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Sophomore Abigale Seipke runs hard during a meet earlier this season. Seipke finished fourth for the team in last weekend's Milaca race. The Two Harbors runners are on a cooperative team with the Cook County Vikings. Photo courtesy of Laurie Johnson, Cook County Herald

Sports roundup: Sept. 27

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Two Harbors volleyballers stay positive

Despite tallying a loss to the Esko Eskomos last Thursday, Two Harbors volleyball coach Bethany Innis called it one of her team's best games.

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"The girls came together truly as a team and played with passion. It was an amazing game to watch and as their coach I am very proud of them," she said. "If we can play every game like (that), this team will go far."

The girls are still winless, but Innis said they are positive and hardworking. They aim to show improvement every game and every practice, and she said they are doing just that.

"As a team, they are very supportive of each other in all situations and we are starting to make sure we earn every point that we get," she said.

Innis said captains Mia Minkkinen, Claire Hoffert and Lane Schraufnagel have shown true leadership and set an example on and off the court.

The girls played Floodwood on Tuesday and they played Moose Lake/Willow River on Thursday. They are in a tournament at Duluth Marshall this weekend and they have two home games next week: Monday against Proctor and Tuesday against Carlton. Both games are at 7 p.m.

Football 4-0

The Agates travelled to International Falls last Friday to add another win to their record.

They took the Broncos 30-28 in the first game they've played against them since 2008 (they won that playoff game, too).

Junior running back Lucas Kempffer rushed for 165 yards on 20 carries and scored 3 touchdowns. Senior fullback Mike Nordean had 133 yards rushing on 13 carries and scored one touchdown. On defense, Kempffer, playing linebacker, also led with 11 tackles. Junior linebacker Tim Bott had 9 tackles and sophomore linebacker Tanner Aho added 8.

The Broncos had four turnovers in the game. They finished the first quarter winning 14-0, but the Agates rallied quickly to take back the game.

"I am very proud of this team as they are a bunch of fighters and as long as we keep working as hard as we can, I will be happy," coach Tom Nelson said.

The team plays tonight at Esko (2-2).

Swimmers remain undefeated

The Two Harbors-Silver Bay swimmers won their first home meet of the season Tuesday at the Two Harbors High School pool. They defeated Northeast Range/Ely 95-72.

The Northeast Range/Ely team put up a good fight, but couldn't turn it into a win against the Agates. Leading the scoring was sophomore Allie Mayfield, who won first in both the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle races (she won the 500-yard race by almost a minute).

Sophomore Julia McDonald took first in the 200-yard individual medley, junior Leann Fynboh took first in the 50-yard freestyle race, junior Mara Boulanger topped the 100-yard butterfly competition and sophomore Marina Schreiner won the 100-yard freestyle race.

Two Harbors teams also took the top two spots in the 200-yard medley relay.

They swam again at home against Proctor-Hermantown on Thursday and will compete over the weekend at Mesabi East High School.

Girls' soccer in tough stretch

The Agates are in a bit of a rough stretch, playing the high-powered Apple Valley squad last Friday, the experienced Duluth Denfeld team Tuesday and facing off aginst up against Chisago Lakes this weekend.

"We've been playing some pretty tough competition," coach Jeff Peterson said.

Despite the tough stretch, Peterson said there have been plenty of bright spots. They lost 0-7 to Apple Valley, who he called a "suffocating" team, and 0-4 to Denfeld.

Denfeld scored three of their goals in the first half and their fourth in the first minutes of the second half. After that, Peterson said the girls really picked up the pace and held off the team for the remaining 39 minutes. It was just too little, too late. Goalie Sam Dewey had 18 saves in the match.

Peterson said he was impressed with the young junior varsity's performance against Denfeld's older JV team, though they lost 1-2.

"The future looks really bright if we stay after it," he said.

The girls head Grand Rapids next Tuesday, whom they beat 4-3 in overtime earlier this season, and host Proctor at home on Thursday.

Cross country hits midseason stride

The Vikings cross country team competed in the largest meet in the state last weekend in Milaca, including its eight runners from Two Harbors.

Two Harbors coach Beth Schield said the stand out performances at the meet came from two of their less experienced runners - foreign exchange student Patricia Mueck and sophomore Donovan Rigdon who both ran in the junior varsity races. Mueck cut a minute off her time from the last meet and Rigdon cut more than two minutes off. Schield said those are especially impressive performances at such a large, potentially overwhelming meet - the girls' JV race had 470 runners and the boys' had 582.

"It was our less-experienced, new runners that really had break-through races," Schield said.

Sophomores Abi Seipke and Ruby Walsberg ran well in the varsity race, placing fourth and sixth for the team. Schield said they are both racing consistently this season.

On the boys' side, eighth-grader Kiviok Hight had another great performance, finishing second for the team and just 30 seconds behind the Vikings' top runner. He improved his time from the last meet by a minute. Fellow eighth-grader Jake Paron wasn't far behind, placing third for the team. Senior Owen Cruikshank placed seventh for the team and also improved his time from the last meet by about a minute.

Junior Everett Hommes and senior Drew Christensen both raced in the JV race. Hommes shaved almost a minute and a half off of his time at the same race last year and Christensen posted a time a minute faster than he had at the last meet.

The kids are logging about 30 miles a week right now at their peak in training. Schield said their hard work is starting to show up in their times. They ran at Hibbing on Thursday.

Two Harbors boys' soccer win their first game

Though the Agates lost to Princeton (1-5-1) in an early season scrimmage, they didn't let that discourage them in Saturday's home match. The central Minnesotan team was the only team they defeated last year and gave the Agates their first win of this season, too.

They topped the Tigers 4-2, with goals by junior Casey Galyan, senior Mils Johnson, junior Quaid Cavallin and senior Eli Hebl. Corey Johnson had two assists in the form of corner kicks.

Then, they held their own against Eveleth-Gilbert (5-2) on Monday at home. Though they couldn't pull of a win at the Lake Bank parent's night, they put up a strong fight and ended with a 1-1 tie after a double overtime. Both goals were scored during overtime.

"Usually, when a team scores against us, we get really deflated. We didn't lose that focus even though they scored first," coach Dave Lukkonen said. "We're now playing much stronger as a team."

Cavallin scored the Agates' single goal.

The Agates played Hibbing on Thursday and host Ashland, a Wisconsin powerhouse, next Tuesday.

Silver Bay girls put up a strong fight against Ely

The Mariner volleyballers lost to Ely (5-5) Monday, but not without a fight. The three matches were close - 25-20, 25-19 and 25-22 - and there were some strong individual efforts. Freshman Brooke McMillen had 15 aces, senior Brandi Nopola had 9 kills and junior Sydney Topp had 6.

They played Wrenshall Tuesday but results weren't available by press time.

They play at Barnum next Tuesday host Cromwell next Thursday.

This is an updated version including boys' soccer and Silver Bay volleyball that didn't appear in the hard copy of this week's News-Chronicle.

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