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Bemidji HS Saturday preview: Cross country at Milaca, Soccer plays Apollo

The Bemidji High cross country teams face their biggest challenges of the season today when they run at the Milaca Mega Meet.

Formerly the Princeton Invitational, the meet is billed as the largest high school cross country meet in the nation and annually attracts upwards of 80 schools to run in a dozen or more events (six boys, six girls) in at least three classes beginning with the 7th grade and continuing through the varsity .

Bemidji has seldom done well at this event but uses the meet as a test of its progress through the first half of the year.

The boys were 14 in a 24 team field in 2008 while the girls ended 24 among 25,

None of the girls made the top 100 with Kim Truedson running the ninth grade race where she took 11.

Erik Truedson was third in the boys race, the only Jack in the top 50

The JV finished 10 led by Erik Johannsen in 20th while the seventh graders took eighth and the eighth graders 10th in their races.

With little hope of contending at the varsity level, Bemidji has frequently dropped its younger performers to the earlier races. It may well do so again today with Jenna Truedson competing in the 7th and 9th grade races and Dan Clemenson and Kevin Danielson in the sophomore event.

John Buckanaga, Alex Schoneberger, Jake Urban, Corey Huber, Justin Byers, Dylan Jones and Andy Berube will make up the boys varsity team

Kim Truedson, Bailey Drewes, Amber Solheim, Hana Felix, Alex Lyren, Betsy Richards and Chelsea Johnson will run the girls varsity race.

All freshmen will race in the freshman division and all sophs in the 10th grade race. All others will run in the JV race.

Many years ago Bemidji won the girls eighth grade title.

Jacks vs. Apollo

Both soccer teams hope to equal or better their 2008 showings with Apollo.

The boys won 2-0 while the girls tied 2-2.

The girls are home today at 1 before playing at Crookston Monday afternoon in a Lakes to Prairie contest.

They are coming off a 4-1 loss to unbeaten East Grand Forks Thursday where they were out shot 29-8 by the quicker Green Wave.

Bemidji's lone goal came from Alexa Wang on a long range bomb in the second half, one of only two shots on goal by Bemidji in the final 40 minutes.

It was her third goal and fifth point of the year.

Had the visitors put more than nine of their 25 shots on goal, the score might have been larger. As it was they lost one goal on an offside call in the first half and had their final shot carom off the cross bar as time expired.

Bemidji should make a far stronger showing today.

Against two common foes, the Eagles beat Moorhead 2-1, a team that stopped Bemidji 4-2.

But Bemidji tied Brainerd 1-1 while Brainerd spilled Apollo 2-1. Bemidji hopes the home field advantage can prove the difference.

Bemidji is 5-5-1. The JV is 1-7-2 managing only two goals in its past nine starts.

The boys are coming off their poorest showing of the year, a 4-1 loss at Hibbing in a game that saw Bemidji hold a 21-8 shots bulge.

Many of their shots were unobstructed but hit goalie Cody Johnson in the midsection rather than find the corners.

The Rylee Curb-Max Hazelton attacking duo was blanked with Matt Lee scoring the lone goal, his first of the year. Kevin Larson made only four stops. Johnson had 20.

The boys bring a 6-3-1 record to the game. The JV is 6-1-3 after shading Hibbing 1-0.

The team heads to Moorhead Tuesday for its next start.