Nordic Skiing: Warrior girls win, boys 2nd
BEMIDJI — Sarah Nesheim and Gina Wasniewski earned a first-place finish in the relay to push the Brainerd Warriors girls to victory at the Bemidji Invite Saturday, Dec. 14.
Noah Schaeffer and Eli Knapp finished fifth in the relay for the second-place Warrior boys.
This event incorporated a two-person sprint relay to mimic what will be a new Nordic state meet format in 2022.
“The sprint event, popularized by the 2018 first-ever US Nordic Gold effort lead by Minnesota's own Jessie Diggins, added an additional strategizing component for choosing the varsity team lineups,” Brainerd co-head coach Chris Hanson said. “Bemidji's sprint component, a four-lap, 1.3-kilometer loop, proved to be exciting for racers and spectators.”
Hanson said the duo of Wasniewski and Nesheim along with two Moorhead teams distanced themselves quickly in the A relay. In the end, it was Nesheim out racing Moorhead’s top skier for the top spot.
Brainerd’s second relay of Ellie Brown and Cally Robertson also scored team points by making the A relay.
Liliana Schaeffer won the 5K freestyle race with a time of 15:03.8 followed by Elle Juranek in third, Callie Knapp in fifth, Emma Storbakken in sixth and Isabel Nelson in the eighth.
“The combined girls' effort produced a convincing victory over the northern and western section rival teams,” Hanson said.
Nole Robertson recorded a third-place finish for the Brainerd boys. He was followed by Atticus Osborne in fourth, Ryan Cady fifth, Nick Porisch sixth and Braden Capelle seventh.
“The boys’ team surprised themselves with a close second place to the host team,” Hanson said. “Bemidji's top two boys dominated the 5k race, but Brainerd, lead by Nole Roberston, put all their racers in places 3-8. It wasn't quite enough to catch the Lumberjacks as Noah Schaeffer and Eli Knapp of Brainerd finished 5th in the sprint finals while Bemidji scored 2 teams (2nd and 6th) in the A sprint finals.”
Team scores: 1-Bemidji 94, 2-Brainerd 85, 3-Moorhead 72, 4-Detroit Lakes 46, Fergus Falls 36, Trek North 36
Individual relay winner: Jack Lee-Zaine Braaten (Moorhead)
Brainerd relay results: 5-Noah Schaeffer-Elias Knapp
5K results: 1-Nick Youso (Bem) 12:28.4, 3-Nole Robertson 14:10.8, 4-Atticus Osborne 14:32.2, 5-Ryan Cady 14:32.9, 6-Nick Porisch 14:55.4, 7-Braden Capelle 15:27.7
Team scores: 1-Brainerd 100, 2-Bemidji 88, 3-Moorhead 80, 4-Fergus Falls 47, 5-Detroit Lakes 34
Individual relay winner: Sarah Nesheim-Gina Wasniewski (Brainerd)
Brainerd relay results: 5-Ellie Brown-Cally Robertson
Brainerd 5K results: 1-Lilly Schaeffer 15:03.8, 3-Elle Juranek 15:49, 5-Callie Knapp 16:11.8, 6-Emma Storbakken 16:37.0, 8-Isabel Nelson 17:53.6
Next: Brainerd at Fergus Falls Invite 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 19.