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Buena Vista Snowjourn: Skiers take the course for 30th annual races

Caleb Schotzko and his mother, Tammy, bring up the rear Saturday in the classic 12k Buena Vista Snowjourn. The 30th annual Snowjourn featured 75 skiers in the variable tour distance, men and women's free style and classic 12k and traditional tour with wooden skis and woolens. Pioneer Photo/Molly Miron1 / 2
Roger Jarvi, who has skied in all 30 Snowjourn events, presents the Johnson-Jarvi Snowjourn Award to Vickie Brown of the Sons of Norway for continuing support of the sport. The award is in memory of Lloyd Johnson. Pioneer Photo/Molly Miron2 / 2

From 7-year-old twin skiers Anna and Elise Carlson of Barnum, Minn., to the senior competitor Jan Niskanen, 75, of Bemidji, the mild March weather Saturday gave 75 skiers a good norning for the 30th annual Buena Vista Snowjourn.

"These kinds of events are good because they bring all ages together," said Wanda Arenz of Cass Lake.

She said her husband, John Arenz was proud to ski the traditional Snowjourn wearing woolen outerwear and on wooden skis he bought 40 years ago.

However, the winner of the traditional wooden-ski division was Leif Ronnander of Bemidji.

"I bought them at a ski swap for $10," he said.

Sponsored by the Buena Vista Logging Heritage Museum, Snowjourn is Bemidji's oldest ski event. In addition to the traditional ski division, the classic events features 12k freestyle skate-ski and classical races and a variable-distance ski tour of up to 12k. The cross trails allow skiers to create tour distances of 2k, 4k, 6k and 8k, as well as the full route.

Winners in the women's 12k freestyle skate ski competition were Bailey Drewes of Bemidji, first; Andrea Smith of Puposky second; and Molly Manske of Bemidji third. Winners in the men's freestyle division were all Bemidjians - Matt Nistler, first; Stefan Bischof, second; and Matt Lee, third.

Winners in the women's 12k classic were Alicia Papke-Larson of Bemidji, first; Linda Rogers of Guthrie, second; and Liz Letson, third. Winners in the men's classic division were Jonathan Carpenter of Bemidji, first; Kris Nielsen of Gonvick, second; and Tony Sagedahl of Bemidji, third.

Roger Jarvi, who has skied all 30 of the Snowjourn events, presented the Johnson-Jarvi Snowjourn Award, in memory of Lloyd Johnson who died in 2008, to Vickie Brown of the Sons of Norway for long-tern support and commitment to cross country skiing in the Bemidji area.