Jenna Ruzich was fifth in the girls' meet and both Brainerd Warriors teams finished third in the Deer River Invite Tuesday at Blueberry Hills Ski Area.
Baker finished the 5-kilometer boys' race with a time of 17:32. Ty Hadrits was 14th, Ross Duval 16th and Michael Montgomery 19th for Brainerd.
"The boys' race was kind of interesting," Warriors coach Nicole Kellerman said. "The way I submitted them I put them in by age, so Ross went out first. He had a very good performance and had to stay ahead of the group.
"Zean was at the end (of the start) because he's a ninth-grader. He had fun chasing people. We told him to focus on his race, and count how many skiers he could catch. That gave him something to focus on. It was a good opportunity to catch some guys and check out the field."
Ruzich finished in 22:03 and teammate Amanda Finstad was seventh at 22:08.
"Jenna and Amanda were only a couple seconds apart," Kellerman said. "The top 10 were within seconds of each other so it was a close field.
"The girls were close to Bemidji, who we think is going to be our toughest competition in the section. It was nice for the girls to see where we are compared to them. We need to get a couple other girls up there with (Jenna and Amanda)."
In the junior varsity girls' race, Brainerd's Sarah Fairbanks was the winner. Teammate Allison Kosobud was fourth.
"It was Sarah's third first place for the JV," Kellerman said. "We're potentially looking at eventually merging her to the varsity race. It's been fun for her and Allison to have success at the JV level."
Brainerd's Cole Sundquist was runner-up and teammate Tim Nelson third in the JV boys' race.
Following last week's snowstorm Tuesday's conditions were optimal.
"It was perfect," Kellerman said. "We wish we could have skied all day. The last two days we've skied three hours. The kids are getting tuckered out. They're finally getting into ski mode and race mode. It's hard to transition from dryland training to skiing."
The Warriors' invite is scheduled Thursday at Northland Arboretum in Brainerd. At 10 a.m. the boys' varsity pursuit race begins. The girls' varsity pursuit is at 11 a.m. At noon the JV boys' skate race begins, with the JV girls' skate at 12:30 p.m. At 1 p.m. the junior high boys' skate race begins with the junior high girls' skate at 1:30 p.m.
Boys varsity team scores: 1-Grand Rapids 26, 2-Detroit Lakes 44, 3-Brainerd 52, 4-Bemidji 54, Deer River incomplete
Individual winner: Jake Richards (DL) 16:37
Brainerd results: 3-Zean Baker 17:32, 14-Ty Hadrits 19:37, 16-Ross Duval 20:00, 19-Michael Montgomery 20:34
JV boys: Team scores: 1-Detroit Lakes 32, 2-(tie) Brainerd and Bemidji 40
JV boys winner: Aaron Rodenberg (GR) 21:11
Brainerd JV boys: 2-Cole Sundquist 22:27, 3-Tim Nelson 23:18, 17-Zach Hanson 28:19, 18-Kush Patel 33:48
Girls team scores: 1-Grand Rapids 14, 2-Bemidji 38, 3-Brainerd 45, 4-Detroit Lakes 65, Deer River incomplete
Individual winner: Kelly Kjorlien (GR) 20:07
Brainerd results: 5-Jenna Ruzich 22.03, 7-Amanda Finstad 22.:08, 14-Arianna Brown 26:02, 19-Rachael Howard 28:47, 20-Jennifer Murray 30:06
JV girls team scores: 1-Grand Rapids 26, 2-Brainerd 31, 3-Detroit Lakes 62,
JV girls winner: Sarah Fairbanks (Brd) 23:30
Other Brainerd JV girls: 4-Allison Kosobud 24:41, 10-Emily Dumbeck 27:48, 16-Tomi Majerus 30:48, 18-Rachel Bartosh 34:40, 22-Michaela Quast 40:21, 23-Kelsey Thompson 40:28
Next: Brainerd Invite 10 a.m. Thursday, Northland Arboretum, Brainerd.
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