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Alpine Skiing: Warrior girls win again, boys place 2nd

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Lauren Kalenberg

SUPERIOR, Wis. — Things weren’t made any easier for Jim Ruttger and the Brainerd Warriors coaching staff.

The Brainerd girls won their ninth out of 10 events Thursday, Jan. 20, at Mont du Lac Resort and the boys’ team placed second by 0.5 points in the final regular-season event before the Section 5 meet.

Ruttger and his staff must drop the team to the top six skiers, but Brainerd’s depth has been its strength all season.

Eighth-grader Lauren Kalenberg paced the Warrior girls Thursday with her third-place time of 1:08.90. Cassidy Chaney was fourth, Madison Kalenberg fifth, Erin Hoelzel sixth and Emma Hiebert seventh. Calia Chaney (14) and Allison Krantz (17) were also in the top 20 of the 12-team invite.

“The last meet of the regular season and to pack them in third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh place all in a row is a great result and a super confidence builder for this next week ahead of us with our section meet,” Ruttger said. “The big thing for us, and it was so evident today, was our depth. We’ve been saying that all year and our girls today just completed a perfect season except for a two-point loss up at Lutsen. They really won nine out of 10 events. It was just an incredible season.
“That kind of overshadows what are boys have been doing, but they never finished below second all year and they were second only twice.”

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Gavin Hoelzel skied to a sixth-place time of 1:04.63 to lead the Warriors to 345.5 points. Duluth East won the event with 346 points.

Max Darkow placed eighth followed by Anthony Elsenpeter in 12th and Esten Heibert in 16th.

Brainerd skied without Cal Madison and Brandon Neifert who were both sick.

“We pretty much talked about the section lineup as coaches all the way home tonight,” Ruttger said. “The top five aren’t too hard to figure out on either side, but when you’re trying to figure out that sixth skier on both sides there is about two or three that really deserve it. It’s a tough call. We probably have it figured out. We’re going to sleep on it tonight and we will announce that team at practice (Friday). We’ll bring eight. We’ll bring a couple of alternates with us, but that depth is key and that is what will hopefully get us a good result in a couple of weeks.”

Boys team scores: 1-Duluth East 346, 2-Brainerd 345.5, 3-Washburn 323.5, 4-Minneapolis Southwest 314, 5-Cook County 307, 6-Hibbing 287.5, 7-Minneapolis Area Ski Team 269.5, 8-Virginia 227, 9-Duluth Marshall 213.5, 10-Hermantown 187, 11-Cloquet-Esko-Carlton
Individual winner: Oliver Mueller (MST) 1:01.51
Brainerd results: 6-Gavin Hoelzel 1:04.63, 8-Max Darkow 1:04.78, 12-Anthony Elsenpeter 1:05.61, 16-Esten Hiebert 1:06.98, 20-Sean Baumann 1:07.97, 26-Parker Linn 1:09.89, 35-Max Krieger 1:12.96, 40-Emmet Johnson 1:14.10, 54-Trevor Hutchison 1:20.45

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Girls team scores: 1-Brainerd 322, 2-Minneapolis Southwest 304, 3-Washburn 284, 4-Cook County 244, 5-Hibbing 212, 6-Virginia 206, 7-Minneapolis Area Ski Team 191, 8-Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 133, 9-Duluth Denfeld 79, Duluth East, Hermantown, Duluth Marshall inc.
Individual winner: Elsa Peterson (Minneapolis Southwest) 1:03.83
Brainerd results: 3-Lauren Kalenberg 1:08.90, 4-Cassidy Chaney 1:08.98, 5-Madison Kalenberg 1:09.12, 6-Erin Hoelzel 1:10.40, 7-Emma Hiebert 1:10.69, 14-Calia Chaney 1:14.23, 17-Allison Krantz 1:15.84, 23-Maddie Pederson 1:16.97, 26-Whitney Fink 1:19.42, 48-Linsey Proctor 1;28.24
Next: Brainerd in Section 5 meet at Afton Alps in Hastings 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 6.

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Gavin Hoelzel

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