Evan Storbakken glided his way into a second-place finish for the Brainerd Warriors boys as they finished fourth Saturday, Dec. 29 at the Northland Arboretum.
Lili Schaeffer finished in ninth place for the Brainerd Warrior girls as they completed the day in second place.
"Evan Storbakken skied strongly, making up time, but not quite catching state-ranked Mora skier Cooper Lennox on his skate leg," said Warriors head coach Chris Hanson.
"Lili Schaeffer led the girls' team with a gritty performance. The girls were simply outskied by No. 1 Bemidji, who dominated the event, with 3 of their 4 scoring skiers finishing ahead of our first."
Gina Wasniewski scored a 10th-place time of 48:15.8. Emma Storbakken landed in 14th place followed by Grace Erholtz in 15th.
"The recent snow was a fantastic Christmas gift for us," Hanson said. "The timing of the storm allowed us just enough time to get ski trails ready for what turned out to be a large meet with 365 finishers for all races.
"The start was delayed a half hour to reach Minnesota State High School League minimum competition temperature of four degrees below zero."
St. Cloud Tech's Wren Scott-Lumbar won the girls race in 42:13.6.
Lennox posted a winning boys' time of 35:07.9. Storbakken was 35:14.7.
"The low temps made for slow ski conditions for all competitors and the continuous format made for one of longest events the skiers will do at a high school event," Hanson said. "For Brainerd skiers, we had mixed results. Anyone not feeling 100% suffered in the slower snow and longer distance. We saw some more variability in results, but now have some good snow cover to get consistent skiing in and hopefully use the New Year's Break to get everyone healthy."
Maxim Osborne skied to an 11th-place finish. Mitchell Neumann placed 17th and Nick Whiteman closed out Brainerd's scoring with a 22nd-place result.
"The boys' team needs to pick up a few places among our top 4 or 5 skiers to catch the teams ahead of us," Hanson said. "We can say we were missing a solid skier in Ben Renner, who did not compete due to illness, but the other teams all had similar situations and their guys stepped up better. The section competition is looking very interesting and competitive right now."
The Little Falls Flyers boys took fifth place. Jackson Grant, their top finisher, came in fifth with a time of 37:01.2. Cormac Shanoff finished 13th followed by Simon Park in 18th.
Katie Corbett skied to seventh with a time of 46:12.5 for the fourth-place Flyers girls. Molly Lange rounded out the top 20 finishers with her 18th-place time of 51:08.4
"Our next test is a truly big meet at the Mesabi East Invitational held on the state meet courses at Giants Ridge in Biwabik," Hanson said. "It annually hosts the largest field of high school skiers of any meet in Minnesota. It will provide another test of how we are matching up not just against our conference and section competition, but against teams from all over the state."
Team scores: 1-Mora 364, 2-Moorhead 358, 3-Bemidji 355, 4-Brainerd 352, 5-Little Falls 333, 6-St. Cloud Tech 300, 7-Alexandria 251, 8-Detroit Lakes 245, 9-Willmar 206, 10-Otter Tail 159
Individual winner: 1-Cooper Lennox (Mora) 35:07.9
Brainerd results: 2-Evan Storbakken 35:14.7, 11-Maxim Osborne 39:09.8, 17-Mitchell Neumann 41:57.5, 22-Nicholas Whiteman 42:51.7, 25-Nole Robertson 43:11.6, 27-Jacob Olson 44:02.4, 29-Nicholas Porisch 44:27.1, 30-David Dewey 45:07.4, 38-Nicholas Schneider 47:46.4, 41-Atticus Osborne 48:06.6
Little Falls results: 5-Jackson Grant 37:01.2, 13-Cormac Shanoff 40:10.8, 18-Simon Park 42:13.8, 35-John Stockard 47:01.5, 36-Eli Segler 47:14.2, 44-Connor Grant 48:41.4, 46-Brett Gottwalt 49:02.1, Scott Kahler 50:13.1
Team scores: 1-Bemidji 377, 2-Brainerd 356, 3-Mora 352, 4-Little Falls 332, 5-St. Cloud Tech 329, 6-Moorhead 307, 7-Alexandria 260, 8-Willmar 203, 9-Detroit Lakes 178, 10-Otter Tail 146
Individual winner: 1-Wren Scott Lumbar (St. Cloud Tech) 42:13.6
Brainerd results: 9-Lili Schaeffer 48:10.7, 10-Gina Wasniewski 48:15.9, 14-Emma Storbakken 49:48.7, 15-Grace Erholtz 49:52.1, 20-Sarah Nesheim 52:12.8, 27-Jenna Lee 54:30.7, 37-Abby Wohl-Kovatovich 58:46.7, 47-Mari Devine 1:03:20.3, 48-Hanna Childs 1:03:21.3
Little Falls results: 7-Katie Corbett 46:12.5, 18-Molly Lange 51:08.4, 22-Adrienne Kresha 53:05.4, 25-Claire Zack 53:45.7, 31-Camilla Johnson 56:34.7, 45-Breanna Barchus 1:01:36.9, 50-Kaylee Zupko 1:03:35.8, 52-Beth Ahlin 1:05:10.3
Next: Mesabi East Invite at Giants Ridge in Biwabik 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5