In order to determine which ski team rival, Little Falls or Bemidji, would advance to state after the two teams tied with 363 points at the Section 4A Meet at Maplelag near Detroit Lakes, Tuesday, the teams would have to go to a tiebreaker.
The team totals are the added points from where the top four racers on each team placed in the 10K pursuit. The tiebreaker is total time of those four racers.
Thanks to a number of fortunate circumstances, the Flyers finished four seconds faster than the Lumberjacks, advancing them onto state for the second consecutive year.
According to coach Mattia Hendrickson there were several factors leading to the tie and subsequent close tiebreaker, including: Jackson Grant and Ethan York both were forced to sprint to the finish to narrowly beat the person they were sprinting; John Stockard had another skier fall on his ski, and knock it down a hill, which forced him to retrieve it and put it back on, which cost valuable time; Ethan Yorek’s binding broke during the skate race, and he had to stop and fix it, again costing time.
The Flyers were led by Jackson Grant’s third place time of 26:19, followed by an eighth place finish from senior Cormac Shanoff (27:56).
Ethan Yorek was 13th with a 29:22, Connor Grant was 17th with 29:54 and Stockard was three seconds behind him in 18th place.
Thomas Zupko (26th) and Eli Segler (30th) also raced for the Flyers.
The Flyers girls came up short of state, finishing with a fifth place total of 316 at the meet.
However, coach Hendrickson said it was the best the Flyers had finished in regard to section opponents all season.
Little Falls was led by senior Adrienne Kresha’s 17th overall place finish. She had a time of 34:43.
Senior Claire Zack finished 22nd with a 35:34, and Beth Ahlin was right behind her in 23rd at 36:06. Senior Camilla Johnson came in 26th place with a 36:33 finish.
The other Flyers who raced were Abigail Borash, Kaylee Zupko and Breanna Barchus.
The Flyer boys will compete in the state meet at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik, Thursday, Feb. 13.