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AREA PREP NOTEBOOK: Is bad spring good for the proven runners?

Brooke Shimek hasn't enjoyed this spring without an outdoor track meet. But the senior does see some advantages to it for herself and her Thompson High School teammates.

Brooke Shimek hasn't enjoyed this spring without an outdoor track meet. But the senior does see some advantages to it for herself and her Thompson High School teammates.

Shimek is three-time defending Class B state champion in the 800. She and teammates Averi Olson, Shaice Marx and Megan Bohlman won the 4x800 relay at state last season.

"It's been hard because we don't get to practice running in our spikes, getting up to our top speeds, seeing how we can maintain it, things like that,'' Shimek said.

"But I think (poor weather conditions) are more of an advantage for us. Having run the races as much as we have in the past, we know what we need to do. It takes a long time to get that down. I know I didn't really understand how to run the 800 until my sophomore or junior years.''

Thompson coach Jeremy Anderson said Shimek put in more offseason time working on her strength, conditioning and running than in any previous year. He's confident in her ability, as well as the Tommies' long relay team, to place high at state again.

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"Those kids know what needs to be done to do well,'' Anderson said. "They've been there before.''

Thompson is scheduled to open its outdoor season with a meet Friday in Lisbon. Even for proven runners like Shimek and her state-champion relay teammates, there is a need to get into meets.

"To actually race, it helps the kids,'' Anderson said. "The kids can see where they're at. Then you can come back to practice and tweak things that need it.

"But we have to be careful as coaches. The kids want to get to meets and compete. But you don't want to pile it on them with too many races. They need recovery time and practice time.''

With the regular season having only approximately three weeks remaining, the opportunities to get into a lot of meets is dwindling.

But that can be a psychological advantage for athletes who have had success.

"I remember having to try to catch other people when I was younger,'' Shimek said. "It was hard when you weren't running against them. I always wanted to know how close I was getting to them.''

Gators get a jump

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While most area high school baseball teams are waiting for dry fields, Badger-Greenbush-Middle River is getting a jump on the competition.

The Gators have played three home games at Greenbush, losing their season opener Saturday, then winning games Monday and Tuesday.

"A few parents were willing to donate their time and equipment to blow snow off the field in March,'' B-G-MR coach Todd Wensloff said. "So we've had very little snow to deal with. And our field is in an area with very sandy soil. It drains well. Once the frost comes out of the ground, we're on the field playing.

"I've had some request from other schools to use our field. I wouldn't be surprised if we get more calls. People want to get games in; they'll go wherever they can go. I'm telling them that if we aren't using the field, the opportunity is there for them. But we're on the field almost every day. It's already getting beat up from use.''

What advantage getting a jump start on other teams will be for the Gators remains to be seen.

"We're getting some early-season experience, and our pitchers are getting in more innings than other teams in the area,'' Wensloff said. "I don't know how much that will help us at the end of the season. It still comes down to who's playing best at that time.

"But it is nice to be outside playing.''

Briefly

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Adams-Edmore senior Ashtin Freije, a second team all-state selection, has signed a letter of intent to play women's basketball at Jamestown College. . . . Harley Brown has resigned as boys basketball coach at Langdon. Brown has coached at various levels in the Cardinals' program for 23 seasons, including the past three as head coach. . . . Crookston High School senior Josh Edlund has committed to play football at Crown College in St. Bonifacius, Minn. He'll join his older brother, Isaac, on the Crown College team. . . . Mahnomen senior Garret Hoffner, a Minnesota Class A state wrestling champion in March, has committed to wrestle at Moorhead State. . . . Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls has signed six area athletes to play volleyball. The six recruits are: Tori Davidson and Haley Kujava, Northern Freeze; Katlyn Byfuglien, Heather Nelson and Michaela Lund, Roseau; and Tara Evje, Fosston, who will transfer from North Dakota State College of Science. . . . Northland Community and Technical College area signings for football include: Alex Johnson, Thief River Falls; Kayler Knott, Red Lake Falls; Dylan Gjovik, Roseau; Kyle Hestekind and Kade Klasen, Northern Freeze; John Westman and Timm Ingle, Badger-Greenbush-Middle River; Tyler Hinkle, Warroad; and Sawyer Stene, Norman County East. . . . Ted Hasz has resigned as Crookston High School's baseball coach, effective at the end of the season. Hasz will take a teaching position at Pine City, Minn., next year. . . . Thief River Falls senior Reed Bohm has signed a letter of intent to play men's golf at University of Minnesota-Crookston. . . . Crookston High School senior Brandon Kresl has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Minnesota-Crookston.

DeVillers reports on sports. Call him at (701) 780-1128; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1128; or send e-mail to gdevillers@gfherald.com .

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