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CROSS COUNTRY: Bemidji boys earn trip to state; two BHS girls qualify as individuals

The Bemidji High School boys cross country team finished second at the Section 8AA meet Thursday in Thief River Falls to qualify for state. In the front row (from left) are Nathan Alto, Ethan Maish, Bryce Kondos and Seth Lindgren. In the back row are assistant coach Nina Lubarski, Isaak McDonald, Zac Fouquerel-Skoe, Riley Berg, Gage Mostad, Nick Youso and head coach Ryan Aylesworth. (Submitted photo)1 / 2
Bemidji junior Gwen Youso (left) and eighth grader Regan DeWitt qualified for state after their finishes at the Section 8AA girls cross country meet Thursday in Thief River Falls. (Submitted photo)2 / 2

THIEF RIVER FALLS -- After a one-year absence, the Bemidji High School boys cross country team is headed back to the Class AA state meet. A pair of girls runners also qualified for state with their performances at Thursday’s Section 8AA meet in Thief River Falls.

The Lumberjack boys advanced to state five straight years from 2012 to 2016, and will return this year after their second-place finish of 60 points at Northland Community and Technical College.

Moorhead won the team title with 53 points to also qualify for state as a team. The Jacks finished 15 points ahead of Sartell-St. Stephen for the second state qualifying spot. Moorhead’s Zach Johnson won the individual title with his time of 16:26.2.

“I was very proud of the boys,” said head coach Ryan Aylesworth. “They went out and battled very good Moorhead and Sartell teams, and all the other quality teams in our section. They went out and got the race strategy we were hoping they’d be able to attain and went after things.”

Junior Gage Mostad paced the Lumberjacks with his sixth-place finish in a time of 16:59.9. He was joined in the top 10 by senior Riley Berg in seventh (17:01.5) and sophomore Nicholas Youso in ninth (17:05.9).

Sophomore Ethan Maish (17th, 17:20.7), senior Zac Fouquerel-Skoe (21st, 17:25.5), freshman Isaak McDonald (30th, 17:45.5) and freshman Seth Lindgren (49th, 18:12.6) rounded out the BHS runners. Sophomore Nathan Alto and freshman Bryce Kondos will also be joining the team at state.

Eighth grader Regan DeWitt and junior Gwen Youso will also be heading to state after qualifying as individuals on the girls side. DeWitt finished 13th overall with her time of 19:57.1, and Youso placed 15th (20:00.0) as the girls took seventh as a team with 199 points.

“Regan and Gwen ran very solid races today,” Aylesworth said. “I was very proud of them (for) battling to get into one of those qualifying spots to make the state meet.”

Rocori brought home the girls team title with 37 points, while Alexandria finished second with 52. Ingrid Buiceag-Arama of Sartell-St. Stephen won the individual title with her time of 19:17.5.

The Class AA state cross country meet will be the Lumberjacks’ destination Saturday, Nov. 3 at St. Olaf College in Northfield. The runners’ hard work paid off as they prepare to compete with the state’s best.

“The boys and girls put in a lot of work in the offseason,” Aylesworth said. “I was very happy they get the opportunity to keep going for another week and see what we can do down at state.”

Boys Team Results

1-Moorhead 53; 2-Bemidji 60; 3-Sartell-St. Stephen 75; 4-St. Cloud Apollo 132; 5-Detroit Lakes 135; 6-Alexandria 148; 7-Becker 209; 8-Foley 298; 9-Monticello 301; 10-Brainerd 312; 11-Rocori 326; 12-Fergus Falls 341; 13-Sauk Rapids-Rice 341; 14-St. Cloud Tech 342; 15-Little Falls 353; 16-Thief River Falls 365.

Bemidji Boys Results

6-Mostad 16:59.9; 7-Berg 17:01.5; 9-Youso 17:05.9; 17-Maish 17:20.7; 21-Fouquerel-Skoe 17:25.5; 30-McDonald 17:45.5; 49-Lindgren 18:12.6.

Girls Team Results

1-Rocori 37; 2-Alexandria 52; 3-Sartell-St. Stephen 100; 4-Moorhead 115; 5-Monticello 146; 6-Becker 154; 7-Bemidji 199; 8-Fergus Falls 223; 9-Brainerd 265; 10-Little Falls 281; 11-Thief River Falls 356; 12-Detroit Lakes 359; 13-St. Cloud Apollo 367; 14-Foley 374; 15-St. Cloud Tech 382.

Bemidji Girls Results

13-R. DeWitt 19:57.1; 15-Youso 20:00.0; 38-K. DeWitt 21:06.8; 57-Peters 21:52.3; 77-Morin 23:16.8; 79-Williams 23:21.4; 89-Thompson 24:02.5.

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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