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Pat Miller: This week at Bemidji High School - Truedson, Sagedahl head to state meet

The first state competition of the winter season will be Thursday as the Minnesota State High School League hosts the Nordic ski meet and Bemidji will have representatives in the girls meet.

Jenna Truedson and Morgan Sagedahl qualified for the state meet at Giants Ridge by finishing among the leaders at last week’s Section 8 competition at Detroit Lakes.

Both BHS athletes are familiar with the state scene as they participated in the meet last winter. Truedson finished 66th a year ago while Sagedahl was 87th.

“Their goals will be to improve upon last year’s placements,” said Bemidji coach Mark Walters. “Jenna’s ultimate goal is to earn All-State honors with a top-25 finish but it would be great if she could get in the top 40 or so.

“Morgan’s goal is to improve to the top 60 or so. We’ll have to see if they can accomplish those goals. It will depend upon how strong the competition is,” Walters added.

The Arctic blast that has hovered over Minnesota this year has limited Bemidji’s practice and competitive opportunities but the Lumberjacks made the most of the conditions.

“We’re lucky if we get nine or 10 meets in a year and this winter we missed only two events,” Walters said. “But what we missed out on was quality time on the snow because of Mother Nature. With the school closings and days where it was nine or 10 below, it was difficult for us to get into a practice routine.

“But every team had to deal with the same issues.”

Truedson and Sagedahl will receive a school-wide sendoff 9:30 a.m. today when they will walk the state tournament gauntlet through the halls of the high school. Thursday’s competition begins at 11 a.m. with the 5-kilometer freestyle leg. At 2:30 p.m. they will ski the 5-kilometer skating portion of the competition.

Season ends

The girls hockey team saw its season come to a close Saturday when the Lumberjacks lost 5-0 at Buffalo in the Section 8-2A quarterfinals.

BHS was the seventh seed while Buffalo was ranked No. 2 in the section and No. 20 in the state. The Bison took a 2-0 lead in the first period and Bemidji never caught up.

The Jacks finished the winter 8-11-5 and were on a hot streak to end the regular season, posting a 4-0-3 record down the stretch.

In Saturday’s other section contests Roseau blitzed River Lakes 6-0, St. Cloud outlasted North Wright County 3-2 in four overtimes and Sartell blanked Moorhead 2-0. Today’s semifinals find top-seeded Roseau hosting No. 3 St. Cloud and third-ranked Sartell visiting Buffalo. The section title game will be Friday at a neutral site.

Down to the Wire

The boys hockey team will close its regular season this week as it hosts Brainerd on Tuesday and entertains Thief River Falls on Friday. The Jacks are coming off Saturday’s 5-1 victory at St. Cloud Tech and enter the final week with a 10-12-1 record.

Today’s game is the final section contest prior to Wednesday’s seeding meeting and a victory would help BHS in its bid to host a playoff game. The section seedings will be determined by a vote of the coaches but those decisions could be influenced by the QRF rankings.

Heading into the final week Roseau leads the Section 8-2A QRF with a 98.8 score. Brainerd is second at 90.9 and Moorhead is third at 87.8. The Jacks and Buffalo are tied for fourth at 73.8.

Trailing the leaders are St. Cloud Tech (73.3), Monticello (71.6), River Lakes (50.2) and Becker (49.8).

The section tournament begins Saturday with a play-in game and on Tuesday the quarterfinals will be held at the homes of the top four seeds. The section meet continues Feb. 22 with the semifinals and will conclude with the championship game Feb. 26.

Bemidji’s basketball teams continue to find victories very elusive. On Saturday both the boys and girls squads lost at home to Alexandria.

Today they will both head to Moorhead. The boys team (2-18) will tangle with the Spuds at 5:30 p.m. while the girls team (3-15) will face Moorhead at 7:30 p.m. On Thursday the girls will host Detroit Lakes and on Friday the boys will entertain St. Cloud Tech. Saturday sees the boys traveling to Sauk Rapids.

The gymnasts, fresh off a 140-point effort at Detroit Lakes in the regular-season finale, will head to Moorhead on Friday for the Section 8-2A meet.

The wrestlers also will begin their postseason this week as BHS hosts the Section 8-3A team tournament on Saturday. The Jacks ended their regular season Monday at Fosston and will take a 15-5 record into the section competition.

The swimmers and divers have the week off and they will spend it tapering for the section meet which is Feb. 21-22 at Alexandria.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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