BIWABIK, MINN. - Ely senior Zoe Devine briefly lost her lead going into the final turn of the girls freestyle pursuit, then surged and edged past Duluth East's Lydia Kraker by barely a blink at the finish line.

Asked if she was sure she had won the high school Nordic skiing state championship on Thursday afternoon, Devine didn't hesitate.

"No," she said. "That's probably the closest race I've had."

That theme carried on to the boys race, where Benon Brattebo of Eden Prairie and Ben Lewis of Blaine came flying around the final curve ski-for-ski, both finishing in 26 minutes, 00.9 seconds — but Brattebo was credited with the victory.

"He got me by a boot," Lewis said.

It was actually Brattebo's left toe, according to a photo taken from the timing booth. The boys and girls races both were photo finishes.

The Minnesota State High School League's Nordic skiing state meet finished Thursday on a bright, 6-degree day at Giants Ridge. Skiers raced in the classic pursuit race in the morning, then started the afternoon's freestyle race staggered according to time, with the fastest going first.

Duluth East's boys and girls won team titles. The girls scored 387 points, followed by Stillwater and St. Paul Highland Park. The Greyhounds boys team had 381 points, followed by Wayzata and St. Paul Highland Park.

Devine's combined time was 30:08.7 — a tenth of a second faster than Kraker. She led after the classic, her forte, but the top 13 athletes were close, making for a concentrated start to the freestyle race.

Devine and Kraker were part of a four-skier pack with Hailee Zimpel of Elk River/Zimmerman and Greta Hansen of Math & Science Academy. They hung tight through the race, with Devine, the sixth-place finisher in 2022, setting the pace on the fast and icy course. Hansen finished third.

Kraker came into the meet with the modest goal of bettering her 21st-place finish from last year.

"It was a crazy race," she said. "Zoe had a better lunge at the end."

Prior Lake/New Prague junior Tommy Simmonds had a 14-second lead after the morning classic race. The trio of Brattebo, Lewis and Edina's Andrew Defor overtook him at a series of three hills nicknamed "The Triple Threat" early in the freestyle race.

From there, it was a battle among the three. Battebo and Lewis eventually pulled ahead, and the former relied on the strength of his sprint for a late kick. Defor finished third.

"I knew if I was coming into the stadium with Lewis, I had a good shot," he said.