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PREP NOTEBOOK: Health to be big factor in Red River boy's track meet

Health will be a key factor in Grand Forks Red River's bid to win the East Region boys track meet. The regional will be held today in Fargo, beginning at 1 p.m. On the line are a lot of berths for next weekend's Class A state meet in Bismarck -- ...

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Health will be a key factor in Grand Forks Red River's bid to win the East Region boys track meet.

The regional will be held today in Fargo, beginning at 1 p.m. On the line are a lot of berths for next weekend's Class A state meet in Bismarck -- the top six finishers in each event, as well as all entrants who meet state qualifying standards, advance.

But Red River also is looking at contending for a region team title. West Fargo and the Roughriders have been the top two teams all season in the region.

"I think we'll have a good battle with West Fargo," Red River coach Bob Zimney said. "If our big guns can do all of their events, I think we can contend."

The "if" is the health of Calvin Burkholder (shin splints) and Loren Bothun (leg muscles). Bothun is defending state champion in the 110 hurdles and could contend for championships in the 300 hurdles and the 200 at the regional, as well. Burkholder has been an outstanding jumper and sprinter.


"Those two are a ton of points for us," Zimney said. "They cover seven open events. They can get a lot of high places if they're healthy."

Red River favorites figure to be defending region champs Bryan Bjerk (shot put and discus) and John Hoplin (javelin). Zimney said Adam Leach in the 1,600 and the Riders' 4x400 relay team also figure to contend for titles.

While Red River looks for points to offset West Fargo and its balance, the other Grand Forks teams are emphasizing state qualifiers.

"We're not contending for the region (team title)," Central boys coach Sean Allan said. "So our goal is to get as many kids to state as we can. That's more important than seeing where we can score some more points."

Others expected to contend for region individual titles from Grand Forks are:

• Central boys: Camron Roehl, who placed ninth at state in cross country last fall, figures to be the Knights' top contender. He competes in the 1,600 and 3,200. Carrington Adams in the long jump also figures to place high.

• Central girls: The Knights have one of the state's top throwers in Katarina Reller. She enters the regional with the best throws in the state in the shot put and discus. Ali Lindsay won the 1,600 at the EDC Indoor.

• Red River girls: The Roughriders have several individuals, including Ashley Rone, Hannah Arason, Hadley Steffen, Ariana Storbakken and Ellie Ripplinger, who figure to place high. But none are favorites. "We have girls with talent, who have had outstanding performances," Riders coach Tracey Heisler said. "But there is some very good competition in their events."


EGF hosting subsection

East Grand Forks will host the Subsection 30A track meet Thursday, beginning at 3:30 p.m.

The top four placers in individual events and the top two finishers in relays are guaranteed berths in the Section 8A meet on June 1 in Mahnomen.

East Grand Forks Senior High's top title contenders include Jake Kallock (hurdles) and Josh Regorrah (pole vault, long jump) in the boys division and Karly Nelson (shot put) and Erica Eades (middle distances) in the girls division.

EGF players on collision course

East Grand Forks Senior High tennis players Ty Misialek and Zach Straw are on a collision course.

Misialek is seeded second and Straw third in the Section 8A singles tournament. So it is conceivable that they'll meet in the semifinals of the tournament.

"As a coach, you'd prefer them being in different brackets," Green Wave coach Terry Paukert said. "If they meet, you sit back and watch. You know you'll be happy for one and sad for the other."


Straw finished fourth in the section singles tournament last season, while Misialek lost in the title match to Thief River Falls' Logan Engelstad, who is the No. 1 seed and will bid for a third straight section championship.

Paukert said his singles players have close matches in practice with different styles. "Ty tries to end matches quickly," Paukert said. "He's aggressive and a big hitter. Zach is more of a patient player, a good counter puncher who sets up his points."

Senior High is seeded third in the 8A dual tournament and hosts No. 6 Park Rapids in a 1 p.m. quarterfinal dual Monday. The tournament moves to Perham for dual, singles and doubles play Tuesday and Thursday.

EGF softball teams on a roll

East Grand Forks fastpitch softball teams are on a roll in different ways entering the postseason.

• Sacred Heart, the No. 2 seed in South Subsection 8A, is 6-5 after winning its last four games. Sacred Heart hosts Fertile-Beltrami in a 5 p.m. Section 8A first-round playoff game Tuesday.

In their current winning streak, the Eagles have allowed no more than two runs in a game behind freshman pitcher Hannah Reimer.

"We're not a big offensive team,'' Eagles coach Mike Marek said. "But we don't give up a lot of runs. Our defense and pitching has kept us in almost every game."


• EGF Senior High, the No. 4 seed in North Subsection 8AA, is 6-7 after winning six of its last nine games. Senior High hosts Crookston in a 5 p.m. Section 8AA first-round game Tuesday. The Green Wave scored 10 or more runs in all their wins.

"We can get on base and go," Wave coach Heidi Spicer said. "We can play small ball. We're running the bases more aggressively. And we're getting some power, too."

Soccer's second chance

The East Region's switch in format for qualifying for the state soccer tournament has given the Grand Forks girls teams a second chance.

In the past, the top four teams in the regular season advanced to state. This season, because so many games were canceled due to inclement weather and weather-related poor playing facilities, the region is going to a postseason tournament, which begins Thursday. The top four finishers in the tournament qualify for state.

Grand Forks Red River will be seeded sixth and Grand Forks Central seventh.

"The bottom four teams in the standings have to be pretty pleased,'' Central coach George DuBois said.

"This gives an opportunity for the teams that, based on the regular season, were on the outside looking in. Now we have to figure out how to take advantage of it.''


Grand Forks teams have struggled offensively. Central (1-6) has scored six goals all season. Red River (205) has 19 goals, 13 of those in one game against Devils Lake.

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