NORDIC SKIING: Warriors land four all-conference finishes
COLLEGEVILLE — The tandem of Riley Nelson (classic) and Zean Baker (freestyle) both finished third and Allison Kosobud and Sarah Fairbanks finished third and fourth in classic to earn all-conference honors and help Brainerd to two runner-up finishes during Thursday’s Central Lakes Conference meet at St. John’s University.
The Little Falls Flyers girls won their fifth straight CLC title. They were led by Chelsea Rutz’ first-place time of 21:59 in the classic and Manon Gammon-Deering’s first-place time of 15:01 in the freestyle.
Rickey Devine’s winning time of 13:08 in the freestyle helped the Flyers boys team tie for first with St. Cloud Tech.
Nelsen finished the 5.5-kilometer race in 19:12 for third. He was followed by Tim Nelson, who lost a pole early in the race and battled through for a 23:21.
Zean Baker recorded a third-place 13:28 in the freestyle followed by his brother Noah Baker, who scored an all-conference honorable mention with his sixth-place time of 14:13.
“Noah had an outstanding day with his sixth-place finish in the skate,” said Brainerd co-head coach Mary Claire Ryan. “He has been really coming along at an incredible pace. I was kidding, but I told Zean he better watch out because Noah is closing in on him. Noah has really stepped it up and has improved by leaps and bounds.
“Riley and Zean both have a good shot next week at the section meet.”
Kosobud scored a 23:09 and Fairbanks a 24:45 in the classic.
Katie Montgomery’s 16:55 led the Warriors’ freestylers and landed her in sixth for honorable mention. Also scoring honorable mention was Jenna Ruzich with her eighth-place 17:11.
“Both Ally and Sarah were right behind the leaders from the start and they stayed there which was good for them,” said Ryan. “They were right where they need to be. Sarah has been sick and she’s finally getting back to where she wants to be. Ally has been sure and steady all year. She’s been our top skier all winter.
“Jenna and Katie had their ups and downs in freestyle. Katie fell in the woods, but it was one of her best skate races of the year. Jenna was a little disappointed with her finish, but she always puts out a great effort.”
Other all-conference skiers for the Flyers were Preston Zimny in the classic and Adam Kempenich in the freestyle.
Kaitllin Geisenhof was second in classic and Sarah Andringa was fifth. Matia Hendrickson was second in freestyle followed by Maria Hauer’s fourth-place time of 16:37.
Alex Houle and Nathan Almen were honorable mention in the classic race.
Boys team scores: 1t-Little Falls 55, 1t-St. Cloud Tech 55, 2-Brainerd 45, 4-Alexandria 37, 5-St. Cloud Apollo 28, 6-Ottertail 23, 7-Sartell 17, 8-Willmar 9
Individual classic winner: 1-Sam Anderson (Tech) 18:22
Individual freestyle winner: Ricky Devine (LF) 13:08
Brainerd classic results: 3-Riley Nelsen 19:12, Tim Nelson 23:21, Gerrit Garberich 23:23, Dakota Swenson 24:50
Brainerd freestyle results: 3-Zean Baker 13:28, 6-Noah Baker 14:13, Ty Hadrits 14:44, Matt McDonald 16:19
Little Falls classic results: 2-Preston Zimny 19:04, 6-Alex Houle 20:39, 7-Nathan Almen 21:11, 9-Ben Mushel 21:32
Little Falls freestyle results: 4-Adam Kempenich 13:43, Matt Masog 14:45, Brian McNamara 15:57
Girls team scores: 1-Little Falls 62 2-Brainerd 49, 3-Alexandria 41, 4-St. Cloud Apollo 33, 5-Sartell 31, 6-St. Cloud Tech 28, 7-Willmar 19
Individual classic winner: Chelsea Rutz (LF) 21:59
Individual freestyle winner: Manon Gammon-Deering (LF) 15:02
Brainerd classic results: 3-Allison Kosobud 23:09, 4-Sarah Fairbanks 24:45, 11-Emily Dumbeck 27:41, 16-Rachael Howard 29:08
Brainerd: 6-Katie Montgomery 16:55, 8-Jenna Ruzich 17:11, 13-Jennifer Murray 19:13, 16-Martina Giger 19:39
Little Falls classic results: 2-Kaitlin Geisenhof 22:20, 5-Sarah Andringa 24:28, 10-Chloe Houle 27:07
Little Falls freestyle results: 2-Matia Hendrickson 16:02, 4-Maria Hauer 16:37, 10-Josie Lange 17:57
Next: Brainerd, Little Falls in Section 8 meet at Camp Ripley 10 a.m. Wednesday.