Nordic skiing: Warrior boys win big - Erholtz leads Brainerd girls to second
Maxim Osborne wanted a sweep so he led the way. The Brainerd Warriors sophomore became the fourth different member of the boys squad to lead the Blue and White this season when he led a group of five Warriors across the line in Thursday's Central...
Maxim Osborne wanted a sweep so he led the way.
The Brainerd Warriors sophomore became the fourth different member of the boys squad to lead the Blue and White this season when he led a group of five Warriors across the line in Thursday's Central Lakes Conference championship at Northland Arboretum.
Brainerd's 1-5 finish led it to the team title. The Brainerd girls, led by Grace Erholtz's fourth-place finish, were second.
"I didn't really know what to expect because we don't really ski against some of these teams," Osborne said. "After the freestyle, we had the top six spots so I told my friend, I said, 'Hey, we're going to sweep the top five.' Then after the race I looked around and I asked another guy if we did it and he said we did. That was great."
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- Key: Brainerd boys sweep top five
- Conf: Warriors boys win, girls second
- Next: Brainerd in Alexandria Invite at Andes Tower Hills 2 p.m. Tuesday
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Osborne became the second Warrior to win an event. Evan Storbakken won the St. Cloud Invite and Detroit Lakes Invite.
"Last year I skied mostly junior varsity so I guess I didn't really know what to expect," Osborne said. "We've got a great group of guys. We're all training hard and pushing each other. We're all skiing well right now and hopefully we can continue that at the state meet."
Osborne won with a time of 25:31. The event started with the freestyle for which Osborne posted a 12:26, which had him in fourth place heading into the classic. That's when Osborne got a little tricky with his gameplan and went to a double pole approach, which he had never tried in an event before. It paid off as he posted the second fastest time with a 13:05.
Evan Schreifles clocked the fastest classic with a 13:03. He placed second. Andrew Wasniewski was third followed by Sam Nesheim and Storbakken for the perfect score.
Mac Brink notched the fastest freestyle at 12:21 but slipped to eighth place followed by Will Schultz in ninth. Zach Herrlich finished 11th.
The top eight skiers earned all-conference honors with places nine through 12 claiming honorable mention.
"The conditions weren't the best, but we were used to them," Osborne said. "It's good to get a little variety. I like to ski in different conditions. Sometimes you'll get a lot of snow so the conditions are a little softer like up at Giants Ridge for the Mesabi Invite. Then you get conditions like today and they're hard and fast. Today just worked well for me."
Having knowledge of the course helped Erholtz finish in fourth. The sophomore was happy with how she skied today, but admitted the conditions weren't in her favor.
"For the classic I just wanted to go out and stick with the faster skiers," she said. "I wasn't sure how things were going to go, but I was a little more aggressive because we've been practicing on this course for the past few days."
Erholtz was fourth after the classic with a time of 16:09 and skied the second fastest freestyle time of 14:04. Faith Watson, Hannah Trtanj and Gina Wasniewski placed eighth through 10th. Isabel Nelson finished 12th followed by Sarah Hanson in 13th and Callie Knapp in 15th.
"I think I skied pretty well today," Erholtz said. "The goal is to make it back to state. I really want to finish in the top 10 at sections. Last year, I just missed it. But I've been right in the middle of the Little Falls skiers all season and that's where I've wanted to be so I'm pretty confident going into sections."
Team scores: 1-Brainerd 394, 2-Alexandria 365, 3-St. Cloud Tech 350, 4-Ottertail Central Nordic 311, 5-Willmar 287, 6-St. Cloud Apollo 269
Individual winner: Maxim Osborne (Brd) 25:31
Brainerd results: 2-Evan Schreifels 25:32, 3-Andrew Wasniewski 25:35, 4-Sam Nesheim 25:36, 5-Evan Storbakken 25:55, 8-Mac Brink 26:10, 9-Will Schultz 26:23, 11-Zach Herrlich 27:15, 18-Nick Whiteman 29:35, 31-Alex Rice 32:27
Team scores: 1-Alexandria 383, 2-Brainerd 373, 3-St. Cloud Tech 370, 4-Willmar 286
Individual winner: Kaethe Schroeder (Tech) 29:40
Brainerd results: 4-Grace Erholtz 30:13, 8-Faith Watson 31:25, 9-Hannah Trtanj 31:39, 10-Gina Wasniewski 32:07, 12-Isabel Nelson 32:23, 13-Sarah Hanson 32:28, 15-Callie Knapp 32:33, 16-Sarah Nesheim 32:42, 25-Emma Storbakken 34:18, 32-Elle Juranek 35:17