Isanti County high school sports teams have started the fall season, with numerous teams getting in at least one contest before taking a break over Labor Day weekend.
The Cambridge-Isanti boys and girls both opened the season with a solid third-place finish at the Princeton Invitational on Thursday, Aug. 29.
The Bluejackets boys finished with 117 points, only six fewer than fourth-place Spectrum, in a meet won by Elk River.
Senior Henry Abraham led C-I with a tenth-place effort thanks to a time of 18:07.9, while sophomore Jaxon Jones was second across the finish line for the Bluejackets with an 18:39.4 clocking.
On the girls’ side, Cambridge-Isanti posted 96 points to tie Zimmerman, but earned third place thanks to a higher finish for its sixth runner. Senior Jordan Merwin led the Bluejackets with a time of 20:37.9 to finish fourth, while junior Cierra Johnshoy took 19th with a 22:30.3 clocking.
Braham had one girl and one boy run in the varsity meet at Princeton. On the girls’ side, senior Leah Wickeham placed 62nd with a time of 25:25.1, while junior Kevin Laman took 85th in the boys’ race with a 21:26.7 clocking.
Cambridge-Isanti has started slowly this season, losing its first four matches. The Bluejackets began the year with a 3-1 home loss to PACT on Aug. 22, then two days later suffered a 5-3 loss in a high-scoring affair with Brooklyn Center.
C-I then went on the road and fell twice, dropping a 4-2 decision at Proctor on Tuesday, Aug. 27, before losing 2-0 at Zimmerman on Thursday, Aug. 29.
Junior Alex Thompson has scored two of the Bluejackets’ six goals and also has an assist. Senior Tahtan Kassa has worked hard to keep Cambridge-Isanti in its first four contests, recording a whopping 37 saves.
Cambridge-Isanti has jumped out to a solid 3-2 start, including a pair of shutout victories to begin the season. The Bluejackets claimed a 2-0 win over Zimmerman and a 3-0 shutout of Rockford before losing 1-0 to Big Lake in the championship match of a tournament at Zimmerman Aug. 22-24.
C-I then slammed Proctor 5-1 in the home opener on Tuesday, Aug. 27, before suffering a narrow 3-2 loss at Forest Lake two days later.
Senior Alexa Sutherland scored both goals in the win over Zimmerman, while junior netminder Laurna Arends has recorded two shutouts.
The Cambridge-Isanti girls are off to a 4-2 start, with wins over Sartell, Andover, Cloquet and Mora. The two losses are to Annandale and Grand Rapids; the Grand Rapids setback included narrow three-set losses at both first and third doubles.
The Bluejackets also played at the Delano/Orono Invitational on Thursday, Aug. 22, and saw the team of Maddie Pynes and McKenzie Rafftery take second place at first doubles.
“This tournament includes some of the top tennis programs in the state; it’s a very challenging tournament, and every one of our players won at least one match,” coach Lee Orvik said.
Orvik also praised the play of Chloe Hajek, who has posted an 8-2 record at first singles to begin the season.
“That’s an outstanding start, especially when you consider she is playing the best player from every team,” he said. “One of the players she beat was the No. 1 from Annandale, who played in the Class A State Singles Tournament last year.”
Braham has gotten off to a slow start, posting an 0-3-1 record at the Royalton Invitational before suffering a 3-0 loss to Royalton on Tuesday, Aug. 27, in the home opener.
The Bombers suffered losses to Foley, Pine City and Pierz in the Royalton tournament before playing to a 1-1 tie in a two-set match against Staples-Motley.
Cambridge-Isanti has split its first two matches this season. The Bluejackets opened on the road with a 3-0 loss to Rochester Mayo on Friday, Aug. 23, but bounced back to sweep three sets from Princeton at home on Thursday, Aug. 27.