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Stone sisters going to state

Brainerd Warrior alpine skier Savannah Stone, a Pequot Lakes High School senior, qualified for the state meet for the fifth straight year as she finished third in the Section 5 meet on Thursday, Feb. 7, at Afton Alps.

Stone’s sister, Alex, advances to state for a second-straight year after finishing 17th in the section downhill event. The Stones helped the Warrior girls finish third behind Blake and Minnetonka.

“It’s another new bench mark for our (program),” Warrior head coach Jim Ruttger said about Savannah’s fifth state appearance.

The only skier who could match Savannah’s state resume in the near future is her sister, Alex, who is a seventh-grader.

Savannah Stone was tied for second after her first run of 33.59 seconds. She posted the fifth fastest time on her second run of 31.71 to place third, less than a second behind Orono’s Rosie Hust, who won the section with a combined 1:04.51.

“Going into it I was nervous,” Savannah said in a Brainerd Dispatch story. “I knew I had to put two runs together, and after my first run I was tied for second and I knew that was a good spot to be in for just making it.

“Then the second run I just put another one down and moved to third. I just wanted to go 100 percent and wanted to make sure I put a run down so I had my spot. The team was in my mind, though. I knew there was a chance the team could go, too, if everyone skied great. And everyone did. We all put down good runs.”

Blake finished first with 430 points, Minnetonka recorded 429 and Brainerd’s 395.

“We could see that building all day long,” Ruttger said. “All six of our girls skied great on both of their runs. You couldn’t ask for more from our team."

Savannah finished sixth at state last year for the Brainerd program’s best finish. She placed 64th in 2011, 17th in 2010 and 72nd in 2009. Alex Stone recorded a first run of 36.95 to land in 20th place. Her second run, 34.13, was the 14th-fastest time and bumped her into 17th place.

“I think I did pretty well on my first run,” Alex said. “It was pretty good. My second run, I just really laid it down. It was one of my best runs ever."

The Warrior boys placed 11th as sophomore Gabe Gibson’s 44th-place 1:15.02. Pequot Lakes' seventh-grader Tristen Elsenpeter was 49th.

The state meet was scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 13. Updates from the state meet will be available online at

Girls team scores: 1-Blake 430, 2-Minnetonka 429, 3-Brainerd 395, 4-Orono 378, 5-Benilde-St. Margaret’s, 6-Wayzata 337, 7-Maple Grove 327, 8-St. Cloud Breakaways 276, 9-Hopkins 259, 10-Breck 249, 11-Mound Westonka 239, 12-Armstrong 236

Individual winner: Rosie Hust (Orono) 1:04.51

Brainerd results: 3-Savannah Stone 1:05.3, 17-Alex Stone 1:11.08, 21-Ashley Fitterer 1:12.44, 24-Emily Aga 1:14.00, 26-Hannah Moen 1:15.03, 31-Grace McGuire 1:17.01

Boys team scores: 1-Orono 454, 2-Blake 441, 3-Minetonka 413, 4-St. Cloud Breakaways 408, 5-Benilde-St. Margaret’s 404, 6-Breck 371, 7-Lakes Area 352, 8-Hopkins 333.5, 9-Maple Grove 308, 10-Mound Westonka 290.5, 11-Brainerd 283.5, 12-Wayzata 279, 13-Armstrong 236, 14-Anandale 214

Individual winner: Jack McNeill (Blake) 1:01.47

Brainerd results: 44-Gabe Gibson 1:15.02, 48-Ben Thoele 1:17.44, 49-Tristen Elsenpeter 1:18.77, 53-Cal Johnson 1:20.93, 64-Grant Madison 1:22.71, 66-Garett Lee 1:23.74

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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