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Wald, Runing rinks earn trips to junior nationals

Josh Bahr will represent Bemidji at the men's U.S. Junior National Curling Championships Jan. 29-Feb. 5 in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Serving as vice-skip, Bahr helped the Aaron Wald rink capture the championship of the Minnesota junior curling regional this weekend at the Bemidji Curling Club.

Wald finished the nine-team round-robin with a 7-1 record and won the state title without a playoff.

Finishing the round-robin with 6-2 records were the Trevor Andrews rink of Bemidji and the Tyler Runing rink of Mankato. Those teams met in a tie-breaking match Sunday evening and Runing won 10-6 to claim the tournament's runner-up spot and its reward, a berth in the national tourney.

The Andrews rink included Trevor Andrews, Nick Wagner and Mark Fenner of Bemidji.

The William Howieson rink of Mapleton finished fourth with a 4-4 record. Ending with 3-4 marks were Tanner Blagoue of Hibbing and Tony Wright of Duluth.

The Eric Johannsen rink, which included Bemidji curlers Eric Johannsen, Micah Johnson, Joel Johannsen and Brian Oakes, was 3-5 while Tayler Ausen of St. Paul was 2-6 and Noah Fiskness of Duluth went 1-7.

In the junior girls tournament Miranda Solem of Grand Rapids ended 6-1 to capture the title and Cory Christensen of Duluth was second at 5-2. Both teams will compete at nationals.

Rachel Humeniuk of Bemidji skipped the third-place team which ended 2-6 and finishing 0-6 was Courtney Osbakken of Duluth.

Minnesota Junior Curling Regional

Men's Division

Final Standings

Wald 7-1**, Runing 6-2*, Andrews 6-2, Howieson 4-4, Blagoue 3-4, Wright 3-4, Johannsen 3-5, Ausen 2-6, Fiskness 1-7

**-Minnesota champion

*-Runnerup and national qualifier

Saturday's Late Results

Howieson 12, Blagoue 3; Andrews 9, Wright 7; Runing 9, Wald 6; Johannsen 10, Fiskness 8

Sunday's Results

Runing 9, Wright 6; Andrews 7, Howieson 1; Wald 11, Fiskness 1; Blagoue 9, Ausen 6; Runing def. Johannsen; Wald def. Andrews; Howieson def. Ausen

Sunday's Runnerup Tiebreaker

Runing 10, Andrews 6

Women's Division

Final Standings

Solem 6-1**, Christensen 5-2*, Humeniuk 2-4, Osbakken 0-6

Saturday's Late Results

Humeniuk 12, Osbakken 6; Solem 12, Christensen 2

Sunday's Tiebreaker

Solem 12, Christensen 2

**-Minnesota champion

*-Runnerup and national qualifier

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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