BY PAT MILLER
Kyle Sagedahl just missed his goal of finishing in the top 50 at the state Nordic ski race Thursday as the Bemidji High School junior completed the course in 32:24.7 and placed 52nd.
His twin brother, Tony, was 61st in 32:45.9 and improved upon last year's 83rd-place finish.
The state course at Giants Ridge consisted of a 5-kilometer freestyle skate in the morning and a 5-kilometer classic leg in the afternoon.
Kyle Sagedahl completed the skate portion in 15:36 and had a time of 16:48.7 in the classic leg.
Tony Sagedahl's times were 16:06 in the skate and 16:41.9 in classical.
"Both Tony and Kyle feel very good about their performances and they both have much to be proud of," said BHS coach Mark Walters. "Both of them did nice jobs. Among the section athletes who qualified for state they were third and fifth and that is a very good accomplishment."
Ben Saxon of Lakeville North blew away the competition with a 13:43 in the free, a 15:09.2 in the classic and a combined time of 28:52.2. His nearest challenger was Jake Richards of Detroit Lakes who finished in 29:42.6.
The state meet featured 119 skiers.
Charlie Banks Relay
Wednesday at Giants Ridge the state ski coaches held the annual Charlie Banks relay for athletes who did not qualify for the state meet.
Bemidji entered a team in both the boys and the girls competitions and both finished 20th in a 40-team field.
Each athlete skied three kilometers.
In the boys race Tanner Asper and Sam Dwyer skied the classical leg while Eli Rassler and Adam Holter handled the skating duties. Asper finished his leg in 8:31.4, Dwyer in 7:21.1, Rassler in 6:41.1 and Holter in 6:08.1. Their combined time was 28:41.7.
Southwest won the boys race in 26:15.1.
In the girls division Bemidji finished with a time of 35:48.4. Handling the classic legs were Jenna Truedson (9:50.0) and Maari Stocker (9:56.6). Skiing the skate legs were Summer Johnson (8:05.3) and Morgan Sagedahl (7:56.5).
Wayzata won the race in 31:36.5.