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Flynn, Carl Branch qualify for state Nordic ski meet

Alexandria’s Patrick Flynn and Carl Branch punched their tickets to the state Nordic ski meet on Tuesday by leading the Cardinal boys to a fourth-place team finish at the Section 8 meet at the Maplelag Resort near Detroit Lakes.

Flynn guided the Cardinals with a fourth-place individual finish, while Branch finished in 10th place to join him at the state meet. Eric Branch was not far behind in 15th place. Dalton Struck was 27th, Casey Call 37th, Grant Rudolph 54th and Sitka Corage was 71st to round out the Alexandria boys skiers.

“We are pleased to have the finishes we did for our boys team,” head coach Jeremy Rapp said. “They work hard and believed in themselves as a team throughout the season. Big congratulations goes to Patrick and Carl on qualifying for the state competition next week.”

The Cardinal girls weren’t able to qualify anyone for the state meet. Senior Julia Sieling finished with the top time for Alexandria as she came across in 26th place. Becca Mateer was 29th, Ellie Hurlen was 34th, Lauren Hagstrom 35th, Britt Hurlen 39th, JeAnna Miller 42nd and Camille Johnson took 45th. The Alexandria girls finished seventh as a team, while Little Falls won its 10th straight section title as a team.

“Assistant coach Taylor Ellison and I are a little heartbroken that we couldn’t get a girl to qualify for state,” Rapp said. “But we liked the technique we saw from our girls throughout the day, an accomplishment we strived for from the beginning of the season. We are looking forward to seeing our group of young skiers come up through the ranks in the future.”

Skier at the section meet were faced with the challenge of skiing a 5K skate race before waiting through a two-hour delay and finishing with a 5K classic race. St. Cloud Tech won the boys’ portion of the team race. The Tigers will join the Little Falls girls at the state tournament at Giants Ridge near Biwabik on February 13.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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