Nordic Skiing: Warrior boys ski to victory

COLERAINE--Robert Pike and the Brainerd Warriors continued their fast gliding Saturday. For the first time in the vast memories of Warrior co-head coaches Mary Claire Ryan and Chris Hanson, the Brainerd boys won the Grand Rapids Invite and in doi...

Robb Pike
Robb Pike

COLERAINE-Robert Pike and the Brainerd Warriors continued their fast gliding Saturday.

For the first time in the vast memories of Warrior co-head coaches Mary Claire Ryan and Chris Hanson, the Brainerd boys won the Grand Rapids Invite and in doing so defeated perennial power Duluth East.

Pike finished second behind Little Falls Flyers' Hunter Zupko. The Flyer sophomore skied to a 16:07.6. Pike crossed in 16:08.5.

"He looked awesome," Ryan said of Pike. "He's lighting things up. He's got a second-place finish, a first-place finish and now another second. He beat Hunter last week and now he's 9/10ths of a second behind. The other two skiers behind him, Seth Prigge of Ely and Sam Olson of Proctor, are both ranked as is Hunter. Robb has beaten three ranked skiers so he's right in the mix."

Evan Schreifels finished eighth followed by Landon Bruggeman in 11th and Gabe Raguse in 12th helping the Warriors to a 21-point victory over second-place Proctor.


"This was a great opportunity because we got to see half of our section teams and half of the teams from Section 7," said Ryan. "The boys winning this race, coach Hanson and I can't remember the last time we won the Grand Rapids race nor do we remember ever beating Duluth East. We beat three ranked boys team in Duluth East, Mesabi East and Ely.

"Our boys have had eight days of practice on snow and three races so they're doing an outstanding job. This was where we hoped they would be. There are so many variables in racing, but they're proving that we were pretty accurate in our expectations. These boys are very committed to working hard and pulling for each other."

Zupko's victory along with Seth Crocker's 26th-place finish led the Flyer boys to seventh place.

The Little Falls girls finished third and were led by Ameilia Kresha's ninth-place time of 19:57.4. Nica Gammon-Deering finished 13th and Molly Lange 17th.

Brainerd placed eighth with Grace Erholtz finishing 19th. Faith Watson finished 21st.

"Our girls are young and Emily Nelson, who was our top placing skier, had a concussion at our last race so she wasn't able to ski today," said Ryan. "Our top finisher was Grace, who is a freshman, and Faith Watson was right behind her. That's great for Grace and Faith to be that close to each other.

"Laura Wadsten, who suffered a knee injury earlier this year, was able to put out a great effort, too. "We're coming along."

Boys results


Team scores: 1-Brainerd 371, 2-Proctor 350, 3-Ely 344, 4-Mesabi East 325, 5-Duluth East 316, 6-Bemidji 295, 7-Little Falls 292, 8-Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 282, 9-Grand Rapids 270, 10-Hibbing 264, 11-Alexandria 187, 12-Detroit Lakes 178, 13-Moorhead 142, 14-Two Harbors 62, 15-Deer River 40, 16-Duluth Denfeld 30

Individual winner: Hunter Zupko (LF) 16:07.6

Brainerd results: 2-Robert Pike 16:08.5, 8-Evan Schreifels 16:54.2, 11-Landon Bruggeman 17:05.2, 12-Gabe Raguse 17:08.4, 27-Sam Nesheim 17:47.4, 31-Evan Storbakken 18:02.3, 32-Mac Brink 18:02.8

Little Falls results: 26-Seth Crocker 17:47.0, 38-Gunner Kleinschmidt 18:23.9, 47-Brady Waldoch 18:55.7, 55-Christian Ganz 19:28.9, 58-Colton Gottwalt 20:26.5, 64-Isaac Jackson 21:06.9

Girls results

Team scores: 1-Mesabi East 358, 2-Duluth East 356, 3-Little Falls 336, 4-Proctor/Hermantown 325, 5-Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 320, 6-Ely 311, 7-Grand Rapids 288, 8-Brainerd 274, 9-Bemidji 233, 10-Moorhead 221, 11-Duluth Denfeld 179, 12-Two Harbors 155, 13-Alexandria 128, 14-Hibbing 69, 15-Detroit Lakes 49, 16-Deer River 29

Individual winner: Anna Johnson (ME) 17:31.3

Brainerd results: 19-Grace Erholtz 20:30.0, 21-Faith Watson 20:40, 44-Laura Wadsten 22:23, 51-Maren Hadrits 23:02.1, 52-Hannah Trtanj 23:12.6, 60-Sarah Hanson 23:37.7


Little Falls results: 9-Ameilia Kresha 1(;57.4, 13-Nica Gammon-Deering 20:10.3, 17-Molly Lange 20:19.6, 29-Catherine Zack 21:07, 30-Christy Masog 21:07.7, 34-Hannah Veillette 21:16.7, 38-Alice Foote 21:30.6

Next: Brainerd, Little Falls in Alexandria Invite at Andes Tower Hills 1 p.m. Jan. 2.

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