BIWABIK -- The Bemidji High School Nordic skiing team didn’t quite have the day it was hoping for at the state meet Thursday, but the Lumberjacks still had a lot of to be proud of.
“Overall, I think it was a really good experience, as it should be,” head coach Mark Walters said. “We always try to enforce that you’ve got to get to the state meet first and you’ve just got to do the best you can when you get there. And I think for the most part they accomplished that.
“Some of our goals were definitely met, others we came up a little short on. But I think in the big picture it was a super positive experience again.”
The Lumberjack girls, who qualified for state as a team for the third consecutive season, finished with 193 points to take 15th in the 16-team field at Giants Ridge Recreation Area in Biwabik.
Robbinsdale Armstrong posted 412 points to claim the state championship. Wayzata senior Mara McCollor won the individual state title with an overall pursuit time of 34:51, only 1.2 seconds ahead of RA’s Lucinda Anderson.
Senior Kinley Prestegard paced the Jacks with a 64th-place finish in a time of 40:10.8. She was followed by junior Gwen Youso in 90th (41:01.8), sophomore Demi Fisher in 119th (42:39) and freshman Mary Beth Mathews in 134th (43:48.7) to round out the team’s scorers.
Other Bemidji finishers included sophomore Lily Krona in 143rd (44:46.4), senior Sarah Pollock in 148th (45:19.4) and senior Alyse Stone in 153rd (46:19.7).
“Getting there the third time, that was their number one goal,” Walters said. “What really, really pushed them was they wanted to be first in the section. … We were hoping to improve upon last year. We wanted to be somewhere between 12th and 14th. Didn’t quite meet that, but I look at the little individual parts of it, and we came up very, very pleased.”
A trio of BHS boys also competed as individuals at the state meet for the first time Thursday.
Sophomore Nick Youso led Bemidji by posting a time of 32:46.6 to place 47th overall, meeting his goal of a top-50 finish. Sophomore Logan Jensen followed in 78th (34:10.5) and senior Zac Fouquerel-Skoe in 92nd (34:28.7) for the Lumberjacks.
“Their expectations were to get the team (to state) obviously and fell a little short on that,” Walters said. “But the upshot was you get three individuals going there for the first time, and especially Zac Skoe who had missed that opportunity a couple years in a row by maybe being the number seven or eight when they only take six individuals.”
Sartell-St. Cloud Cathedral secured the boys team title with 407 points.
Senior Peter Moore from St. Paul Academy and Summit School brought home the individual crown in a time of 30:16, edging Sartell-SCC senior Alex Nemeth by one second.
Girls Team Results
1-Robbinsdale Armstrong 412, 2-St. Paul Highland Park 384, 3-Stillwater 381, 4-Forest Lake 381, 5-Wayzata 369, 6-Minneapolis Southwest 358, 7-Duluth East 350, 8-Edina 306, 9-Eastview 273, 10-Grand Rapids 269, 11-Andover 267, 12-Winona/Winona Cotter 261, 13-Brainerd 208, 14-Mora 200, 15-Bemidji 193, 16-St. Paul Central 147.