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In her first season as a track and field competitor, Lili Charlier finished third in shot put in the state of Virginia's outdoor meet and placed fourth in its indoor meet. "I didn't know throwing a metal ball could be so much fun," Charlier said. In discus, she qualified for the Virginia state meet, but said she didn't place highly.
Jake Heikkenen produced an adapted floor hockey state tournament that he will never forget and one the Minnesota State High School League has never seen. The Brainerd junior left wing accumulated a tournament-record 21 points in helping the Warriors capture the state championship in physically impaired division as they outscored three foes 36-7. The performance earned Heikkenen a spot on the all-tournament team along with teammates Zachary Denny and Cody Vleck. Heikkenen thought he had a shot to break the tournament scoring record after a 9-point performance against Mounds View in Friday's quarterfinals.
Warriors sweep The key: Brainerd collected 10 hits in each game as they beat Rocori 8-4 and 8-6 Conference: Brd 3-0, Roc 1-3 Overall: Brd 3-1, Roc 1-3 Next: Brainerd at Sartell 5 p.m. April 25 After suffering an 8-7 loss to Moorhead in a game they felt they should have won last week, the Brainerd Warriors were hoping to bounce back in a Central Lakes Conference doubleheader Tuesday against the Rocori Spartans at Adamson Field.
Warriors 6, Alexandria 1 The key: Bryce Flanagan pitched six innings of 5-hit baseball Conference: Brd 1-0, A 0-1 Overall: Brd 1-0, A 0-1 Next: Moorhead at Brainerd 5 p.m. Thursday. On a brisk 50-degree opening day, Lowell Scearcy was probably feeling colder than usual after spending seven innings at chilly Adamson Field.
Brainerd Warriors softball coach Shane Jordan doesn't consider it a disadvantage to have more than three weeks of practice before his team's season opener. The Warriors, who are scheduled to open Tuesday, April 11, at Alexandria, started workouts March 17, one week later than permissible due to Brainerd's spring break. "Sometimes being indoors can feel long," Jordan said, "but it's been nice outside. It's helped us being outside. We've had a couple of scrimmages against Pierz and Pequot Lakes and that helps break up the monotony a little bit.
Brainerd Warriors Head coach: Lowell Scearcy, 48th year (3 at Verndale, 45 at Brainerd) Career record: 737-301 (.710) Record at Brainerd: 699-293 (.705) 2016 record: 13-3 CLC, 15-8 overall Returning letterwinners: Braydon Borg, Mac Brink, Bryce Flanagan, Cole Kubesh, Will Peabody Captains: Bryce Flanagan, Braydon Borg Assistant coaches: Keith Peterson (V), Jeff Howard (JV); Jay Sannes and Drew Boland (sophomores); Russ Wicklund and Eric Jobe (freshmen).
Brainerd Warriors Head coach: Bruce Thompson, 21st year Career record: 192-128 (.600) 2016 record: CLC 10-2, overall 17-4 Captains: Patrick Meyer, Travis Goeden Assistant coaches: Chuck Whalen, Dan Egan As a sophomore, Tanner Lundberg won North Subsection 8-2A and Section 8-2A championships on his way to victories in 29 of 33 matches. Two of his losses were in the Class 2A state tournament where he lost to Conner Olsen of Orono and Spencer Wick of Mahtomedi. He was the first Warrior to qualify for state in singles since 2002.
Brainerd Warrior boys track and field head coach Rod Reuer is resurrecting a phrase used by his predecessor when describing what he hopes this year's team will accomplish. "Better your Best" was former head coach Mark Embretson's favorite phrase, his way of encouraging Warrior athletes to strive to improve on their previous best performance. "That's our theme—'Better your Best,'" Reuer said. "Our goal is to be better at the end than we are now but I don't know what that means at this point. That's the reason we had time trials at Sartell (Monday). We needed to get a start for all of our kids. We have to get some times and distances and see where we're at, lay it all out there without a really high-pressure meet setting."
One state entrant has graduated but another returns for the Brainerd Warrior girls team, which will rely on those with varsity experience to be leaders this season. Thrower and 3-time state entrant Sophie Balster, an all-stater in discus in 2015, has graduated, while state triple jumper Emma Smith returns as the Warriors prepare to compete in Central Lakes Conference and Section 8-2A competition. The season opens Saturday at St. John's University in Collegeville with the CLC Indoor Meet. Second-year head coach Howie Jacobs has been encouraged by the attitude of girls and boys teams during the preseason. He said there was a day in practice during the preseason when both teams were in the weight room simultaneously.
Warriors 8, Anoka 4 The key: Brainerd burst to a 6-0 lead in state championship game Overall: State champion Warriors finish 15-0 Jake Heikkenen flicked in four goals and Cody Vleck recorded 21 saves as the Brainerd Warriors captured the PI Division state championship Saturday with an 8-4 victory over Anoka-Hennepin at Bloomington Jefferson High School. The Warriors cruised to their first state championship since 2000 and the third in the program's 22-year history. Heikkenen, Zachary Denny and Vleck were named to the all-tournament team.