The Brainerd Warriors girls’ alpine ski team claimed the top seven spots at Warriors Invitational on Friday, Feb. 1.
Savannah Stone, a Pequot Lakes senior, won the event in 49.61 or almost six seconds faster than the rest of the field.
Stone competed the first downhill run in 25.12 seconds and a second run of 24.49. Those were the two fastest runs by anyone.
“She’s been looking better and better all year,” Warriors head coach Jim Ruttger said in a Brainerd Dispatch story. “Even today, when she wins, she usually wins by a large margin.”
Brainerd looks to be ready. Ashley Fitterer skied to a second-place 55.49. Alex Stone placed third in 57.04 and Grace McGuire, a seventh-grader, was fourth in 62.35.
“Our girls’ team has excellent depth this year,” Ruttger said. “We have the gal who can get on the podium and then we have a bunch of girls who can finish fifth through 10th and that’s how you rack up the points.
“Alex Stone is right in there, but the one who we’ve seen the most improvement from is Ashley. She was second today and was second at the Ridges. She’s been a real solid performer all year. Rarely does she ski out or have difficulties on the course.”
Brainerd’s Maddy Olson placed fifth, Molly Aga sixth and Emily Aga seventh.
“We lost Jaden Lindner (Pequot Lakes student) to a knee injury so that’s going to hurt,” said Ruttger. “But Hannah Moen has been solid all year. She had one bad run today, though. Emily Aga is right in there. Then you look at Grace (McGurie) and MacKenzie Dondelinger. Both are in their first year of high school racing. Both have done remarkably well with their lack of racing experience.”
The Brainerd boys’ team finished second, but needed a fifth-skier tiebreaker before falling by four points to Lakes Area Alpine. Brainerd’s Garrett Lee, a freshman, finished second in 59.65.
Pequot Lakes’ student Tristan Elsenpeter finished third behind Lee with a time of 62.66. Cal Johnson finished sixth in 66.33 and Grant Madison placed seventh in 71.36.
“Elsenpeter is just a seventh grader,” Ruttger said. “He’s going to be a real fun guy to watch for the next several years as he gets bigger and stronger. He’ll be a force.”
Lakes Area, which consists of Alexandria, Fegus Falls, Wheaton, West Central, Chokio-Alberta and Herman-Norcross, beat Brainerd by four points.
Brainerd is scheduled to compete at the Section 5 meet at Afton Alps at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, in Hastings.
Girls’ individual winner: Savannah Stone (Brd) 49.61
Brainerd results: 2-Ashley Fitterer 55.49, 3-Alex Stone 57.04, 4-Grace McGuire 62.35, 5-Maddy Olson 64.66, 6-Molly Aga 70.14, 7-Emily Aga 70.81, 9-Payge Fitterer 79.04, 10-Sidney Darkow 80.77, 11-Hannah Moen 82.36, 12-Rachel McKibben 87.29, 13-MacKenzie Dondelinger 115.60
Boys team scores: 1-Lakes Area Alpine 88, 2-Brainerd 84
Individual winner: Andrew Backman (Lakes Area) 59.58
Brainerd results: 2-Garrett Lee 59.65, 3-Tristan Elsenpeter 62.66, 6-Cal Johnson 66.33, 7-Grant Madison 71.36, 13-Zach Strong 90.19, 14-Grant Kosobud 90.39, 15-Logan Waidelich 92.32, 16-Grant Anderson 99.63, 17-Connor Marachalar 117.52