Led by a medalist performance from senior Logan Jensen, Bemidji boys Nordic skiing captured the Section 8 team crown with a score of 385 on Tuesday at Maplelag Resort. The Bemidji girls finished just one place out of a team state bid with a 3rd place showing, but had two individuals reach the state meet.
Jensen was the lone boys racer to go under 10 minutes in the classical half of the event, finishing with a time of 9:59.93. His time of 11:41.58 in the skate half was also the best in the field, giving him a combined total of 21:41.51 that was a hair under 13 seconds better than Little Falls’ Jackson Grant. Bemidji senior Nick Youso was not far behind in third with a time of 22:05.69, providing more valuable points to the Lumberjacks’ team score.
Jack Mueller (24:04.99) and Cameron Carleton (24:17.69) finished seventh and eighth respectively for the Lumberjacks, further adding to what was a 14-point advantage over Little Falls in the team event. The Flyers’ team score of 371 secured a second-place finish ahead of Brainerd’s 366 in third.
Bemidji’s strong team performance extended beyond the scoring racers, with Seth Lindgren in 11th place, Sam Schulze in 12th, and Louis Morrissey just behind in 14th.
The Bemidji girls’ team score of 350 saw them come up just shy of reaching the top two qualifying spots for the state meet, as Brainerd captured the title with a score of 384 ahead of Alexandria at 363. Mary Beth Matthews and Ella Simula each punched tickets to the state race, with Matthews finishing ninth with a total time of 31:59.28 and Simula placing 13th on a time of 32:41.87.
Madeline Simula (32:48.82) was just behind in 14th, followed by Kate Martin (33:09.79) in 18th, Anna Renn (33:41.26) in 23rd, Regan DeWitt (33:42.18) in 25th, and Grace Carleton (37:15.00) in 58th.
Bemidji’s entire boys team, along with Matthews and Ella Simula, will now compete in the state Nordic ski meet at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik. The girls race will take place on March 11, with the boys to follow on March 12.