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Nordic Skiing: Baker, Warrior boys, Hauer, Flyer girls post wins

DETROIT LAKES — Brainerd’s Noah Baker, the Warrior boys team and Maria Hauer and the Little Falls girls team registered victories during Thursday’s Detroit Lakes Invite continuous pursuit event.

Baker won the boys individual title (5 kilometers classic, 5km skate) with a time of 27:50.

“Noah’s challenge is to improve his classic, Warriors co-head coach Mary Claire Ryan said. “I told him to stay with the leaders in the classic and bury them on the skate, which is exactly what he did. He came in about a minute and 3 seconds ahead of the second-place skier, which is a big gap.”

The Warrior boys beat runner-up Little Falls by 19 points. Connor Gunsbury finished fifth, Ben Hanson eighth, Evan Schreifels 11th and Robert Pike 12th.

“Connor got tangled up in the start and went down,” Ryan said. “He had to recover and make up a lot of ground, which is what he did. It was a great effort on his part. Within seconds of each other were four guys, and Ben and Connor bumped up into that mix, which is what we’re hoping to see.

“Evan had his best race. He wasn’t feeling well our first two races and we’re starting to see what he could do. He made a statement. Rob was right behind him. That bodes well for our boys team.

“We’re off to a great start with our boys. They’re excited about their possibilities this winter.”

Hauer remained unbeaten in four races, pacing the girls 10km pursuit in 29:22, helping the Flyers to the team title. Kaitlyn Geisenhof was sixth, Kendal Hendrickson eighth and Amelia Kresha 12th.

“Maria won by almost three minutes,” Flyers coach Terry Wasland said. “She had a good day.

“Our girls are skiing solidly but we still have room for improvement. We know the competition will be close down the stretch so we have to keep working hard and keep improving.”

Brainerd’s girls finished fourth, led by Gaby Haire in fifth place and Sara Whiteman in ninth.

“I know Gaby wanted to do better,” Ryan said. “She has some classic work to improve on, but she’s practicing hard. Fifth was a great finish for her. Sara had a strong classic. She was right behind Gaby but fell off a little bit in the skate.

“The rest of our girls were bunched together, which we like to see. Our girls need to bump it up a little bit. Emily Nelson had a breakout race. Overall, we’re pretty happy how our girls are progressing. They’ve got a lot of work cut out for themselves to catch Little Falls or Mora.”

Mathew Massman of Little Falls was runner-up behind Baker and the Flyers’ Gunner Kleinschmidt was ninth.

“I thought we skied better,” Wasland said of the Flyer boys. “We had a couple of nice performances and a couple who really struggled. We’ve got to remedy that before we go any further.”

Boys team scores: 1-Brainerd 379, 2-Little Falls 360, 3-Alexandria 357, 4-Bemidji 341, 5-Detyroit Lakes 277, 6-Trek North 73, 7-Deer River 64

Individual winner (10km pursuit): Noah Baker (Brd) 27:50

Brainerd results: 5-Connor Gunsbury 29:33, 8-Benjamin Hanson 29:36, 11-Evan Schreifels 30:06, 12-Robert Pike 30:10, 20-Sam Nesheim 32:12, 26-Sam Guida 33:56, 30-Gabe Raguse 34:54, 33-Mac Brink 36:06, 34-Luke Norquist 36:17

Little Falls results: 2-Mathew Massmann 28:57, 9-Gunner Kleinschmidt 29:47, 15-John Gottwalt 30:31, 18-Hunter Kleinschmidt 31:52, 19-Michael Carll 32:12, 21-Ethan Crocker 32:30, 23-Seth Crocker 32:35, 35-Nathaniel Warnke 33:50.

Girls team scores: 1-Little Falls 377, 2-Bemidji 357, 3-Alexandria 354, 4-Brainerd 349, 5-Detroit Lakes 231, 6-Ottertail Nordic 231, 7-Trek North 84, 8-Deer River 64

Individual winner: Maria Hauer (LF) 29:22

Brainerd results: 5-Gaby Haire 33:57, 9-Sara Whiteman 35:14, 20-Emily Nelson 38:25, 23-Maren Hadrits 39:14, 21-Faith Watson 38:39, 24-Lydia Herath 39:23, 25-Madeline Quast 39:27, 26-Katie Montgomery 39:55, 31-Anne Grabowski 42:16,

Little Falls results: 6-Kaitlyn Geisenhof 34:07, 8-Kendal Hendrickson 34:51, 12-Amelia Kresha 36:10, 15-Elizabeth Becker 36:58, 19-Christy Masog 38:21, 22-Makayla Klever 38:56, 28-Claire Gammon-Deering 40:38,

Next: Little Falls in Brainerd Invitational at Northland Arboretum 10 a.m. Dec. 27.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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