A steady wind from the northwest did not deter the high school skiers who began their 2010-2011 campaigns Saturday at the Montebello Relays hosted by Bemidji at the middle school.
"The course was hard-packed and fast," said BHS coach Mark Walters who devised the format which featured two-person teams alternating laps of classical and skating techniques.
The Lumberjacks, Little Falls and Brainerd each raced six teams (two boys, two girls and two mixed) and when their combined times were tabulated Little Falls was the winner with a total time of 2:59:15.65. Bemidji was second with 3:04:17.61 and Brainerd third with 3:14.49.94.
Competing with partial teams were Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes, Deer River and Trek North.
John Buckanaga and Tony Sagedahl formed Bemidji's top boys relay team as they finished fourth in 27:35.45. Teammates Kyle Sagedahl and Sam Dwyer captured fifth in 27:48.15.
The home team added a third boys tandem to the mix and Devin Danielson combined with Trent Buckanaga to place seventh in 29:53.82.
Trek North had one boys team in the competition and Josh Larue and Abe Nisley finished ninth in 30:20.02.
Brainerd's top tandem of Zean Baker and Riley Nelson won the boys race in 25:33.26.
The girls winner was the duo of Matia Hendrickson and Chelsea Rutz of Little Falls and the pair finished in 30:08.59.
Bemijdi's Laura Yourd and Alicia Papke-Larson teamed for third in 31:46.94 and teammates California Thorson and Mari Eggebo were seventh in 36:28.96.
Lumberjacks Bailey Drewes and Adam Holter captured the mixed relay with a time of 27:47.57. Bemidji's Kim Truedson and Andy Berube placed seventh in 32:50.54 while Kaitlin Bakker and Andy Gustafson of Trek North were fourth in 29:44.0.
"I'm very happy with how we skied," Walters said. "For the first meet of the year our performances were very good."
Saturday's meet was Bemidji's lone pre-Christmas action. The Lumberjacks will resume their schedule Dec. 28 at Deer River.
At Middle School Trail
Little Falls 2:59:15.65, Bemidji 3:04:17.61, Brainerd 3:14:49.94. Incomplete: Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes, Deer River, Trek North
Boys relay: 1-Brainerd 25:33.26. Bemidji's results: 4-Bemidji (J. Buckanaga, T. Sagedahl) 27:35.45; 5-Bemidji (K. Sagedahl, Dwyer) 27:48.15; 7-Bemidji (Danielson, T. Buckanaga) 29:53.82. Trek North result: 9-Trek North (Larue, Nisley) 30:20.02
Girls relay: 1-Little Falls 30:08.59. Bemidji's results: 3-Bemidji (Yourd, Papke-Larson) 31:46.94; 7-Bemidji (Thorson, Eggebo) 36:28.96
Mixed relay: 1-Bemidji (Drewes, Holter) 27:47.57. Other Bemidji: 7-Bemidji (Truedson, Berube) 32:50.54. Trek North result: 4-Trek North (Bakker, Gustafson) 29:44.0
Junior Varsity Results
1-Marty (TN) 16:09.48. Bemidji's results: 11-Scholl 17:38.43; 15-Brokl 18:10.23; 16-Johnson 18:24.25; 24-Heisler 20:28.82; 25-Connell 20:38.78; 26-Mangiamele 21:12.45; 32-Olson 24:26.99; 33-Tix 26:58.24. Other Trek North: 3-Roen 16:36.47; 4-Roy 16:36.85; 7-Lash 16:43.30; 19-Boston 19:24.80; 23-Lash 19:53.77; 32-Heltzer 25:44.83
1-McNamara (LF) 13:59.36. Bemidji's results: 2-Rassler 13:59.73; 3-Wednchuk 14:00.58; 9-Chatterton 14:22.49; 14-Asper 14:52.02; 15-Hewitt 15:03.67; 17-Molnar 15:25.41; 19-Armstrong 16:16.70; 23-Trudeau 16:50.71; 24-Sweep 16:55.80; 25-Zaccangino 16:59.73; 26-Conner 17:51.02. Trek North results: 4-Simpson 14:01.42; 21-Thavis 16:31.29; 27-McAllan 19:49.23