Nordic Skiing: Warrior boys, Erholtz advance to state
CALLAWAY--With four skiers in the top 10, the Brainerd Warriors boys defended their Section 8 team title Tuesday at Maplelag Resort. Hunter Zupko and Kendal Hendrickson of the Little Falls Flyers skied to individual titles and led their respectiv...
CALLAWAY-With four skiers in the top 10, the Brainerd Warriors boys defended their Section 8 team title Tuesday at Maplelag Resort.
Hunter Zupko and Kendal Hendrickson of the Little Falls Flyers skied to individual titles and led their respective teams to the state meet. The Flyers girls repeated as section champs, while the Flyers boys skied to second place.
The top two teams and top six individuals not on those two teams advance to the state meet.
That puts Grace Erholtz into the state meet as she finished ninth individually and led the Brainerd girls to fourth.
Brainerd senior Gabe Raguse finished fourth to pace Brainerd's scoring pack of Evan Schreifels in fifth, Evan Storbakken in seventh and Maxim Osborne in eighth.
"The boys were picked to repeat as section champions, but it is always a challenge to repeat," said Brainerd co-head coach Mary Claire Ryan. "They were very serious and skied well in the morning (in the freestyle) and were really impressive in the afternoon (classical). The boys were excited last year, but maybe even more excited this year. The trophy did not leave their hands."
Schreifels was injured at the Alex race last week and had a pulled muscle under his rib cage according to Ryan.
"We were not sure if he was going to be able to race, but he never complained and had a very gritty performance," she said. "Poling had to be difficult for him and he was a big part of the success of this team."
Faith Watson, the only senior on the Brainerd girls team, was 16th overall and just missed advancing as an individual by one place for the second straight year.
"Grace's goal was to be in the top 10, which she did accomplish," said Ryan. "This is her second year of qualifying for the state meet, which is quite an accomplishment for a sophomore.
"Faith has been skiing with mono, but she put it all out there and had an excellent race for her."
For Little Falls, Hendrickson was more than a minute faster than Gabby Hennes of St. Cloud Tech and Zupko finished more than 51 seconds ahead of second-place Alex Nemeth from St. Cloud Cathedral.
"Both were favored and skied very well capturing the fastest time in freestyle and classic," said Little Falls head coach coach Terry Wasland. "They're both great competitors and we're very proud of them. They did what they were expected to do.
"The girls went (to state) last year, but this will be the first time for both squads in several years. The experienced girls did what they had to do and the younger guys stepped up, which is always a fun thing for a coach to see."
Christy Masog was fourth behind Hendrickson followed by Nicollet Gammon-Deering (5th), Molly Lange (8th) and Alice Foote (10th).
Scoring for the Flyer boys along with Zupko were Colton Yorek (6th), Seth Crocker (10th) and Cormac Shanoff (16th).
"It was a huge credit for our kids to stay competitive and keep their focus with the lack of snow we've had in the Little Falls area," Wasland added. "It was very satisfying to see how they finished."
Team scores: 1-Brainerd 380, 2- Little Falls 371, 3-St. Cloud Cathedral/Sartell 350, 4-Bemidji 343, 5-Alexandria 283, 6-Moorhead 274, 7-St. Cloud Tech 264, 8-Detroit Lakes 239, 9-Rocori 215, 10-Otter Tail Nordic 187, 11-Trek North 152, 12-Willmar 147, 13-St. Cloud Apollo 142,
Individual winner: Hunter Zupko (LF) 30:03.76
Brainerd results: 4-Gabe Raguse 31:48.51, 5-Evan Schreifels 32:01.64, 7-Evan Storbakken 32:16.31, 8-Maxim Osborne 32:27.86, 13-Andrew Wasniewski 33:27.39, 15-Sam Nesheim 33:43.11, 17-Mac Brink 33:46.89
Little Falls results: 1-Hunter Zupko 30:03.76, 6-Colton Yorek 32:13.39, 10-Seth Crocker 32:50.86, 16-Cormac Shanoff 33:45.39, 21-Grant Jackson 33:58.97, 22-Colton Gottwalt 34:04.14, 30-Isaac Jackson 34:47.00
Team scores: 1-Little Falls 386, 2-Bemidji 370, 3-Moorhead 336, 4-Brainerd 332, 5-St. Cloud Tech 329, 6-Alexandria 312, 7-St. Cloud Cathedral/Sartell 311, 8-Willmar 205, 9-Otter Tail Nordic 180, 10-Detroit Lakes 156, 11-Trek North 86, 12-St. Cloud Apollo 82
Individual winner: Kendal Hendrickson (LF) 35:11.91
Brainerd results: 9-Grace Erholtz 38:01.95, 16-Faith Watson 38:41.51, 23-Emma Storbakken 40:04.93, 24-Hannah Trtanj 40:06.57, 28-Gina Wasniewski 40:51.68, 34-Isabel Nelson 41:25.63, 38-Sarah Nesheim 42:07.78
Little Falls results: 1-Kendal Hendrickson 35:11.91, 4-Christy Masog 36:50.32, 5-Nicollet Gammon-Deering 38:57.43, 8-Molly Lange 37:45.93, 10-Alice Foote 38:13.55, 36-Savanna Slettom 41:39.93, 47-Catherine Zack 44:03.43
Next: Brainerd, Little Falls in state Nordic ski meet at Giants Ridge, Biwabik Feb. 16.