Nordic Skiing: Warrior boys 2nd, girls 3rd

Brainerd and Little Falls tackled a continuous pursuit format to prepare for sections Saturday, Feb. 20.

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Brainerd's Ryan Cady skies to a fourth-place finish at the Brainerd 11-Kilometer continuous pursuit Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Northland Arboretum. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

BAXTER — There was a dissatisfying feeling floating around the Brainerd Warriors Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Northland Arboretum.

The Brainerd boys placed second behind Bemidji and the girls’ team finished third behind Alexandria and Bemidji. The finish left a feeling of unfinished business for both squads said Warrior head coach Chris Hanson.

“It’s the second time Bemidji has nipped us,” Hanson added. “It was a close race. It’s nice to see the boys discontent with second place. Immediately when the results came out, I think even before the race was over, each of the boys knew that they lost to Bemidji and then they had their plan and knew exactly what they needed to do next week when we do sections on March 2.


“They have a plan to get back on the winning track. It’s gratifying as a coach to see that they aren’t discouraged, but that they are motivated to be first and not runner up.”

Ryan Cady’s fourth-place time of 29:59.45 paced the Warriors. He was followed by Nole Robertson in fifth, Elias Knapp in seventh and Jacob Olson in 11th. That handed Brainerd a score of 377 or eight points behind Bemidji.

The Little Falls Flyers, led by Jackson Grant’s third-place time of 29:02.14, placed third. Of the top 10 finishers nine were from Bemidji, Brainerd or Little Falls.

“When you look at those top finishers from Bemidji and Jackson they are a notch above the entire field,” Hanson said. “After that, Brainerd’s depth has helped us win the other races. It’s still close. When you only have a couple of guys who are on the top of their game or some other Bemidji guys ski exceptionally well it gets closer. The times are not that far apart. If we ski as well as everyone is capable of and we’re having a good day then we’re in good shape.”

Lily Schaeffer

Lily Schaeffer’s winning streak was snapped at four as she placed third in 35:48.15. Mari Devine placed ninth followed by Emma Storbakken in 14th and Cally Robertson in 15th.

“The girls have been behind Alexandria all season and they are just a tough team,” Hanson said. “Bemidji has caught us before. Saturday, the girls finished third and kind of like the boys' team, they are not happy with that even though looking at any measure, the girls skied well. They skied hard and they can be proud of those results.


“At the same time, it’s nice and gratifying to see that they do want more, especially with the state meet qualifying criteria not set yet. Right now it’s being mentioned that only one team per gender, per section, will advance. There is a push to convince the state high school league that we can handle two teams from each section and not reduce the number of participants.”

Brainerd's Emma Storbakken (left) and Mari Devine get back on the course after changing skis halfway through the race Saturday, Feb. 20, during the 11-kilometer continuous pursuit event. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

The event was an 11-kilometer continuous pursuit. It was the first pursuit event of the season for Brainerd. The section meet will be a pursuit format, but it will not be continues.

This was also the final regular-season event for Brainerd before the Section 8 meet at Maplelag Resort.

Brainerd Nordic Ski Invitational Gallery

“The section and state meets will have a few hours of rest between the classic and skate so you can gather yourself and not have the excitement of the on-the-go transition that you have in this type of event,” Hanson said. “It does give you a good picture of who is able to classic and skate and who has the fitness and endurance. It was interesting to see that things tightened up a little bit on our home course.

“We have a week here or a good stretch of days to preview the section course and rest up realizing that hard training is probably going to hurt more than help. We’ll fine-tune some technique and get the kids rested and make sure they stay healthy.”


Boys results
Team scores: 1-Bemidji 385, 2-Brainerd 377, 3-Little Falls 353, 4-Moorhead 324, 5-Alexandria 275, 6-TrekNorth 193
Individual winner: Nick Youso (Bemidji) 20:07.88
Brainerd results: 4-Ryan Cady 29:59.45, 5-Nole Robertson 30:08.72, 7-Elias Knapp 30:33.40, 11-Jacob Olson 31:50.14, 12-Mitchell Neumann 31:50.37, 14-Atticus Osborne 32:29.93, 15-Braden Capelle 32:44.94, 17-Noah Schaeffer 32:55.45, 18-Adam Cady 33:32.65, 21-Zachary Schaeffer 33:56.33, 23-Elijah Hallgren 34:19.43, 24-Bennet Capelle 34:31.29
Little Falls results: 3-Jackson Grant 29:02.14, 9-Connor Grant 31:32.22, 13-Ethan Yorek 31:56.87, 26-John Stockard 34:58.59, 36-Edward Sobiech 36:39.92, 38-Angus Rustad 37:09.00, 39-Aiden Hagen 37:19.55, 42-Grant Yorek 37:46.78, 47-Alexander Oberton 38:26.66, 54-Gabe Shanoff 39:31.77, 56-Chase Olsen 41:19.69, 57-Thomas Archer 41:36.04

Girls results
Team scores: 1-Alexandria 384, 2-Bemidji 376, 3-Brainerd 363, 4-Moorhead 302, 5-Little Falls 255, 6-St. Cloud Tech 149, 7-TrekNorth
Individual winner: Kaisa Bosek (Alex) 34:54.03
Brainerd results: 3-Lily Schaeffer 35:48.15, 9-Mari Devine 37:33.95, 14-Emma Storbakken 37:59.77, 15-Cally Robertson 38:07.88, 17-Bridget Collins 38:26.52, 20-Allison Rice 39:03.57, 21-Emma Balsley 39:11.49, 22-Addie Ryan 39:18.21, 26-Ellie Brown 40:06.89, 30-Katelyn Kennedy 40:45.57, 31-Ashtyn Kubista 41:43.22, 36-Gabrielle Chalupsky 42:51.78
Little Falls results: 25-Elizabeth Ahlin 39:43.12, 35-Abigail Borash 42:42.47, 41-Kaylee Zupko 42:24.28, 48-Allyson Kahler 45:31.88, 50-Breanna Barchus 46:17.63, 51-Ainsley Kresha 46:36.21, 52-Isabelle Segler 46:45.28, 53-Sarah Wolbeck 46:46.71, 54-Anika Johnson 48:09.27, 57-Martha Berg 49:23.03, 59-Claire Zupko 51:30.62
Next: Brainerd in Section 8 meet at MapleLag Resort March 2.

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