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BHS girls skiers finish 16th at state

Sadie Hamrin (306) of Bemidji skis during the MSHSL State Nordic Meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik Thursday afternoon. Hamrin finished 80th overall as the Lumberjacks were 16th out of 16 teams. (Clint Austin | Forum News Service)

BIWABIK -- The Bemidji High School girls Nordic ski team placed 16th at the Nordic skiing state championships Thursday at Giants Ridge near Biwabik. Conditions were almost perfect with sunny skies and temperatures just a touch above freezing.

The Lumberjack girls, who were making their first state appearance in nearly 30 years, earned 159 points. Ely won the girls team title with 413 points and also produced the top individual in Erin Bianco, who clocked an overall time of 32 minutes, 20 seconds.

Sadie Hamrin led Bemidji with her 80th-place finish, posting a time of 37.21.0 overall. Following the senior were teammates Kinley Prestegard (100th-37:52.7), Gwendolyn Youso (130th-40:03.2), Anna Gislason (144th-42:18.8), Quinn Schollett (147th-42:45.9), Arie Gislason (149th-42:58.5) and Sarah Pollock (158th-46:21.1).

Prestegard and Anna Gislason made some ground from the times they posted at state last season.

Kinley Prestegard (304) of Bemidji skis during the MSHSL State Nordic Meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik Thursday afternoon.

“They finished with some good personal bests,” BHS head coach Mark Walters said. “Kinley Prestegard improved from last year. So did Anna Gislason… They were quite happy. Last race of the year, not too many get to go to state.”

Pollock was utilized as an alternate after Sierra Freyholtz pulled out of the meet due to illness.

Two members of the BHS boys team with prior experience at the state meet were also in action. Timothy Youso punched in an overall time of 33:05.7 to place 113th while Soren Dybing finished not far behind in 121st with a time of 33:13.7.

“The boys actually, the two individuals, improved from last year so they were pretty pumped up,” Walters said. “I mean it was a tough day. It was really tight. The boys pursuit had 160 skiers go out in just slightly over five minutes. It might as well have been a mass start. It was just a real, real intense, packed race in the afternoon.”

Minneapolis Southwest won the boys team title with 421 points while Xavier Mansfield of Spring Lake Park-St. Anthony Village won the individual crown with an overall time of 28:23.2.

“It’s always a challenge,” Walters said of competing in a large field like at the state meet. “As you can imagine there’s 160 of the best skiers in the state and a lot of tough teams out of the south. The competition’s really tight.”

 Girls Team Results 1-Ely 413; 2-Robbinsdale Armstrong 394; 3-Minneapolis Southwest 368; 4-Stillwater 368; 5-Duluth East 368; 6-Forest Lake 361; 7-Hopkins 361; 8-Edina 322; 9-St. Paul Highland Park 297; 10-Burnsville 281; 11-Little Falls 244; 12-Eastview 235; 13-Henry Sibley 221; 14-Andover 188; 15-Maple Grove 161; 16-Bemidji 159. Boys Team Results

1-Minneapolis Southwest 421; 2-Wayzata 405; 3-St. Paul Highland Park 385; 4-Forest Lake 378; 5-Mora 347; 6-Stillwater 321; 7-Grand Rapids 315; 8-Eagan 312; 9-Duluth East 307; 10-Champlin Park 304; 11-Brainerd 273; 12-Edina 270; 13-Little Falls 259; 14-Robbinsdale Armstrong 231; 15-St. Paul Central 209; 16-Winona/Winona Cotter 200.

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

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