- Member for
- 7 years 10 months
Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka lost to the Brainerd Warriors three times during the regular season by a cumulative score of 31-12. But the Robins gave North Division No. 1-seeded Brainerd a battle in Saturday's state championship game by playing the Warriors to a 4-4 stalemate through two periods. Then the unbeaten and defending state champion Warriors seized control by slapping in seven unanswered third-period goals to register an 11-4 victory and attain their second-straight title at Bloomington Jefferson High School.
Despite being the No. 1 seed in the Northern Division and the defending state champions, the unbeaten Brainerd Warriors are not overlooking any opponent this weekend. Brainerd is heavily favored to repeat as state champion. It has outscored the opposition 115-48. The Warriors have won every game by no less than a 3-goal margin. Twice they scored 12 goals in a game. Twice they scored 10. Brainerd has defeated every team in the tournament at least once except for St. Paul Humboldt which was not on its schedule.
Jacob Heinlen Sport: Adapted floor hockey Position: Center Year: Senior Age: 18 Height: 5-6 Career highlight: Winning 2017 state championship Favorite class: Math Favorite food: Mac and cheese Favorite TV show: "Friends" Favorite restaurant: Taco Bell Future plans: Attend college, possibly major in music business Parents: Nikki and Brian Stark Unselfish.
A foot injury before last season necessitated that Cody Vleck move from forward to goalie for the Brainerd Warriors adapted floor hockey team. Vleck responded by backstopping the Warriors to an unbeaten season and the state championship and landed him a berth on the all-tournament team.
They dropped one place from the preliminaries but the Brainerd Warriors' 200 free relay reached the podium with their sixth-place finish during Saturday's Class 2A state finals at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. The foursome of Preston Owen, Gunnar Niemeyer, Griffin Blegen and Michael Bylander finished Saturday night with medals around their necks after a finals time of 1:26.88. They shaved 2/100ths of a second from their prelim performance and finished just 48/100ths of a second from third place.
For the first time in four years, the Brainerd Warriors will be standing on the podium at the Class 2A state meet. In Friday's prelims at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center, the Warriors' 200 free relay of Gunnar Niemeyer, Michael Bylander, Griffin Blegen and Preston Owen finished fifth which was their seeding position entering the meet. Shakopee is the top seed at 1:25.66 with Brainerd at 11:26.90.
For the first time in four years, a few Brainerd Warriors could be standing on the podium at the Class 2A state swimming and diving meet this week at the University of Minnesota. Brainerd is seeded fifth in the 200 free relay and 11th in the 200 medley relay. In five individual events, all Warriors are seeded in the top 16. Divers are not seeded. If a Warrior stands on the podium, it will be Brainerd's first top eight finish since the 2013-14 season when the 200 free relay was fifth and the 400 free relay was eighth.
He was aiming to qualify for state in the 100-yard butterfly and with the 200 medley and 200 free relays. Mission accomplished. Brainerd Warrior swimmer Gunnar Niemeyer won the Section 8-2A title in the butterfly and joined Preston Owen, Michael Bylander and Griffin Blegen to win both of those relays. He will swim all three events this weekend in the 2A state meet at the University of Minnesota. On his way to winning the section butterfly, the Warrior senior set a school record with a time of 52.23, breaking the record he set a year earlier at state. He beat Elk River freshman Preston Schmeidel, who finished at 52.53. Schmeidel was faster in the prelims, clocking a 53.35 to Niemeyer's 54.06.
Trailing by as many as 12 points in the first half, and by 19 in the second, the Brainerd Warriors rallied, but ran out of energy. The fifth-seeded Buffalo Bison were charging from the onset and never let up. They went on to register a 70-58 win over the fourth-seeded Warriors in the quarterfinals of the Section 8-4A tournament Tuesday at Brainerd High School. Buffalo drained 28 of 47 shots (60 percent). In the second half alone, the Bison almost couldn't miss, making 15 of 18 attempts (83 percent) as they often snuck behind Brainerd defenders to shoot countless layups.
Losing two games shouldn't be the lasting recollection the Brainerd/Little Falls Warriors have of the Class 2A state tournament. Instead the Warriors shouldn't forget they won a second-straight Central Lakes Conference championship, the first Section 8-2A title in program history and became the first Brainerd High School hockey team to play in a state tournament.