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Journal-Press Internet Sports & School - July 20, 2017
by
Rob LaPlante

Journal-Press Sports Editor Rob LaPlante may be reached by phone at 763-682-1221 or click here to email him


Buffalo Post 270 earns top seed; knocks off C-I

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

Just one day after locking up the No. 1 seed in the Sub-State 13 American Legion Tournament, the Buffalo Post 270 baseball squad responded with an 11-0 road win Thursday, July 13 against Providence Academy.

Josh Fussy's RBI double in the top of the first started the scoring. Shortly after, Cal James gave Buffalo a 3-0 advantage with a single that plated two.

The three runs was more than enough for starting pitcher Bailey Erickson, who wiggled out of two early jams to throw four scoreless innings to record the victory.

Erickson credited the early offense for helping him settle in.

"We've been starting games off nice and hot," he said. "Getting a couple runs in the first inning helps. There's not a lot at stake these last couple games, so it's nice to be able to throw strikes and let the guys play some defense."

While Erickson continued to throw blanks, the Bison offense continued to flex its muscles. Eathan Soeffker gave Buffalo a 6-0 cushion thanks to a 2-run homer that easily cleared the 325-foot left-field fence at Loretto's Arnold Klaers Field.

With the playoffs looming, Bison skipper Jack Strong played all available bench players in the final two innings. Kurtis Kunkel didn't allow a hit in two scoreless innings in relief, and a 5-run top of the sixth gave the Bison a six-inning victory.

Ryan Chev eCouponsThe Lions were held to no runs on three hits. The victory wasn't totally meaningless as Buffalo wrapped up its second straight District 10 Wright County League conference title.

"We won the league championship with this win, so there was still a little bit at stake," Strong said. "But these guys came out and hit the ball. When these guys want to play baseball they are very good."

A league title is far from the team's main goal. Last season as the No. 2 seed in the Sub-State 13 double-elimination tournament, the Bison opened with four straight wins before losing twice to Princeton in the finals round.

Strong is hoping for another shot at reaching state, held July 27-31 at CHS Field in St. Paul.

"A lot of our guys this year were on that same team last season," Strong said. "We were a good enough team to go to state a year ago, but we made just a couple big mistakes the last couple games. It would be pretty cool to make it this year, and the guys are all looking forward to it, especially after what happened last year."

The Bison headed into tournament play riding a nine-game winning streak and 10-4 overall record. They defeated Cokato 11-1 in six innings in Monday's regular-season finale at Dassel.

It marked the third straight game the Bison have scored 11 runs. Tyler Brown doubled twice, scored three runs, and drove in two. Christian Johnson, Jacob Strong, and Soeffker each pitched two innings. Johnson was credited the win.

Buffalo finished the regular season 8-1 in the Wright County League and 11-4 overall. A road game that was postponed last June 12 at Maple Lake was forfeited by the Irish.

 

SUB-STATE TOURNEY

The Bison opened tournament play with a 10-0 win Tuesday night at Princeton over No. 8 seed Cambridge-Isanti

Erickson pitched a seven-inning shutout and improved to 6-0 for the season. Knowing there is the potential of five games in five days, Erickson knows he can't pitch every game, but is plenty confident that others will step up.

"I have a lot of faith in them," Erickson said. "We all do well at coming out and firing strikes and relying on our defense. We're good at keeping runs at a minimum for the other team, and letting our offense score some runs."

The Bison (12-4 overall) played Princeton Wednesday night at 8 p.m. in round two against defending champion Princeton (see next week for recap).

 

Buffalo 11

Providence Academy 0 (6 inn)

(Thursday, July 13 at Loretto)

Bison 2703 1 2  0 0 5  –   11  11   0

Lions0 0 0  0 0 0  –     0    3   1

BISON 270     AB  R   H  BI  BB  K

Gabrelcik        3    2    1    1    2    0

Fussy        5    1    2    1    0    2

Vega Jr.        2    1    1    0    0    0

- Uecker        0    1    0    0    0    0

James        3    1    2    2    0    0

- W. Haight        1    1    1    1    0    0

Soeffker        3    2    1    2    1    0

Kunkel        3    1    0    1    0    0

Brown        3    0    2    2    0    0

Hendel        2    0    0    0    2    0

- Bomstad        0    0    0    0    0    0

H. Brings        3    1    1    0    1    1

Totals      28  11  11  10    6    3

2B- Brown, Gabrelcik, Fussy, H. Brings; HR- Soeffker; HPB- Uecker 2, Brown, Kunkel; SB- Gabrelcik 2, Soeffker, Vega Jr., Brown, Kunkel, Haight; LOB- 9.

BISON 270       IP  H   R  ER BB  K

Erickson (W)        4    3    0    0    2    3      

Kunkel        2    0    0    0    1    1 

Totals        6    3    0    0    3    4      

TP- Erickson 60, Kunkel 17.

 

Buffalo 11, Cokato 1

(Monday, July 17 at Cokato)

Bison 2705 0 1  4 0 1  –   11  12   4

Cokato0 0 0  0 1 0  –     1    8   2

BISON 270     AB  R   H  BI  BB  K

Kunkel        1    2    0    0    2    0

- Erickson        2    0    0    0    0    0

Strong        4    2    2    1    0    0

Vega Jr.        3    2    1    2    1    0

Soeffker        3    2    1    0    0    1

Brown        2    3    2    2    2    0

C. Johnson        2    0    0    0    0    1

- Hendel        2    0    2    1    0    0

Uecker        4    0    1    2    0    1

Haight        3    0    1    2    1    0

Bomstad        4    0    2    0    0    0

Totals      30  11  12  10    6    3

2B- Brown 2; 3B- Strong; HPB- Soeffker; LOB- 9; E- Strong 2, Haight, Soeffker.

BISON 270       IP  H   R  ER BB  K

Johnson (W)        2    6    0    0    0    3      

Strong        2    0    0    0    3    4 

Soeffker        2    2    1    0    2    4 

Totals        6    8    1    0    5  11      

TP- Soeffker 42, Strong 39, Johnson 28.

 

Sub-State 13 Tourney

Buffalo 10, Cambridge-Isanti 0 (7)

(Tuesday, July 18 at Princeton)

Bluejackets0 0 0  0 0 0  0  –     0    4   5

Bison 2702 0 3  4 0 1  x  –   10  10   2

BISON 270     AB  R   H  BI  BB  K

Gabrelcik        4    1    1    0    0    0

Fussy        3    0    0    1    0    0

Vega Jr.        4    3    3    0    0    1

James        3    3    2    1    1    0

Soeffker        4    1    2    1    0    0

Strong        3    1    2    1    0    0

Kunkel        1    0    0    0    0    0

- C. Johnson        2    0    1    2    0    0

Brown        3    0    0    0    1    1

H. Brings        1    1    0    0    2    1

Totals      28  10  11    6    4    3

2B- Strong, James, Soeffker; SF- C. Johnson, Fussy; HPB- Strong; SB- Vega Jr., H. Brings, Gabrelcik; LOB- 7; E- H. Brings 2.

BISON 270       IP  H   R  ER BB  K

Erickson (W)        7    4    0    0    2     9      

Totals        7    4    0    0    2     9      

TP- Erickson 102.


Bulldogs score 31 runs in two pivotal home wins

Buffalo touches home plate 21 times in Cokato rout; second seed up for grabs in final week of league play

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

With a little over a week left in the North Star League regular season, the Buffalo Bulldogs have little wiggle room if they want to secure a top-7 seed in the Region 12C tournament.

Knowing that, Buffalo ramped up its offense to the tune of a 10-5 home win last Friday over the Loretto Larks and 21-4 home victory Sunday over the Cokato Kernals.

A three-game losing streak in early July dropped the Bulldogs to seventh place in the league standings, but a recent four-game win streak improved Buffalo's North Star League record to 11-8, and puts the Bulldogs in contention with five other teams for a shot at second place.

With only a week left in the regular season, Bulldog veteran Colton Haight knows there is little margin for error.

"Every game coming down the stretch is huge," Haight said. "Hutchinson obviously clinched the first-place spot, but teams 2-7 in the standings are all only a couple games apart."

Maybe the biggest win the past week was the Loretto victory. The Larks came in tied for third place in the standings, and were just coming off a disappointing 7-5 road loss last July 12 at Montrose/Waverly.

The Stingers' win snapped their personal 43-game losing streak against North Star League opponents.

Knowing that, Haight was unsure what Loretto squad would show up last Friday at Bentfield Mills Park.

"That's a game they definitely want to have back," Haight said. "I think we were all surprised when they dropped that game. But Montrose/Waverly is a team that doesn't have anything to lose, so losing to them, I definitely thought they would come here with more fire."

Loretto and starting pitcher Colton Petron would get the early jump taking a 1-0 lead into the bottom half of inning four.

The Larks, particularly Petron, have had Buffalo's number in recent years. Petron was the winning pitcher in an 18-2 home win over Buffalo last June 2. The loss to Loretto ended a 4-0 start to this season.

Petron was also the winning pitcher in a 4-1 Larks win last Aug. 13 in a state qualifier game in the Region 12C elimination game in Loretto.

Buffalo finally solved Petron with a five-run fourth inning. Petron was his own worst enemy misplaying a throw of Luke Merz's sacrifice bunt that allowed four unearned runs to cross home plate in the inning.

Merz was making his third straight start as catcher. The battery connection of Merz and starting and winning pitcher Carter Vogt teamed for the complete-game win. Offensively, Merz was 1-for-3 with two RBI. He went 7-for-10 with five RBI and five runs scored in the three straight games he filled in for Haight behind the plate.

"Colton and I kind of rotate between left field and catcher," Merz said. "I feel like I hit a lot better when I'm catching. I feel I can manage the game more and I'm a little more focused than when I'm in left."

The competition behind home plate doesn't seem to bother the former North Star League MVP.

"I watched him in high school and he's a good catcher," Haight said. "Putting him back there gives me a break where I don't have to catch every game. I think it gives us a better hitting lineup when he's back there and he's done a good job for us."

Haight would go back to his normal spot behind home plate with Merz serving as designated hitter in Sunday's seven-inning blowout over Cokato.

The Bulldogs torched the Kernals for a season-high 24 hits and 21 runs, which included a pair of nine-run innings in the win.

Buffalo led 9-1 after one inning and scored nine more in the fifth. Jason Senger enjoyed a monster fifth inning hitting a 3-run homer and later knocking in two more on a double. Senger finished a triple away from the cycle going 3-for-6 with five RBI.

Haight was a homer away from the cycle going 3-for-3 with a single, double, and triple. JD O'Donnell was 5-for-5 with three runs scored. Eric Newman pitched six innings to record the win.

Knowing how tight the standings are, Buffalo players felt going into the final week they needed to put a hot streak to solidify a top-7 spot for the region tournament.

"We definitely know there is little room for error – we have to keep on winning," Merz said. "But it's been nice, everybody has been staying cool and relaxed and not being afraid to make mistakes."

The Bulldogs (13-9 overall, 11-8 NSL) had three league games remaining, heading into Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. home game against Litchfield (see next week's paper for recap). Buffalo hosts Delano Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and concludes regular-season play with a 5 p.m. road game Saturday at Montrose/Waverly.

The Bulldogs' magic number, heading into Wednesday's game with Litchfield, to clinch a spot in the region tournament was one. 

 

Buffalo 10, Loretto 5

(Friday, July 14 at Buffalo)

Loretto0 0 0  1 0 0  2 0 2  –   5  10   5

Buffalo0 0 0  5 0 0  3 2 x  – 10  12   0

LARKS     AB  R   H  BI  BB  K

N. Maher        4    0    0    1    0    2   

K. Koch        3    0    1    0    1    1

T. Maher        4    1    2    0    0    0

Schaust        4    0    1    0    0    2

Schutte        4    1    1    0    0    1

VanDeHey        4    1    2    1    0    0

C. Petron        3    1    1    0    1    0

- H. Koch        0    1    0    0    0    0

Wade        4    0    1    1    0    0

H. Petron        4    0    1    2    0    1

Totals      34    5  10    5    2    7

2B- VanDeHey, Wade; SF- N. Maher; LOB- 5; E- N. Maher, T. Maher, Schutte, C. Petron, Gearin.

LARKS       IP   H   R  ER BB  K

C. Petron (L)        7   12  10    4    2    8

H. Petron        1     2    2    0    0    1

Totals        8   14  12    4    2    9  

TP- C. Petron 124, H. Petron 22.

BULLDOGS     AB  R   H  BI  BB  K

Ja. Senger        5    0    1    0    0    2

Jo. Senger        5    1    1    0    0    3

- H. Brings        0    0    0    0    0    0

Duske        4    1    1    0    1    0

Haight        4    2    3    3    1    0

O'Donnell        5    2    2    1    0    0

Renshaw        4    1    1    1    0    2

Merz        3    1    1    2    0    0

Vega Jr.        3    1    1    0    0    1

Braun        4    1    1    1    0    0

Totals      37  10  12    8    2    8

2B- Haight; HBP- Vega Jr.; LOB- 7.

BULLDOGS       IP   H   R  ER BB  K     

Vogt (W)        9    10    5    5    2    7

Totals        9    10    5    5    2    7      

TP- Vogt 120.

 

Buffalo 21, Cokato 4 (7 inn)

(Sunday, July 16 at Buffalo)

Cokato1 0 0  2 0 0  1  –   4   9   1

Buffalo9 0 0  1 9 2  x  – 21 24   0

KERNALS     AB  R   H  BI  BB  K

Asplin        2    2    1    0    1    0   

- Looft        1    0    0    0    0    0

Aho        3    0    0    0    1    0

Halonen        4    0    1    0    0    1

Pokornowski        2    0    2    3    1    0

Nelson        4    1    1    0    0    0

Barnaal        3    0    1    0    1    0

Niemala        4    0    2    1    0    1

Morris        3    1    1    0    1    1

Broberg        2    0    0    0    0    2

Totals      28    4    9    4    5    5

2B- Asplin; 3B- Niemala; SF- Pokornowski; SB- Asplin; LOB- 10; E- Niemela.

KERNALS       IP   H   R  ER BB  K

Asplin (L)     4.2   19   19  15    1    5

Looft     1.1     5     2    2    1    1

Totals        6   24   21  17    2    6  

TP- Asplin 108, Looft 30.

BULLDOGS     AB  R   H  BI  BB  K

Ja. Senger        6    2    3    5    0    0

Duske        4    2    2    2    0    2

- Euerle        1    0    1    1    0    0

Haight        3    3    3    2    0    0

- Pokorney        1    0    0    0    0    1

O'Donnell        5    3    5    1    0    0

Renshaw        3    2    1    1    1    0

- Gabrelcik        1    1    1    0    0    0

Merz        3    1    1    1    0    1

- Eckstein        2    1    0    1    0    0

Vega Jr.        3    1    1    2    0    0

- Weber        1    1    1    1    1    0

Braun        2    0    0    1    0    1

- Iano        3    1    2    2    0    0

W. Brings        2    1    1    1    0    1

Noble        3    2    2    0    0    0

Totals      43  21  24  21    2    6

2B- Duske 2, O'Donnell 2, Haight, Iano, Renshaw, Ja. Senger, Vega Jr.; 3B- Haight; HR- Ja. Senger; HBP- Haight; LOB- 6.

BULLDOGS       IP   H   R  ER BB  K     

Newman (W)        6      8    3    3    4    4

Weber        1      1    1    1    1    1

Totals        7      9    4    4    5    5      

TP- Newman 98, Weber 17.

 

NORTH STAR LEAGUE

Team              Conf     GB

Hutchinson                16-1       -    

Loretto               11-5      4.5

Howard Lake             11-6     5.0

Dassel-Cokato           11-6      5.0

Maple Lake               10-6     5.5

Delano9-6      6.0

Buffalo8-8      7.5

Litchfield7-9      8.5

Cokato               5-11     10.5

Mound              4-11     11.0

Maple Plain                3-12     12.0

Montrose/Waverly      0-14     14.5


VFW Bison sees streak come to end

Buffalo's 15-game win streak ends in key road loss at Cold Spring

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

A 3-2 loss Monday afternoon to Cold Spring snapped a 15-game winning streak for the Buffalo VFW baseball team.

More importantly, it leap-frogged both Cold Spring and Monticello ahead of the Bison for the top-3 spots in the Wright County league standings.

All the offense in Monday's game came in the first inning. Buffalo grabbed an early 1-0 lead when Jack Munsterteiger scored on an RBI single by Andrew Johnson.

The Bison's lead would quickly vanish.

Facing one of the league's hottest pitchers in Buffalo's Micah Rassat, who came in winning four straight starts – all complete games, including no-hitters against Pierz and St. Cloud Blue, Rassat and the Bison trailed 3-1 after one inning.

Cold Spring's first inning included a hit-batter, an error, three hits, a walk, and a sacrifice fly.

Rassat would settle in, pitching shutout ball without allowing a hit in his final five innings of work.

Buffalo best chance to tie the game came in its final at-bat. With the bases loaded and one out, Cold Spring recorded a key strikeout. Kai Brisk would single with two outs scoring James making it 3-2.

Bison skipper Mike Beilke elected to hold Johnson at third base rather than try and tie the game on Brisk's single.

"The ball was hit to short left field and it would have been a bang-bang play at home plate," Beilke said. "Even if we tied it, we would have needed another hit to take the lead. I didn't want the game to end on a play at home."

Cold Spring would record the final out on a pop up to the outfield.

Buffalo came into Monday's game with a 9-2 league record and a half-game lead over both Cold Spring and Monticello, who owned the tie-breaker over the Bison based on head-to-head wins.

The Bison would defeat Cold Spring later in the day with a 3-1 victory in the five-inning non-league matchup.

Prior to Monday's doubleheader, the Bison had won their 13th and 14th games in a row with a 6-2 and 3-0 road wins last Friday at Maple Lake.

Damien Biegert was 3-for-3 with three stolen bases in the game one league game. Eathan Soeffker pitched 5.2 innings to earn the win.

Cal James was 0-for-3 in game one, ending his streak of at least one hit in each VFW game he's played this season. James would go 1-for-3 in the 3-0 non-league win over the Irish. He pitched five scoreless innings to record the win.

Buffalo (21-6 overall, 9-3 league) concluded the regular season Wednesday, July 19 at St. Cloud Red (see next week for details).

The Bison most likely will receive the No. 3 seed in the North Sub-District 6 playoffs, which begins with a best-of-3 with the high seeds hosting two games on Monday, July 24.

If a game three is necessary, it will be played Tuesday, July 25 at the high seed. Monday's opponent will be determined Thursday, July 20.

Buffalo is guaranteed a spot to host Monday's playoff round, which game one will begin at 10 a.m.

"I really like our chances versus anybody," Beilke said. "Monticello is probably the team to beat. We lost to them once in the Monti Tournament and once in league play. But in both games we have yet to throw our top pitchers against them."

 

Game 1

Buffalo 6, Maple Lake 2

(Friday, July 14 at Maple Lake)

Bison0 2 1  2 0 1  0  –    6    9    1

Irish0 1 0  0 0 1  0  –    2    4    2

BISON      AB  R   H  BI  BB  K

Munsterteiger      2    0    0    1    2    1

Biegert        3    0    3    1    1    0

James        3    0    0    1    0    0

Soeffker        3    0    0    1    0    0

A. Johnson        3    2    0    0    1    0

Buscher        2    0    0    0    1    0

Brisk        3    1    2    1    1    0

L. Brings        3    1    1    0    1    0

Rassat        4    2    3    1    0    0

Totals      26    6    9    5    8    2

3B- Rassat; SF- James, Munsterteiger; SB- Biegert 3, Buscher, A. Johnson; LOB- 10; E- Buscher.

BISON        IP  H   R  ER BB  K

Soeffker (W)    5.2    4    2    1    3    3

Munsterteiger  1.1    0    0    0    2    3

Totals        7    4    2    1    5    6      

TP- Soeffker 93, Munsterteiger 27.

 

Game 2

Buffalo 3, Maple Lake 0

(Friday, July 14 at Maple Lake)

Bison0 0 0  0 3  –    3    6    0

Irish0 0 0  0 0  –    0    4    0

BISON      AB  R   H  BI  BB  K

Munsterteiger      2    0    0    0    0    0

- Soeffker        1    0    0    0    0    1

Biegert        3    1    2    1    0    0

James        2    1    1    0    1    0

A. Johnson        3    0    1    1    0    0

Buscher        2    0    1    0    1    0

Brisk        2    0    0    0    0    0

Rassat        2    0    0    0    0    1

L. Brings        2    0    0    0    0    0

Gatz        2    1    1    0    0    0

Totals      21    3    6    2    2    2

2B- Buscher; SB- Biegert, Buscher, A. Johnson; LOB- 5.

BISON        IP  H   R  ER BB  K

James (W)       5    4    0    0    2    6

Totals        5    4    0    0    2    6      

TP- James 60.

 

Game 1

Cold Spring 3, Buffalo 2

(Monday, July 17 at Cold Spring)

Bison1 0 0  0 0 0  1  –    2   11   2

Springers3 0 0  0 0 0  x  –    3     3   3 

BISON      AB  R   H  BI  BB  K

Munsterteiger      4    1    1    0    0    0

Biegert        3    0    1    0    0    0

James        3    1    1    0    1    0

A. Johnson        4    0    2    1    0    0

Buscher        4    0    2    0    0    0

Rassat        4    0    0    0    0    1

Brisk        3    0    2    1    0    0

L. Brings        4    0    1    0    0    1

Gatz        2    0    1    0    0    0

Totals      31    2  11    2    1    2

HBP- Brisk; LOB- 12; E- L. Brings, Gatz.

BISON        IP  H   R  ER BB  K

Rassat (L)       6    3    3    3    2    4

Totals        6    3    3    3    2    4      

TP- Rassat 86.

 

Game 2

Buffalo 3, Cold Spring 1

(Monday, July 17 at Cold Spring)

Bison1 1 0  0 1  –    3    9    1

Springers0 0 0  1 0  –    1    2    1

BISON      AB  R   H  BI  BB  K

Munsterteiger      2    1    0    0    0    0

Biegert        3    0    2    1    0    0

James        2    0    1    1    0    0

A. Johnson        2    0    2    0    1    0

Buscher        3    0    0    0    0    0

Rassat        2    1    1    0    0    0

- L. Brings        1    0    0    0    0    0

Brisk        2    0    1    0    0    0

West        2    0    1    0    0    0

Gatz        2    1    1    1    0    0

Totals      21    3    9    3    1    0

2B- Rassat; SF- James; HBP- Munsterteiger; SB- Munsterteiger; LOB- 6; E- Munsterteiger.

BISON        IP  H   R  ER BB  K

Buscher (W)       2    0    0    0    2    3

A. Johnson (S)      3    2    1    1    1    4

Totals        5    2    1    1    3    7      

TP- A. Johnson 46, Buscher 39.


STMA's Keefer Gatorade Girls' Track & Field Athlete of Year

In its 32nd year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced last June 22 that Anna Keefer of St. Michael-Albertville as its 2016-17 Gatorade Minnesota Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

Keefer is the first girl from STMA to win this honor. The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Keefer as Minnesota's best high school girls track & field athlete.

The 5-foot-2 sprinter and jumper captured three individual state titles this spring, leading the Knights to the Class AA state championship as a team. Keefer won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.73 seconds, the 200-meter dash in 24.13 and the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 10.5 inches. She set a state record in the long jump at the Section 8AAA True Team Meet, soaring 20-1.25, which ranked as the nation's No. 15 wind-legal performance among prep competitors in 2017 at the time of her selection.

Keefer has volunteered locally as a peer leader, a youth coach in track and field, and gymnastics, and has launched her own photography business. She has maintained a 3.63 GPA in the classroom. She will compete this fall at the University of North Carolina.

"Anna is an exceptional person who is also a very strong athlete," said STMA head coach Jason Massmann. "Her work ethic is second to none. She pairs a lot of natural ability with an incredible desire for continuous improvement."

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Keefer was able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Keefer selected the STMA Stallions Special Olympics team as the recipient of the $1,000 grant.   Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. Twelve spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.


Triathletes battle heatwave

A total of 467 cross HOLTri's finish line

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

A total of 467 indvidual triathletes and 44 teams competed in this year's 32nd Heart Of the Lakes Triathlon (HOLT) held Sunday, July 16 at Pleasant Lake City Park in Annandale.

Four area triathletes from Buffalo finished first among their divisional age groups. In the Short Course, Nick Engfer was first (51:45.60) among males ages 20-24. Debbie Christian was first (54:19.33) among females ages 45-49. 

The Short Course consisted of three races which includes a quarter-mile swim at the beach of Pleasant Lake, a six-mile bike ride, and concluding with a 2.5-mile run.

Kyle Swenson, a 15-year old from Rogers, was the overall Short Course winner in 42:38.75.

Katie Oden and Skip Fitting of Buffalo were winners in the Long Course, which consisted of a half-mile swim, 22-mile bike ride, and 5.3-mile run. Oden finished first (2:01.54.56) among females ages 20-24. Fitting was first (1:53.06.80) among males ages 60-64. Tim Bode of Buffalo finished third (1:45:52.30) among males ages 45-49.

The top overall finisher in the Long Course was Sean Cooley, 32, of St. Paul, who finished in 1:32.10.

South Haven's "Dawgs" was the Long Course winner in the team division. Team members included Sheri Budde, Nate Budde and Elizabeth Schlafke. Dawgs finished in 1:49:21.13.

Temperatures for this year's event reached the low 90s with high humidty and low winds.

 

32nd Heart of the Lakes Triathlon

Long Individual Award (winners only)

179 total finishers (100 male, 79 female)

Half-mile swim, 22-mile bike, 5.3-mile run

Female Overall

Name             City/Age      Time

Christina RobertsSt. Louis Park/311:43:08.12

Male Overall

Sean CooleySt. Paul/321:32:10.00

 

Female Masters

Name             City/Age      Time

Andrea MyersPlymouth/411:49:50.63

Male Masters

David HoldenHudson, WI/481:36:16.36

 

Female Ages 1-19

Name             City/Age      Time

Allison CrumDeerwood/192:06:53.17

Male Ages 1-19

Carter DeichmanMankato/161:49:52.66

 

Female Ages 20-24

Name             City/Age      Time

Katie OdenBuffalo/242:01:54.56

Male Ages 20-24

Stephen DennisonMaple Grove/221:52:40.39

 

Female Ages 25-29

Name             City/Age      Time

Katherine JohnsonRamsey/291:54:27.78

Male Ages 25-29

Andrew JacotSt. Paul/292:05:18.17

 

Female Ages 30-34

Name             City/Age      Time

Sarah GettyMaple Grove/342:00:11.63

Male Ages 30-34

Jon ReifschneiderMinneapolis/341:49:45.03

 

Female Ages 35-39

Name             City/Age      Time

Nicole FeistBloomington/362:04:06.89

Male Ages 35-39

Gary MetcalfAustin, TX/381:43:34.32

 

Female Ages 40-44

Name             City/Age      Time

Krisana HoffExcelsior/401:52:25.40

Male Ages 40-44

Mike BuentingChanhassen/431:41:39.83

 

Female Ages 45-49

Name             City/Age      Time

Gillian AuslanderMinneapolis/471:53:47.12

Male Ages 45-49

Greg DummerMinneapolis/461:39:16.78

 

Female Ages 50-54

Name             City/Age      Time

Sarah ParksMinneapolis/522:08:46.12

Male Ages 50-54

Randy PetersonNorthfield/511:44:36.97

 

Female Ages 55-59

Name             City/Age      Time

Jan GuentherLong Lake/581:52:30.64

Male Ages 55-59

David GoldbergMinnetonka/561:50:14.39

 

Female Ages 60-64

Name             City/Age      Time

Helen GuntherExcelsior/602:05:43.16

Male Ages 60-64

Skip FittingBuffalo/621:53:06.80

 

Female Ages 65-69

Name             City/Age      Time

Lisa WheelerBloomington/662:18:08.14

Male Ages 65-69

Mike FlynnElk River/652:06:45.34

 

Male Ages 70-74

Name             City/Age     Time

Fred RoethlisbergerRiver Falls, WI/742:56:18.95

 

Long Course Team Results

Name             City      Time

DawgsSouth Haven1:49:21.13

Sheri Budde (swim)16:28

Nate Budde (bike)54:10

Elizabeth Schlafke (run)36:30

Short Individual Award (winners only)

288 total finishers (145 male, 143 female)

.25-mile swim, 6.5-mile bike, 2.5-mile run

Female Overall

Name             City/Age      Time

Jennifer NeumanRamsey/4747:56.09

Male Overall

Kyle SwensonRogers/1542:38.75

 

Female Masters

Name             City/Age      Time

Cara PavekRosemount/4349:42.74

Male Masters

Andy ClarkNorthfield/5443:34.20

 

Female Ages 1-19

Name             City/Age      Time

Simone LundquistMaple Grove/1453:11.10

Male Ages 1-19

Isaiah BischoffMinneapolis/1447:58.17

 

Female Ages 20-24

Name             City/Age      Time

Sarah RuschmeierNew Germany/2253:44.09

Male Ages 20-24

Nick EngferBuffalo/2251:45.60

 

Female Ages 25-29

Name             City/Age      Time

Kelly RussPlymouth/2850:38.99

Male Ages 25-29

Nick TeetzelCorcoran/2545:04.56

 

Female Ages 30-34

Name             City/Age      Time

Lindsay BuchholzSartell/3453:36.22

Male Ages 30-34

Jason LarsonGolden Valley/3447:47.82

 

Female Ages 35-39

Name             City/Age      Time

Roxanne LorenzBenson/3749:15.61

Male Ages 35-39

Jonathan KellBlaine/3750:04.86

 

Female Ages 40-44

Name             City/Age      Time

Jill HughesOrono/4350:47.59

Male Ages 40-44

Chad NelsonWillmar/4149:28.46

 

Female Ages 45-49

Name             City/Age      Time

Debbie ChristianBuffalo/4654:19.33

Male Ages 45-49

Colin SmithMinneapolis/4744:39.22

 

Female Ages 50-54

Name             City/Age      Time

Lisa SpethmannSt. Cloud/5456:09.80

Male Ages 50-54

Todd WhiteRoseville/5044:41.26

 

Female Ages 55-59

Name             City/Age      Time

Laurie PaytonMendota Heights/5859:52.09

Male Ages 55-59

Jim MackMadison Lake/5746:46.61

 

Female Ages 60-64

Name             City/Age      Time

Joanne SunquistPlymouth/631:00:14.44

Male Ages 60-64

Michael BonoMinneapolis/6451:54.83

 

Female Ages 65-69

Name             City/Age      Time

Brook Lemm-TaborMinneapolis/651:03:30.85

Male Ages 65-69

Duane MillslagleSavage/6653:07.99

 

Male Ages 70-74

Name             City/Age     Time

Thomas RohmanSouth Haven/7053:08.73

 

Female Ages 75-79

Name             City/Age      Time

Judy RykkenBloomington/781:27:28.57

Male Ages 75-79

Howard BichSioux Falls, SD/771:18:04.73

 

Short Course Team Results

Name             City      Time

Team House of PizzaSt. Cloud43:48.94

Mark Nieters (swim)6:01

Eric Nacey (bike)16:53

Jodi Gertken (run)18:33


HERD travels to 'Great' lengths

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

Five days created a lifetime of memories for members of Buffalo High School's HERD summer marching band.

Making their annual every-other-year road trip, this year featured two parade marches in a 92-year celebration of the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan.

The week started out with an early morning wakeup call as band members loaded their equipment on Wednesday, July 5 at the high school for a 6:50 a.m. departure.

While Wednesday was technically a travel day, the group experienced its first memorable moment when they crossed Lake Michigan via the SS Badger.

HERD Band Director Scott Rabehl said the passenger and vehicle ferry has been in service on Lake Michigan since 1953.

"The boat was at capacity with a full load of vehicles and over 600 passengers," Rabehl said. "The crossing took nearly five hours, and was spent eating lunch, playing cards, watching the gulls, hanging out in the movie lounge, playing bingo, and taking naps."

 The band would eventually reach its destination in Michigan where they enjoyed a good night sleep in Traverse City, prior to Thursday's unjudged march in the National Cherry Festival Junior Royale Parade on July 6.

Prior to the parade, band members spent nearly three hours visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes State Park, located just off the shore of Lake Michigan.

"These massive hills of sand were deposited by the glaciers 10,000 years ago and provided hours of adventure for the students as they hiked and explored up and down these enormous dunes," Rabehl said. "Many students and adults successfully made the two-mile hike to Lake Michigan and back."

Lunch, and a visit to a public beach just up a hill from the Cherry Festival Grounds followed the state park visit.

The beach was the site of some world records, including the largest sand castle and having the most people buried in sand up to their necks while standing upright.

A skeptical band director was unsure how they would perform after a long day of travel, capped by a 10-day layoff between their last performance last June 26 in Roseville.

"My worries were poorly founded," Rabehl said. "The band was amazing from the beginning of the parade to the end. My favorite moment was watching the group march toward the buses at the very end of the route – such pride."

Emma Henne of the drumline was awarded the Golden Dinkle Award for the most outstanding performer.

Day three of the road trip kicked off with a stop on Friday, July 7 at the Interlochen Arts Camp, the premier arts camp in the country located in Interlochen, Michigan.

"Many of the finest music, dance, visual art, acting, and creative writing students in the country spend their summers here," Rabehl said. "Throughout our entire visit, we listened to the top orchestra at the camp rehearse Rimsky Krosakov's Scheherazade -- it was astoundingly good. This fine group performs a completely new concert every Sunday night. It was a motivating and inspiring visit for our young musicians."

An unnamed HERD band member shared their thoughts: "We got to hear the sound of hard work happening. It was humbling to learn how hard others are willing to work to pursue excellence in their art."

The rest of Friday was spent at Mackinac Island, where there are no motorized vehicles located on Lake Huron.

Students explored the quaint shops, walked in the woods, rode carriages and horses, road bikes, and ate fudge and ice cream.

"It was a great day of relaxation and enjoying the culture of the island," Rabehl said.

Day four was the second and final parade of the road trip. Marching the same streets as Thursday's parade, Saturday's Cherry Royale Parade was a half-mile longer.

"I am so grateful for that extra half mile," Rabehl said. "That is where we found the most excited audience members. My favorite part of the parade was marching past 'Kepler's Clappers' – a group of about 50 people with wood blocks that they slammed together in time to the bands playing. An enthusiastic audience does not begin to describe it."

Noah Schottler of the trumpet section was Saturday's Golden Dinkle winner.

The band spent the rest of the evening traveling to Chicago for the final full day of the road trip.

Sunday featured a number of memorable experiences as the group had fun visiting the 360 Chicago Observation Deck at the top of the John Hancock Tower.

Clear skies made for amazing views from the 94-story building that is elevated 1,030 feet high. Brave band members took advantage of the Tilt experience, which was a glass ledge that revolves downward that people can stand and stare high above the Chicago skyline.

The band also traveled to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

"Two and a half hours was simply not enough time," Rabehl said. "This colossal building houses hundreds of interactive exhibits that the curious students found fascinating. They operated flight simulators, got lost in a mirror maze, explored a coal mine and toured both a Boeing 727 and a German WWII U Boat.  Nobody saw it all, but everybody got a taste of this incredible museum and most were motivated to return."

The next stop was at Millennium Park for pictures at Cloud Gate, the iconic piece of Chicago public art better known as "The Bean."

"This amazing structure's reflective surface allows a near infinite variety of backgrounds for photos," Rabehl said. 

Following Millennium Park was Briar Street Theater for a performance of The Blue Man Group. This ensemble has been putting on shows since 1991, with Chicago hosting one of six permanent productions throughout the world.

"The show combines percussion, theater, rock music, comedy and performance art into an amazing visual and sonic production that BHS music students have been enjoying for years," Rabehl said. "We take in this show every time we pass through Chicago."

The day ended with a dinner, cruise and dance aboard the Odyssey II. This boat is over two hundred feet long and has four decks capable of hosting three events simultaneously.

"The view was wonderful, the meal was terrific, and the dance floor was crowed the entire time with BHS students showing off their moves in a variety of styles from line dancing to swing dancing and everything in between," Rabehl said. "It was a wonderful way to cap off an extraordinary trip."


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