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Skiers wrap up season

Session is out for the Detroit Lakes Nordic ski team as it took its finals Wednesday at the Section 8-1A meet at Camp Ripley.

As expected, the girls' team event was won by Grand Rapids, which will be a favorite to win its third-straight state title, while the boys' title was taken by Bemidji.

For the Lakers, the meet was used as a learning tool in this season of rebuilding. Two boys took part, while three girls competed on the section trails.

In the pursuit, Ben Strege finished 32nd at 38:18 and John Beaton was 40th at 41:26. DL's Emma Johnson was the first in for the girls in pursuit after finishing 33rd with a time of 33:16.

She was followed by Chelsey Cummings in 35th at 46:28 and Danie Schmoll in 38th at 51:55.

The girls finished sixth as a team and the boys seventh.

"The kids were able to get the much needed experience for the next couple of years," said DL head coach Dan Josephson. "The kids skied hard and had a good time. There is room for improvement in all of their times. The most important part of the section meet is getting to ski against some of the top competitors in the state."

All of the DL skiers were sophomores, giving the Lakers a good foundation for the next couple of seasons. And improvement is already on display.

"The average individual improvement from last year at sections was seven and a half minutes," Josephson said. "Next year, I expect to see improvements again and they all have the ability to take that next step in becoming better skiers."

The top three finishers in pursuit for the girls were all from Grand Rapids, led by senior Anna Roessler with a 34:14 time. She also won each of the classic and freestyle races, as well.

Wynn Roberts, a senior from Battle Lake, won the pursuit with a 29:39 time. He was tops in the freestyle portion of the race, while Grand Rapids' senior Mark Johnson took the classic event.

The Nordic Ski State meet will be Friday at Giant's Ridge.

Laker results

Section 8-1A Nordic ski meet at Camp Ripley, Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Boys' team results: Bemidji 754.5, Brainerd 739.5, Grand Rapids 688, Alexandria 647.5, Otter Tail 636.5, Battle Lake 347, Detroit Lakes 255.5, Long Prairie 199, Ellefson Homeschool 168, Deer River 142.5.

State qualifiers -- Top four Pursuit not on winning team: Wynn Roberts (BL) 15:44, Mark Johnson (GR) 15:23; Justin Tyner (Brnd) 17:16, Nick Mangan 17:04...Top two Classic skiers not on winning team: Titus Goodew (Brnd) 16:45, Anders Spidahl (OT) 16:54...Top two Freestyle skiers not on winning team: Hans Stadem (Brnd) 144:45, Spidahl 15:38.

DL individual results -- Freestyle: 34. Ben Strege 18:20; 41. John Beaton 19:06...Classic: 33. Strege 19:58; 40. Beaton 22:20...Pursuit: 32. Strege 38:18; 40. Beaton 41:26.

Girls' team results: Grand Rapids 786, Brainerd 720, Bemidji 711, Alexandria 689, Otter Tail 687.5, Detroit Lakes 393, Black Lake 164, Long Prairie 123.

State qualifiers -- Top four Pursuit skiers not on winning team: Jill Smith (Bem) 35:55, Hanna Stadem (Brnd) 36:18, Laura Jennen (OT) 37:24, Katherine Mueller (Brnd) 37:39...Top two Classic skiers no on winning team: Kayla LaPorte (OT) 19:54, Missy Erickson (Alex) 20:24...Top two Freestyle skiers not on winning team: Hannah McAllister (Brnd) 17:44, Kayla LaPorte (OT) 17:54.

DL individual results -- Freestyle: 36. Emma Johnson 21:25, 38. Chelsey Cummings 22:10; 39. Danie Schmoll 24:57...Classic: 29. Johnson 22:51; 34. Cummings 24:18; 37. Schmoll 26:58...Pursuit: 33. Johnson 33:16; 35. Cummings 46:28; 38. Schmoll 51:55.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.