CALLAWAY -- Going into the second half of the Section 8A girls nordic ski race on Tuesday, the Lumberjacks had to make up for 14 positions to catch Alexandria. They picked up 15, and are going to the state meet as section champions.
“I didn’t even want to look,” Bemidji High School head coach Mark Walters said of the scores. “I had heard some rumors with the unofficial results and we had done our own calculations, and I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s just way too tight to think about.’
(It was) just an incredible show of depth and integrity and courage. It was really cool. It was a very inspiring performance.”
After finishing fourth in the first session, senior Sadie Hamrin passed St. Cloud Tech’s Gabriela Hennes, Alexandria’s Stormy Hegg and Tech’s Wren Scott-Lumbar in the first kilometer, Walters said, and won the individual title by 27.8 seconds.
Kinley Prestegard made up five places from morning to afternoon to take seventh (34:40.7), while Gwendoline Youso went from 15th to 12th (35:31.9).
Alyse Stone (37:42.5) and Sarah Pollock (37:59.1) took 23rd and 24th, respectively, followed by Demi Fisher in 27th (38:30.5) and Demaris Berg in 32nd (39:14.9).
“They are pretty pumped, let me tell you,” Walters said. “They are very, very excited. To have them go to state as a team two years in a row – history in the making. We hadn’t gone to the state as a girls team (before) last year in probably 15, 20 years. And now back-to-back and an individual sectional champion is pretty impressive.”
Alexandria placed second as a team with 360 points – one behind Bemidji’s 361 – and will compete at state, as well.
In the boys race, the Lumberjacks couldn’t make up the ground needed to move into second place after the morning run, and St. Cloud Cathedral/Sartell and Little Falls took first and second to earn state meet berths.
In addition to the two teams, however, six individuals also advance to state. Bemidji senior Soren Dybing was the second on that list, taking seventh overall with a time of 29:04.8.
After him, taking 16th and 17th, respectively, for the Lumberjacks were Logan Jensen (30:13.3) and Zac Skoe (30:17.4). Nick Youso took 19th (30:44.60), Nick Palmer 22nd (30:51.5), Tommy Saxton 32nd (32:27.0) and Sam Hodgson 33rd (32:28.9).
Bemidji finished with 345 team points, falling behind Cathedral/Sartell’s 386, Little Falls’ 375 and Brainerd’s 349.
“It is fantastic to see him as a senior going back again,” said Walters.
The girls and Dybing will compete at the state meet on Thursday, Feb. 15, at Giants Ridge.
Section 8A Nordic Ski Meet
Girls Team Results
1-Bemidji 361; 2-Alexandria 360; 3-St. Cloud Tech 344; 4-Brainerd 339; 5-Moorhead 339; 6-Little Falls 338; 7-St. Cloud Cathedral/Sartell 274; 8-Otter Tail Nordic 239; 9-St. Cloud Apollo 176; 10-Willmar 167; 11-Detroit Lakes 158.
1-Hamrin 32:54.2; 7-Prestegard 34:40.7; 12-Youso 35:44.9; 23-Stone 37:42.5; 24-Pollock 37:59.1; 27-Fisher 38:30.5; 32-Berg 39:18.9.
Boys Team Results
1-St. Cloud Cathedral/Sartell 386; 2-Little Falls 375; 3-Brainerd 349; 4-Bemidji 345; 5-St. Cloud Tech 313; 6-Alexandria 310; 7-Moorhead 280; 8-Detroit Lakes 195; 9-Willmar 163; 10-St. Cloud Apollo 118; 11-Otter Tail Nordic 98; 12-Trek North 75.
7-Dybing 29:04.8; 16-Jensen 30:13.3; 17-Skoe 30:17.4; 19-Youso 30:44.6; 22-Palmer 30:51.5; 32-Saxton 32:27.0; 33-Hodgson 32:28.9.
61-Carlson 40:27.7; 66-Bergeson 45:05.4.