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Alpine Skiing: Warrior boys advance to state along with Kalenberg, Chaney

The Brainerd Warriors competed in the Section 5 finals at Wild Mountain.

Boy downhill skiing
Brainerd Warrior Gavin Hoelzel skies to a ninth-place finish Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in the Section 5 meet at Wild Mountain.
Contributed photo

TAYLORS FALLS — Gavin Hoelzel’s ninth-place time of 1:03.78 paved the way for the Brainerd Warriors to finish second in the Section 5 Finals Tuesday, Feb. 8, at Wild Mountian and advance to the state meet.

Along with the boys’ team, Lauren Kalenberg and Calia Chaney of the Warrior girls’ team also advanced.

The Brainerd boys landed four skiers in the top 19 as Esten Hiebert placed 15th in 1:04.75 followed by Sean Baumann in 18th and Parker Linn in 19th.

“What a nerve-wracking afternoon it was,” Warriors head coach Jim Ruttger said. “We knew coming in after the morning run that we were sitting pretty solid in second. We’ve known those four guys, if they ski to their capabilities in any given race, that we’re going to be really tough competitors. It’s been rare that that has happened all season. We’ve had a number of times where one of the four has gone down and our No. 5 skier has had to pick up the points we needed.

“Today, was just a phenomenal day. We had 12 skiers, six boys and six girls, and they all had flawless runs. There were no bobbles or issues with anything. We couldn’t have expected a better day from these kids. They all did great.”

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Emmett Johnson finished 44th and Logan Omberg 46th for the Warrior boys, who will be making their second-straight state appearance.

“Historically when it comes to section meets our kids put it together and usually ski as well as we expect them to,” Ruttger said. “We had a great day of training Monday. We were able to get on the race venue and spent a couple of hours looking at a couple of different course sets. That was a real confidence builder.”

Girl downhill skiing.
Brainerd Warrior Lauren Kalenberg skies to an 11th-place finish Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in the Section 5 meet at Wild Mountain.
Contributed photo

The Warrior girls finished fifth behind section winner Minnetonka and runner-up Blake.

Kalenberg placed 11th and will attempt to earn her third straight all-state honors. She recorded a time of 1:04.90 and was followed by Chaney’s 14th-place time of 1:05.83. This will be Chaney’s second state appearance.

The top two teams and the next 10 individuals not on those teams advanced to state.

Hannah Taylor was 23rd and Piper Grillo placed 38th for Brainerd’s 333.5 points.

“It was just a very satisfying day,” Ruttger said.

Boys team scores: 1-Minnetonka 396, 2-Brainerd 355, 3-Orono 340, 4-Wayzata 322, 5-Benilde-St. Margaret’s 298, 6-Mound Westonka 292, 7-Hopkins 285, 8-Northwest 275, 9-Annandale 246, 10-Champlin 232, 11-Lakes Area Alpine 210, 12-Breck 205, 13-Blake 189, 14-Robbinsdale-Armstrong 164, 15-Detroit Lakes 163, 16-St. Cloud Breakaways 156, 17-DeLaSalle 78
Individual winner: Josh Nelson (West Lutheran) 58.80
Brainerd results: 9-Gavin Hoelzel 1:03.78, 15-Esten Hiebert 1:04.75, 18-Sean Baumann 1:05.57, 19-Parker Linn 1:05.84, 44-Emmett Johnson 1:11.75, 46-Logan Omberg 1:11.94

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Girls team scores: 1-Minnetonka 389, 2-Blake 369, 3-St. Cloud Breakaways 365, 4-Orono 352, 5-Brainerd 335, 6-Hopkins 327, 7-Benilde-St. Margaret’s 313.5, 8-Wayzata 302.5, 9-Mound Westonka 256, 10-Annandale 225, 11-Northwest Alpine 178, 12-Breck 174, 13-Champlin 171, 14-Lakes Area Alpine 141, 15-Detroit Lakes 134, 16-DeLaSalle 123, 17-Robbinsdale Armstrong 117.5

Individual winner: Riviera Wock (Orono) 1:00.77

Brainerd results: 11-Lauren Kalenberg 1:04.90, 14-Calia Chaney 1:05.83, 23-Hannah Taylor 1:07.18, 38-Piper Grillo 1:09.9, 42-Aubrey Wiczek 1:10.84, 60-Amanda Trusty 1:18.68Next: State Meet at Giants Ridge Golf and Ski Resort, Biwabik, Feb. 16.

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