SPORTS & SCHOOL
Journal-Press Internet Sports & School -September 11, 2014 Rob LaPlante
Journal-Press Sports Editor
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Zitur earns bronze medal at World Triathlon in Canada
By Rob LaPlante
While most people use Labor Day weekend as one final opportunity to cherish the summer vacation, Corcoran native Cheryl Zitur spent the weekend representing the United States of America at the TransCanada Corp. World Triathlon Grand Final in Edmonton, Alberta.
Not only did she represent the USA, but she brought home a bronze medal with a third-place finish (2:22.41) in the female 50-54 age group. Over 2,900 tri-athletes from 79 different countries took part in the Grand Final, which held a number of different races from Aug. 26-Sept. 1.
Zitur, who will turn 50 in September, qualified for her first international world event after a seventh-place finish (2:18.08) in the female 45-49 age group on Aug. 10, 2013 at the USAT Nationals in Milwaukee, Wisc.
Only the top 18 racers at nationals qualify for the World Triathlon, held each year during Labor Day weekend. Zitur said the entire experience was something she’ll never forget.
“This was my first time qualifying in nine years of racing,” she said. “To be able to represent your country is really cool. It’s kind of like being a 50-year old in the Olympics.”
Growing up in the town of St. Joseph, Zitur first got her passion for racing as a swimmer while attending St. Cloud Cathedral High School. She went on to swim at the collegiate level while attending St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul.
It wasn’t until her early 40’s that she decided to participate in triathlons. She has been a regular participant each summer in the Buffalo Triathlon. On June 1 this past year, Zitur finished first overall in the Sprint Course with a time of 1:04.38. It was the first of three races she won the past year. She also took first for her age group in the Maple Grove Triathlon Sprint Course (1:20.02) on Aug. 24, 2013, and first in the Graniteman Clearwater Triathlon Sprint Course (1:12.12) on July 12, 2014.
“I’ve had a successful year,” Zitur said. “I guess I have good genetics. It takes a lot of hard work. I work out year round, but train my hardest in April. I did a lot of swimming in college and high school, but I enjoy the biking the most.”
One of the most exciting moments from her trip to Edmonton on Labor Day weekend wasn’t necessarily the race itself. Her entire family, including her husband Dave, her oldest son Chris, middle son Jon and youngest son Ben, also made the trip to Canada.
“That was really neat to have the whole family there,” Zitur said. “My son Jon got engaged to his girlfriend Amy while we were there. They went hiking in the mountains and that’s when he proposed to her.”
Jon graduated from Buffalo High School in 2008, and was a star goalie on the Bison boys’ hockey team. He recently competed in the Ironman Wisconsin held last Sunday, Sept. 7 in Madison, Wisc. Cheryl’s youngest son, Ben, is currently a junior at BHS. Ben is also a goalie on the boys’ hockey team, and was a key member of the Bison boys’ team that qualified for the Class AA state tournament last spring. Chris graduated from Totino-Grace in 2004.
Cheryl said the Grand Final race in Edmonton is tied for her most memorable moment as far as a tri-athlete.
This past August, she qualified for next year’s World Triathlon Grand Final held in Chicago after finishing third in the 50-54 age group with a personal record time of 2:15.08.
“I got pretty emotional this past year at nationals when I crossed the finish line in 2:15,” Zitur said. “That and the bronze medal at worlds are memories I’ll never forget.”
Bison make impression in 34-7 defeat
By Rob LaPlante
The Buffalo Bison football squad may be taking baby steps in becoming a team to be reckoned with this season in the Mississippi 8, but don’t tell that to Rogers’ senior running back Gunnar Bloom.
Even though the No. 6 ranked Royals improved to 2-0 with a 34-7 road win, spoiling the home debut for Buffalo head coach Todd Bouman, Buffalo still left Cummings Field last Friday, Sept. 5 feeling good about themselves, particularly for holding the reigning conference most valuable player in check.
A week after torching North Branch for 228 total yards and four scores, Bloom was held out of the end zone and ended the night with just 62 yards rushing on 15 carries as well as 21 yards through the air. After the game, Bloom said he was impressed with the new-look Bison team.
“Buffalo was impressive,” Bloom said. “With the new coaching staff, you could sense the energy from the crowd and the players had a sense of urgency. They will be a team that grows through the season and will be very dangerous as the season goes on.” On a night when the Royals top gun was held scoreless, senior fullback Jake Owens punched in two key scores, including the game’s first points with 4:26 left in the first quarter giving Rogers a 7-0 lead after 12 minutes.
Rogers head coach Marc Franz said it’s not unordinary to see players other than Bloom step up in pivotal situations.
“That’s expected,” said Franz, on everyone pulling their weight in the lineup. “We don’t really feature one player. Gunnar is obviously a special player and I’m excited that he’s on our team. But we always strive to get balance among the people we have on offense.”
Squeezed between the two Owens’ scores, were second quarter touchdowns thrown by a pair of different quarterbacks. Caleb Reese connected with Adam Heyer for a 12-yard strike, and with just 39 seconds left in the half, Andy Borchardt hit Drew Sagehorn for a 30-yard connection that gave the Royals a 20-0 lead to end the first half.
“Converting right before halftime was a big one,” Franz said. “Sagehorn made a play on that catch, and that was a big part of the win. The scoreboard was not indicative of how competitive the game was. It was a good hard hitting game being played.”
It was the second week in a row the Bison defense has allowed a late score to end the half. Bouman said those are the little things the team still is trying to fix, but noted that huge steps were taken from the previous week’s 42-0 loss at No. 3 ranked STMA.
“The defense was flying around, gang tackling, rallying to the ball. They played a great game,” Bouman said. “It is tough coming out playing these two great teams right away, but it lets us know where we stand. We got a lot of work to do, but I’m very pleased with the kids. They keep working hard.”
While the defense was forcing Rogers to earn everything they got, the Bison offense was relatively stagnant for most of the first half. It took until the 4:30 mark of the second quarter when senior quarterback Taylor Spier connected with senior Wide receiver Zach Dahl on a 19-yard pass completion to finally move the chains for the first time in the contest.
Spier would later set up junior wide receiver Gavin Welch for a 24-yard gain to give the Bison their first red zone opportunity of the season. However, on a first-and-goal, a pass attempt in the end zone tipped off the fingertips of junior Gavin Welch and into the hands of the Royals’ Bloom. It was the third interception of the season for Spier.
“Offense did some great things,” Bouman said. “But one or two mental mistakes and it ended up killing our drive. Much like I told them last week, you have to keep building, keep building and keep building.”
The Royals would convert the only turnover in the game into seven points, on the second of two Owens scores. Late in the third quarter, the Royals sideline and fans got a scare when Bloom was injured on a play, and walked gingerly off the field. Bloom said afterwards that he was temporarily shaken up, but was held out of the rest of the game for precautionary reasons.
Junior fullback Cole Hyde opened the fourth quarter by breaking free for a 55-yard rushing score to give the Royals a 34-0 advantage.
It wasn’t until the second to last drive of the game that the Bison were able to finally register their first points of the season. Spier hit senior running back Jonny Senger for a 25-yard pass completion. Later that drive, Spier converted a third-down play that ended with a 29-yard rush that set up a first-and-goal at the four yard line.
After a negative play that resulted in a loss of a yard, the Bison finally punched one in the end zone when Spier found Dahl for a 5-yard passing score. Afterwards, Dahl rushed to midfield to leap into the arms of his excited teammates.
“That felt really good,” Dahl said. “Last week, we didn’t get any points up on the board, and the last drive, we just told ourselves that we were going to get one here and get some momentum for next weekend in Big Lake.”
Dahl finished the night offensively with four receptions for 51 yards and a score. He was also one of the reasons for shutting down Bloom, and the high-powered Royals offensive attack.
“I didn’t even know until after that we kept (Bloom) off the scoreboard,” Dahl said. “He’s a great player and I have nothing but great things to say about him. But to keep him off the scoreboard after scoring four TD’s in week one is something to say.”
Buffalo (2-0) will finally get a team not ranked in the top 10 in Class 5A when they travel to Big Lake (0-2) for a showdown this Friday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m.
Similar to last season, the Bison were coming off losses to both STMA and Rogers and recorded their first win in week three in a 35-7 home win over the Hornets. Senger posted career-high, 106-yards rushing with a score that game and former running back Hunter Thompson would have his coming out party, scoring the first two of his team-high 10 touchdowns in 2013.
While Big Lake is also winless in 2014, they have lost a couple of hard-fought games. They were defeated 28-23 in week one by Mississippi 8 Red Division champion Chisago Lakes. And last week, the Hornets dropped a 35-27 affair at Princeton, who qualified for the Class 4A Prep Bowl in 2012.
“Regardless of who we play, we just have to keep working and keep getting better,” Bouman said. “Like I told the guys, each week we have to keep getting better. We were a little better than we were last week. Next week we have to better than we were this week, and just keep building. We’ve only been doing this for four weeks. It’s a whole new offense, whole new defense. I’m just very proud of the kids.”
Rogers 7 13 7 7 -- 34
Buffalo0 0 0 7 -- 7
First quarter scoring:
R - Jake Owens 1 run (Justin Bohnsack kick), 4:26
Second quarter scoring:
R - Adam Heyer 12 pass from Caleb Reese (2-point conversion failed), 4:46
R - Drew Sagehorn 30 pass from Andy Borchardt (Bohnsack kick), 0:39
Third quarter scoring:
R - Owens 5 run (Bohnsack kick), 5:29
Fourth quarter scoring:
R - Cole Hyde 55 run (Bohnsack kick), 9:17
B - Zach Dahl 5 pass from Taylor Spier (Jared Alexander kick), 3:17
Passing - Andy Borchardt 11-16-124, 1 TD; Caleb Reese 1-1-30, 1 TD.
Rushing - Gunnar Bloom 15-62; Cole Hyde 4-59-1; Isaiah Fofanah 4-32; Cole Flander 5-27; Adam Heyer 5-25; Jake Owens 6-15-2; Blayne Kasper 2-14; Travis Limoseth 3-13.
Receiving - Heyer 4-53-1; Cole Murray 4-32; Drew Sagehorn 1-30-1; Bloom 3-21.
Passing - Taylor Spier 11-24-126, 1 TD, 1 INT.
Rushing - Spier 12-9, Zach Dahl 2-9, Hunter Brings 1-2, Jonny Senger 1-(-1), Zach Wurm 1-(-16).
Receiving - Dahl 4-51, Senger 1-25, Matt Montplaisir 1-20, Wurm 1-11, H. Brings 1-8, Gavin Welch 1-5, Tyler Johnson 1-5, Tom Bean 1-1.
STMA swims past Bison 105-80; divers making big splash
By Rob LaPlante
Kasey Roberts no longer is around to dominate Mississippi 8 pools in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke events. But with six players off last year’s Section 8AA championship team gaining state tournament experience, the St. Michael-Albertville girls’ swim-dive team showed they still have enough firepower to make a run at a fourth straight conference title.
After sharing the conference title with Buffalo in 2011, the Knights have gone undefeated in the Mississippi 8 the past two seasons. Even with Roberts, a 2012 state-champ in the 200-individual medley, no longer in the picture, STMA’s deep and talented lineup showed in a 105-80 road win last Thursday, Sept. 4 at Buffalo Community Middle School.
Trailing 36-26 after four events, Bison junior Rachel Bertram and freshman Alex Zeiss registered the top two one-meter dive scores to pull Buffalo within 42-36. Bertram had her best score of the season with a 218.35. Zeiss registered a 174.90 and sophomore Lauren McHenry was sixth with 132.90.
In the team’s opening loss Aug. 28 at Elk River; Zeiss finished first, Bertram second and McHenry third. Bertram said she’s happy with the fast start this season for the divers, but in no way is there competition to see who the best is.
“We like to pump each other up,” said Bertram, on her relationship with Zeiss, along with the other divers McHenry, and sophomores Allie Swearingen, Allie Wingrove and Emily Van Tassel. “But it’s not like a competition or anything like that. It’s not like I have to go out there and try and beat them.”
STMA was notably down a bit this season in the diving competition. No longer without top diver Jessie Metz, Bertram said the Bison divers were confident they could win this year’s event. She said the key to impressing the judges is all in technique.
“The judges like the harder dives, but I think it’s all about the takeoff and landing,” Bertram said. “Me personally, I like doing front doubles and back one halves. I don’t really have a favorite dive, though.”
With the meet somewhat up for grabs, the Knights pulled away with four straight first-place scores and the meet went into exhibition for the second time in as many meets for the final event, the 400-freestyle relay.
Bison head coach Melissa Miller said the opening two meets have shown a lot of positive results, but improvements will still need to come in some of the more physically demanding events.
“One of the things I said at the beginning of the season is we need distance people and breaststrokers to be stronger,” Miller said. “It’s always a struggle in the beginning of the season, because we didn’t have very many swimming in the off-season. It usually takes a few weeks to get the endurance back up.”
Eighth-grader Jordan McGinty is one of a handful of swimmers who did swim in the off-season. McGinty finished first in the 50 freestyle in 26.13 and second in the 100 butterfly in 1:03.18.
Senior captain Lauren Kaminski and junior Mika Bordak also had first-place times; Kaminski in the 100 backstroke (1:05.67) and Bordak in both the 100 breaststroke (1:11.90) and 200-individual medley (2:21.61).
Bordak’s 200 IM win was the first time in four years the Bison have won that event over STMA. Roberts was a 3-time state qualifier in the 200 IM. Despite missing some key seniors, Miller said STMA is still head and shoulders the team to beat in both the conference and section.
“They just have such great depth,” Miller said. “Everywhere we looked, they always had someone right there with us, or faster than us. I was hoping to give them a good fight, and I think we did in some events.”
Buffalo’s next dual meet is Thursday, Sept. 11 against another strong team in Monticello. Miller thinks the difficult opening schedule will be a good thing as time moves forward.
“The end of the season is our goal,” she said. “It will be nice to start competing against some more comparable talent, but for now it’s been a good eye opening experience to show the girls where they need to be at the end of the year.”
STMA 105, Buffalo 80
(Thursday, Sept. 4 at Buffalo)
200 Medley Relay: 1. STMA (Carly Roberts, Emma Lezer, Kristen Pieper, Lexi Heil) 1:53.86; 2. Buffalo (Lauren Kaminski, Mika Bordak, Taylor Susa, Jordan McGinty) 1:55.95; 5. Buffalo (Kaitlyn Schendel, Kia Hanson, Sarah Kolling, Ashlee Hale) 2:11.92.
200 Freestyle: 1. Kristina Swenson (STMA) 2:05.90; 2. T. Susa (B) 2:06.61; Hayley Schendel (B) 2:17.80; 5. Kathleen Tierney 2:28.80.
200 Individual Medley: 1. Bordak (B) 2:21.61; 5. K. Schendel 2:35.15; 6. Kolling (B) 2:38.47.
50 Freestyle: 1. McGinty (B) 26.13; 5. Hale (B) 28.44; 6. Kenzi Laumann (B) 28.97.
1-Meter Diving: 1. Rachel Bertram (B) 218.35; 2. Alex Zeiss (B) 174.90; 6. Lauren McHenry (B) 132.90.
100 Butterfly: 1. Lezer (STMA) 1:00.06; 2. McGinty (B) 1:03.18; 3. Susa (B) 1:04.60; 6. Kolling (B) 1:09.10.
100 Freestyle: 1. Roberts (STMA) 56.89; 4. H. Schendel (B) 1:01.02; 5. Lydia Berg (B) 1:05.33; 6. Hale (B) 1:10.45.
500 Freestyle: 1. Lezer (STMA) 5:31.23; 2. Kaminski (B) 5:49.23; 5. Tianna Kosek (B) 6:20.67; Laumann (B) 6:39.48.
200 Freestyle Relay: 1. STMA (Kristina Swenson, Jenna Kocon, Roberts, Heil) 1:45.49; 3. Buffalo (Kolling, H. Schendel, Hale, Laumann) 1:58.20; 5. Buffalo (Abby Becker, Celeste Goodwin, Cat LaCasse, Laura Danielson) 2:07.35.
100 Backstroke: 1. Kaminski (B) 1:05.67; 4. K. Schendel (B) 1:09.35; 6. Madison Nelson (B) 1:12.23.
100 Breaststroke: 1. Bordak (B) 1:11.90; 5. Goodwin (B) 1:33.83; 6. Becker (B) 1:41.73.
400 Freestyle Relay: 1. Buffalo (Susa, Kaminski, Bordak, McGinty) 3:51.96.
Bison seventh at Shakopee; Johnson sets record
Volleyball senior setter breaks 17-year old assist mark
By Rob LaPlante
While the Buffalo volleyball team continues to grow and develop half its roster, one veteran player was busy re-writing the record book as the team’s all-time career assists leader.
Senior captain Sammy Johnson broke a 17-year old record held by former Bison and University of Minnesota-Duluth volleyball standout Tammy Wermager (BHS 1997 graduate). Johnson went into last Saturday’s Shakopee Tournament needing 31 assists to break Wermager’s school record of 1,782.
Johnson set the mark in Buffalo’s third match of pool play, a 25-17, 26-24 loss to Willmar. She finished the match with 20 assists. Afterwards, Johnson had no clue that she set the record, but was thrilled upon later finding out the news.
“I think it’s really rewarding knowing I was the one to break the record, especially knowing Tammy had the record for so long,” Johnson said.
It’s probably not surprising that she set the record. Three of her four years on the varsity squad were spent next to Class of 2014 graduate Kylee Zumach, the all-time school leader in kills (1,812) and points (2,148).
“Having Kylee around really helped me get there,” said a smiling Johnson.
As for the Shakopee Tournament, the Bison went 0-3 in pool play, losing 2-0 in consecutive matches to Shakopee (25-12, 25-21), Rochester Mayo (25-13, 25-18) and Willmar (25-17, 26-24). Buffalo finished the tournament in bracket play with a seventh-place finish thanks to a 2-0 victory against Duluth East (25-11, 25-11).
The eight-team tournament didn’t lack its share of talent. No. 1 rated Bethlehem Academy of Class A defeated the No. 1 ranked team in Class 3A and the defending Class 3A state champion Eagan Wildcats 2-1 in the championship match.
“Bethlehem Academy is a state powerhouse,” said Buffalo head coach Lauri Zumach. “It was a very strong tourney. It was good for us to get there and gain the experience.”
While the results didn’t look promising, a number of different individuals contributed over the weekend. Senior Hannah Daniel continues to be the team’s top attacker, but first-year varsity players Taylor Thompson, a sophomore, and freshman Kari Zumach continue to show improvements each game.
“We continued to change our lineup all weekend,” Coach Zumach said. “We played (junior) Paige Dalbec a little more in the match against Duluth East.”
Dalbec finished the match with the Greyhounds with five kills. But the story of the weekend was Johnson. She finished the tournament collecting 67 assists in four matches and currently holds the record at 1,816 heading into Thursday’s 7 p.m. home match against Chisago Lakes.
“We have a close group of seniors who have provided us good leadership,” Coach Zumach said. “They have played together a long time, and I think it was special for her to reach that milestone with that group.”
BISON OVER BIG LAKE
The first conference test of the season resulted in a 3-1 home win last Thursday, Sept. 4 against Big Lake (25-16, 17-25, 25-19, 25-16).
Daniel led the way with 20 kills and 10 digs. After a poor service game two nights before in a 3-0 home loss to Chanhassen, the Bison delivered eight service aces, led by three from senior Tori Weber. Johnson had 34 assists and 10 digs. Zumach and senior Bailey Brownlee each had seven kills. Zumach also had two solo blocks.
“Tori did a great job at the service line,” Coach Zumach said. “Thompson served 23 times. We’ve worked in practice on having more serves with a lot less errors.”
Buffalo 3, Big Lake 1
(Thursday, Sept. 4 at Buffalo)
Hornets 16 25 19 16 - 1
Bison 25 17 25 25 - 3
Kills: Hannah Daniel 20, Kari Zumach 7, Bailey Brownlee 7, Tori Weber 4, Sammy Johnson 2, Emma Simonson 2.
Digs: Daniel 10, Johnson 10, Taylor Thompson 8, Weber 6, Zumach 2, Simonson 2, Payton Speckel 1.
Assists: Johnson 34, Brownlee 2, Weber 2.
Blocks-Solo: Zumach 3-2, Weber 2-0, Simonson 1-0, Daniel 1-0, Borwnlee 1-0.
Aces: Weber 3, Daniel 1, Brownlee 1, Johnson 1, Speckel 1, Thompson 1.
Bison tennis turning tables with 3-0 conference start
By Rob LaPlante
This year’s Bison girls’ tennis team is breaking a few trends from the past couple years.
Two weeks after defeating Rosemount for the first time in school history, Buffalo improved its conference record to 2-0 after a 4-3 home win last Thursday, Sept. 4 over Cambridge-Isanti.
The victory was particularly sweet being the Bluejackets got the best of Buffalo a year ago.
“Cambridge beat us 5-2 last year,” said Buffalo head coach Charley Keifenheim. “They graduated a lot of good players, but they still are a high quality team.”
The Bluejackets came into the meet 6-1 overall and 1-0 in the conference. Two of the wins came against Foley and St. Michael-Albertville. Foley was ranked No. 10 in this year’s Class A pre-season poll and the Knights finished fourth in the conference a year ago, but had a 14-6 overall record.
What has become the norm this season, Buffalo took three of four points in singles play. Youngsters Claire Stevens and Mya Lubben - both freshmen - won at No. 3 and No. 4 singles. Senior captain Jen Allen won her opening set, but fell at No. 2 singles 6-2, 3-6, (7-10). At that point of the match, the Bison had already clinched the fourth and deciding point thanks to junior Claudia Botzet pulling out a 6-2, 6-4 victory in the No. 1 spot.
After bouncing back and forth between the singles and doubles lineup, Botzet said she’s happy to contribute wherever the team needs her. Her sophomore season, she strictly was a No. 1 singles player for the Bison. This year, she’s spent time at No. 1 doubles, as well as split time with Allen rotating between No. 1 and No. 2 singles.
“No. 2 players are usually way more consistent,” Botzet said. “No. 1 players try and hit more winners against each other. The No. 2 match always goes way longer than the one match. But that could be too, because I like to play fast. I don’t like playing long, so I just try and push the point all the time. Jen and I are really even players, though.”
The lone hiccup this year for Buffalo has come in doubles play. The Bison have struggled to find points in the 2-3 doubles spots. Cambridge-Isanti took both points in those two spots with relative ease in straight sets.
Keifenheim said doubles play has been a bit of a struggle, but losing one of their top doubles players in senior captain Megan Doose has been a big reason for those problems.
“She sprained her ankle a while back, and she’s a big part of our lineup,” Keifenheim said. “That definitely makes the doubles weaker. She went to Wisconsin with us, but we didn’t have her. She should begin playing soon, though.”
Doose returned to the lineup for Tuesday’s match, a 5-2 road win Sept. 9 at Chisago Lakes. While she and junior Sydney Brandes were defeated 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles, the Bison won the match by sweeping all four singles points.
Buffalo (8-5 overall) puts its 3-0 conference record on the line Thursday, Sept. 11 with a 4 p.m. home match against Monticello. Saturday, Sept. 13 at 9 a.m. they host Becker, Mound-Westonka and Waseca in the Buffalo Invite.
Buffalo 4, Cambridge-Isanti 3
(Thursday, Sept. 4 at Buffalo)
Singles: No. 1 Claudia Botzet (B) def. Jade Newman 6-2, 6-4; No. 2 Kate Hanson (CI) def. Jen Allen 2-6, 6-3, 10-7; No. 3 Claire Stevens (B) def. Kenzie Niedzielski 6-2, 6-0; No. 4 Mya Lubben (B) def. Lily Marlton 6-1, 6-2.
Doubles: No. 1 Mattie Lubben/Abby Wyatt (B) def. Jade Lamb/Emily Baker 6-4, 6-4; No. 2 Emily Logan/Abigal Schoeneck (CI) def. Sydney Brandes/Alicia Hackworth 6-3, 6-2; No. 3 Victoria Kosel/Abby Benson (CI) def. Mackenzie Malewicki/Molly Jungwirth 6-2, 6-2.
Buffalo 5, Chisago Lakes 2
(Tuesday, Sept. 9 at Chisago Lakes)
Singles: No. 1 Claudia Botzet (B) def. Isabelle Clasen 6-3, 6-0; No. 2 Jen Allen (B) def. Amy Budde 6-0, 7-5; No. 3 Claire Stevens (B) def. Hannah Gillach 6-4, 6-4; No. 4 Mya Lubben (B) def. Hailey Thorsen 6-2, 7-5.
Doubles: No. 1 Mattie Lubben/Abby Wyatt (B) def. Quinncy Zupko/Danielle Dahlheimer 6-2, 7-5; No. 2 Shelby Houfer/Katelyn Sargeant (CL) def. Megan Doose/Sydney Brandes 6-2, 6-1; No. 3 Renae Ingalls/Sierra Stendahl (CL) def. Molly Jungwirth/Alicia Hackworth 6-2, 6-2.
Girls 12th, boys 8th at Bauman/Rovn
By Rob LaPlante
After their opening meet was cancelled on Aug. 29 due to lightning, the Buffalo girls’ cross country team finally got its feet wet with a 12th place finish at the Bauman/Rovn Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 6 at Gale Woods Farm in Hopkins.
The Bison finished with 297 points with an average team time of 17:24.6. Highlighting the meet for Buffalo was a pair of youngsters. Freshman Amanda Montplaisir and Erica O’Borsky burst onto the varsity scene late last season, and this year the two are expected to be the team’s top two runners. Montplaisir finished the race as Buffalo’s top runner, but more impressive was her finishing 19th overall in 15:49.7.
Five of the 15 teams at the invitational were ranked among the top-13 teams in Class 2A. Willmar won the meet with a score of 35 points and is currently the No. 2 ranked team in 2A. Eden Prairie was second and is ranked third, Minnetonka was third and is ranked fourth, Lakeville South was fourth and ranked 11th, and Chaska was fifth and ranked 13th. Finishing just two spots ahead of the Bison for 10th place was No. 3 rated Perham of Class A.
“We knew we had three really good runners on the girl’s team coming into the season,” said Bison coach Dave Knutsen. “Erica and (junior) Jillie Golden ran well together, and Montplaisir ran really well; 15:49 for the Hopkins course with the humid conditions was a good race.”
O’Borsky and Golden finished second and third, respectively, for the Bison. O’Borsky was a distant second, finishing well over a minute behind Montplaisir’s time with a 17:05.7. Golden was third with 17:10.1. Junior Macey McClay and freshman Meredith Reynolds rounded out the top five scorers. Senior captain Shyanne Lambrecht battled through some pain, but finished sixth and junior Leighton McAlpin was seventh.
Knutsen said the girl’s squad has a lot of young talent, but in order to compete, other girls besides the youngsters will need to step up.
“The girl’s team will go as far as our 4-7 runners can take us,” Knutsen said. “We are going to have to have other girls step up for us to challenge for the conference, or the section.”
A week removed from a middle-of-the-pack finish of 15th place at the 29-team, season-opening meet Saturday, Aug. 29 at the St. Olaf High School Showcase, the Bison boys’ cross country squad posted similar results finishing eighth overall out of 15 teams at last Saturday’s Bauman/Rovn Invite.
No. 4-ranked Hopkins in Class 2A won both the St. Olaf and Bauman/Rovn Invites, finishing with 25 points and a time of 16:44.9. Like the girls’ race, Hopkins, Eden Prairie, Chaska and Chanhassen were all among Class 2A’s top-12 ranked teams. Perham boys’ finished 10th overall and are ranked No. 4 in Class A.
Senior captain Frank Graham finished 18th overall and was Buffalo’s top finisher with an overall time of 17:36.0. The state’s No. 2 rated runner Joe Klecker of Hopkins finished first overall in 16:04.8. Bison junior Jake Kluver finished second to Graham in 18:16.0. Eighth-grader Issac Basten finished his second straight meet as Buffalo’s No. 3 runner in 18:22.8. Also scoring in the top five were seniors Clayton Decker and Erik Worner. Seniors Joe Slicer (18:40.2) and Reed Morehouse (18:41.9) failed to score, but finished neck-and-neck for 66th and 67th place overall.
“It was kind of a tough day for the boys,” Knutsen said. “We did not run poorly, we just were not focused. When you change sleep patterns, nutrition patterns, the time of day you’re running, heat and humidity, and add in a tough course; then you say ‘go’, it makes for a tough race.”
Buffalo did finish one spot higher than ninth-place Chaska, who is rated No. 11 in Class 2A.
“As our athletes will acclimate to these conditions, I believe we will run much better,” Knutsen said.
Both squads are back in action at 4 p.m. this Thursday, Sept. 11 at the Hutchinson Invitational at Lake Marion County Park.
Bauman/Rovn Girls’ Invitational
(Saturday, Sept. 6 at Gale Woods Farm)
Team Scores: 1. Willmar 35, 2. Eden Prairie 50, 3. Minnetonka 89, 4. Lakeville South 125, 5. Chaska 141, 6. Hopkins 190, 7. Robbinsdale Armstrong 210, 8. Chanhassen 223, 9. Mounds View 231, 10. Perham 249, 11. Rochester Century 269, 12. Buffalo 297, 13. Bloomington Jefferson 347, 14. Park Center 354, 15. Elk River 409.
Top 3 Individual: 1. Anastasia Korzenowski (Chanhassen) 15:05.6; 2. Samantha Hanson (Willmar) 15:14.8; 3. Elizabeth Klecker (Hopkins) 15:16.7.
Bison Finishes-Overall: 1-19. Amanda Montplaisir 15:49.7; 2-50. Erica O’Borsky 17:05.7; 3-55. Jillie Golden 17:10.1; 4-79. Macey McClay 17:56.0; 5-94. Meredith Reynolds 19:01.3; 6-102ex. Shyanne Lambrecht 19:35.7; 7-103ex. Leighton McAlpin 24:07.8.
Bauman/Rovn Boyss’ Invitational
(Saturday, Sept. 6 at Gale Woods Farm)
Team Scores: 1. Hopkins 25, 2. Eden Prairie 81, 3. Chanhassen 124, 4. Rochester Century 125, 5. Robbinsdale Armstrong 140, 6. Minnetonka 167, 7. Eastview 206, 8. Buffalo 207, 9. Chaska 257, 10. Elk River 260, 11. Perham 275, 12. Willmar 280, 13. Lakeville South 291, 14. Bloomington Jefferson 402, 15. Park Center 420.
Top 3 Individual: 1. Joe Klecker (Hopkins) 16:04.8; 2. Owen Hoeft (Hopkins) 16:31.9; 3. Tyler Koblilarcsik (Chanhassen) 16:44.9.
Bison Finishes-Overall: 1-18. Frank Graham 17:36.0; 2-44. Jake Kluver 18:16.0; 3-47. Issac Basten 18:22.8; 4-48. Clayton Decker 18:24.5; 5-50. Erik Worner 12:26.8; 6-66(ex). Joe Slicer 18:40.2; 7-67(ex). Reed Morehouse 18:41.9.
Buffalo erupts for seven goals in 7-0 win over Princeton; Eastlund goal lifts Bison past Cats
By Rob LaPlante
The Buffalo boys’ soccer team hasn’t been able to celebrate too many lopsided victories of late, but a 7-0 home win last Thursday, Sept. 4 against Princeton was its biggest margin of victory since a 7-1 road win over Spectrum on Sept. 4, 2012.
While the Bison dominated territorial edge the opening 40 minutes, they only held a narrow 1-0 lead into the half on a goal scored by junior midfielder Tristan LaPlant.
“He stole one,” chuckled Bison head coach Jeff Lindstrom. “It was rolling in already. It should have been (senior) Tyler Bruder’s; instead he ended up with the assist.”
The Bison could have easily been frustrated after scoring just two goals in their three previous losses, but instead of giving in, Buffalo kept up the attack and the final 40 minutes resulted in a six-goal outburst and senior goalie Jerame Schuetzle recorded a one-save shutout win in goal.
The Bison got goals from junior Jon Eastlund, senior Jake Jungwirth, sophomore Reniel Christianson, senior Luke Folkerds and two from junior Miguel Arroyo Hernandez. Jungwirth’s goal came as a result of a penalty kick.
Lindstrom said it was a relief to see his team finally break out offensively, and it was particularly nice having a cast of different characters contribute.
“We’ve been creating chances, but it’s nice to finally finish on our share of chances,” Lindstrom said. “Hopefully that carries over into other games, because it’s not been a problem this year creating chances.”
The two goals by Hernandez tied him with Folkerds for the team lead in goals with two.
Buffalo’s win improved its record to 1-3 overall and 1-0 in the conference. It was the Bison’s first game back after a long eight-day layoff.
Lindstrom said the rare week and a half off may have helped the team refocus after three one-goal losses to Moorhead, Elk River and Hopkins.
“I think the layoff helped. Looking at the schedule, I knew we had three really good teams early,” he said. “It was kind of a nice bar set for us to see what kind of team we want to be from the end of the season until now.”
As for finally breaking out offensively, Lindstrom said it was a huge weight finally lifted off their shoulders.
“Our first three games were down to the wire and down to the last second,” he said. “It finally took some of that pressure off and loosened them up a little bit on the field. We could play a little more relaxed and a little more composed on the field which makes a big difference in your play.”
The Bison were at home on Tuesday, Sept. 9 and improved their record to 2-0 in the conference with a 2-1 victory over Chisago Lakes.
Eastlund scored in the closing minutes of regulation, breaking a 1-1 tie game and marking the second straight home win for Buffalo (2-3 overall, 2-0 conference).
Junior midfielder Lucas Smith scored Buffalo’s first goal of the game and Schuetzle made several key saves in goal to notch his second win in as many games.
Buffalo is next in action with a 7 p.m. road game Thursday, Sept. 11 at North Branch. They return home for a 1 p.m. game Saturday, Sept. 13 against Brainerd.
St. Maximilian Kolbe students gather for first marathon rally
Today through early October, St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic School students in Delano will ask for the public’s support of their annual “Ride for a Reason,” a six-mile bike ride on Saturday, October 4, associated with the school’s Marathon for Non-public Education pledge drive.
As in past years, the students are asking supporters in person and online for the names of special people or groups for whom they can ride in memory or honor of that day.
“With every name and cause we collect, we are teaching our students the life-skill to stop, think beyond their own needs, and reflect upon others and pray for their well-being,” said St. Maximilian School Principal, Shannon Calice. “Ride for a Reason falls in step with our mission to provide a foundation for a faith-filled, productive life.”
The school’s preschool – 6th grade students will pray for all names and causes collected during the school year at several Masses, in daily announcements and religion units.
The school hopes to raise by Oct. 4 at least $50,000 and collect more than 1,000 names from the bike ride. Names might range from people who are suffering from illness or celebrating milestones, to groups in need of support, such members of the military or families and local businesses impacted by the economy.
The students will add the names they collect to a large Ride for a Reason art mural, designed teachers and upper-grade students. Local businesses that support Ride for a Reason will appear on the mural, which will be on display for the public to see at the ride’s finish line in the City Park and other public events.
In addition, the school’s staff will guide students during the month in a variety of special activities, such as a daily reading of names collected, special Masses, and educational units that convey the importance of supporting others.
The Marathon has a rich history at St. Max’s School, thanks to its founders, the local Knights of Columbus Council (Immaculate Conception Council No. 4653). In the mid-1970’s, the Council established the Marathon as the successful event that it is today.
“Our unique approach builds on the foundation laid by the Knights of Columbus,” Calice said. “They continue to be an integral part of our Marathon and are deeply supportive of our effort to educate our students about the value of helping others.”
In 2013, more than 120 businesses donated to Ride for a Reason. The public also is invited to visit Dave’s Town Club to support Ride for a Reason in a special way. On Tuesdays, from Sept. 2 to Sept. 30, Dave’s Town Club will donate 10-percent of sales between 5 p.m. and closing.
If members of the community miss the opportunity to pledge a student, pledges and prayer intentions can be taken online or by mail at St. Max’s School, 235 South 2nd Street, P.O. Box 470, Delano, MN 55328.