CALLAWAY, Minn. -- Five members of the Bemidji High School Nordic skiing team punched their tickets to state Tuesday at the Section 8 Meet at Maplelag Resort in Callaway, Minn.
Nick Youso, Logan Jensen and Louis Morrissey of the boys team, and Gwendoline Youso and and Mary Beth Mathews of the girls squad qualified for the meet as individuals.
“Bemidji kids skied their hearts out,” head coach Mark Walters said. “They really, really did. We knew there was going to be some tough battle lines drawn, especially with the girls. There was so much contention for two spots, and there were easily five very strong schools vying for those two spots.”
The Lumberjack boys nearly qualified for state as a team, but came up just four seconds shy of a top-two finish needed to advance to state. BHS and Little Falls each logged 363 points, but the Flyers won the tiebreaker due to the total time of their top four skiers. Little Falls’ top four finished in a combined time of 1:53:31, compared to Bemidji’s 1:53.35.
“What a heartbreaker,” Walters said. “We knew it was going to be tough between us and Little Falls, but to have it come to a tiebreaker is always a tough deal. … Nobody was holding back. You’ve got to give credit to Little Falls. They were going for it, too.”
On the girls side, Bemidji was denied a third consecutive team title after placing fourth with a score of 332, finishing between third-place Alexandria (364) and fifth-place Little Falls (316).
Sartell/St. Cloud Cathedral brought home the boys team title with 381 points and Moorhead secured the girls crown with 376 points, 11 ahead of runner-up Brainerd.
Still, the top six individuals outside of the state-qualifying teams make the field as individuals and the Lumberjacks will have their fair share of skiers at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
This season marks the fourth straight state meet for senior Gwendoline Youso in her high-school career. Juniors Nick Youso and Jensen, as well as sophomore Mathews, will be making their second consecutive trips to state, while freshman Morrissey is headed to his first.
“As a coaching staff, we’re very proud of the effort they put in,” Walters said. “We know they didn’t hold back. How can you not be pleased when you go through a whole year and some teams never even get a shot at taking anybody to state and we’re taking five kids to state. That’s pretty cool.”
Bemidji’s contingent of skiers will use the next week to prepare for the state meet next Thursday, Feb. 13, at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
TrekNorth fields 4 skiers
Four TrekNorth skiers represented the Sundogs at the Section 8 meet Tuesday.
David Carlson led the team with his 49th-place time of 33:55, while teammates Josh Godding (56th, 34:40) and Cade Hotzler (71st, 40:41) rounded out the boys team’s competitors.
Pamela Moen was TrekNorth’s sole girls skier, taking 59th with a time of 49:54.
Boys Team Results
1-Sartell/St. Cloud Cathedral 381; 2-Little Falls 363; 3-Bemidji 363; 4-Brainerd 349; 5-Moorhead 318; 6-Fergus Falls 296; 7-Detroit Lakes 247; 8-St. Cloud Tech 246; 9-Alexandria 237; 10-St. Cloud Apollo 187; 11-TrekNorth 127; 12-Willmar 124.
BHS Boys Individual Results
5-N. Youso 27:17; 7-Jensen 27:29; 10-Morrissey 28:49; 19-Carleton 30:00; 25-Vleck 30:26; 31-Lindgren 30:54; 37-Schollett 32:08.
Girls Team Results
1-Moorhead 376; 2-Brainerd 365; 3-Alexandria 364; 4-Bemidji 332; 5-Little Falls 316; 6-Sartell/St. Cloud Cathedral 305; 7-St. Cloud Tech 281; 8-Fergus Falls 215; 9-Detroit Lakes 187; 10-St. Cloud Apollo 173; 11-Willmar 140; 12-TrekNorth 42.
BHS Girls Individual Results
2-G. Youso 31:59; 12-Mathews 33:59; 27-DeWitt 36:35; 31-Martin 37:19; 32-Renn 37:25; 39-Krona 38:43.