Sports Roundup: Track stars make run to stateTrack stars make run to state, Silver Bay softball, Two Harbors softball, Silver Bay track, Silver Bay baseball, Two Harbors baseball, Two Harbors golf
By: Matt Suoja and Steve Gow, Lake County News Chronicle
Track stars make run to state
After finishing strong during the regular season, the Agates track team turned it up a few notches at sections Friday at the University of Minnesota Duluth, qualifying six competitors for the state meet.
Among those who will be participating from the boys team include the 4x200 relay team of Chad Brelie, Caleb Hamp-Sill, Alex Horoshak and Ryan Guentzel. The foursome competed last year at state but didn’t get past the preliminaries.
Guentzel will also be competing in the 200-meter dash. Last season he made it to state in the 400-meters. Other boys on the team hoping to make some noise at state include Brelie in the 100-meter dash and Hamp-Sill in the long and triple jump.
The 4x100 was very strong this season but faltered at sections with a false start, disqualifying the team. Head coach Anthony Altiere said track can be used to teach life lessons through an event like that.
On the girls side, Sonja Peterson qualified in the 3,200-meters, topping her personal best by more than 15 seconds. “She ran a really smart race,” Altiere said.
Lacey Myrdal qualified in the 200-meter dash. She was expected to win the 400-meter event at sections but had a tough go of it.
The top two in individual events and the top relay team qualify for state through sections.
The state meet begins today and runs through Saturday at Hamline University in St. Paul.
Silver Bay softball
The Mariners softball season came to end Thursday in a 5-2 loss to Cherry-Cotton in the section final. The team finished with an 18-7 record.
“I think we played the game we were trying to play,” head coach Mike Guzzo said. “It was an outstanding season.”
The team was getting runners on base in key situations (with less than two outs) but they just couldn’t get a big hit. The team left 10 runners on base in the first four innings and 13 overall. “That’s a killer,” Guzzo said.
Kirstin Sandstrom took the loss for Silver Bay, allowing 10 hits with three strikeouts. One of the few offensive bright spots for the Mariners was Shay Viola, who had two hits and a run.
Leading up to the rematch with Cherry-Cotton from last year’s section final, which the Mariners won, the team had some very close games to get to this year’s matchup. They won all three of the previous playoff games by just one run. The team has made it to the section finals eight of the past 10 seasons.
The team should be strong next season as it loses just one senior in Sandstrom, who will be playing softball at Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter next spring. “We’ve lost a very good player in Sandstrom,” Guzzo said. He said the team needs somebody to fill that leadership role.
Silver Bay has 36 students registered for its summer softball league.
Two Harbors softball
The Agates officially ended their softball season with a season-end banquet recently.
In its seventh varsity season, head coach Julie Benson set the team goals at being competitive in the Polar League and end with a .500 record or better.
“We reached both of our goals and had the most successful season in the history of the program,” she said. “The girls worked hard during the season but also in the off-season to improve their individual skills. I am very proud of all of them.”
Madison Olson and Sasha Fjeran were named to the Polar League All-Conference Team with Abby Ray receiving an honorable mention. All three were stats leaders in the conference all season.
Olson was also named to the All-Section Team for 7AA.
“Madison has developed into a top pitcher in the area as a sophomore,” Benson said. “The next few years will be exciting to watch as she continues to get stronger.”
Courtney Kimball was awarded the Top Defensive Player of the Year and Fjeran was given the Top Offensive Player of the Year. Marissa Engelson was voted Most Improved and Savannah Juenemann earned the title of Rookie of the Year.
“Abby Ray was the team’s only senior and she will be truly missed,” Benson said. “She received the Team Spirit award for her constant support of her teammates and display of sportsmanship.”
The junior varsity also met their team goals this season.
“We had a very young JV team this year with only a few having any game experience,” Benson said. “Our goal was to get as much game experience as possible.”
Junior varsity players included: Samantha Robbins, Savannah Juenemann, Holly Nowacki, Hannah Johnson, Jenny Grignon, Angel Hanten, Anna Beimes, Katie Parenteau, Hayley Horgan, Sydney Ross, Alexis Swartout, Alexis Eldred and Sarah Oling.
Silver Bay track
The Mariners track season ended Friday at the University of Minnesota Duluth as no members qualified for the state meet.
“They’ve had a very good year,” said head coach Rick Frericks. “These kids were very enjoyable to coach. We did accomplish some goals.”
Last season, no one on the team qualified for sections, but this year it was a different story as they had six competitors.
At sections, the 4x800 relay of Sam Otterblad, Grant Russell, Kyle Blood and Shane Loeffler finished seventh.
In field events it was Baruch Fischer finishing 11th in the shot put.
On the girls team, seventh grader Sam Anderson placed No. 7 in the 3,200 meters. Frericks said there was .08 seconds between fifth and seventh place in the event. Anderson cut 19 seconds off her personal best time at the event.
Seniors on the team included Loeffler and Otterblad.
Silver Bay baseball
Silver Bay’s baseball season came to an end in Hill City as they fell 10-4 to the Hill City Hornets in a first round game in the Section 7A playoffs.
“We met all are expectations and goals,” said first-year coach Shawn Bartlette. He said the team improved upon last season.
The Mariners led 2-1 at the halfway point of the game, but then the roof caved in as the Hornets scored seven runs in their bottom of the fourth inning. The Hornets sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning, getting help from the Mariners via two walks and two errors to go with their five singles.
The Hornets finished the contest with 10 runs on nine hits along with six walks and five Mariner errors.
Cody Larson singled and scored on a Hornet error in the second inning to tie the game at one.
In the third, Holden Panetti drew a walk and scored on a double by his brother Hunter. The Mariners picked up two more in the sixth when Larson led off with a double and Zach Bulen followed up with a single. They each ended up scoring via ground ball outs.
Larson finished the game by going 3-for-3 at the plate. Bulen was 1-for-3, but smoked the ball twice right at defenders for outs.
Hunter Panetti started up on the mound and took the loss giving up seven runs on six hits. He was replaced by Ryan DeShaw. Each pitcher was credited with three innings. The Hornets fell in their next game 21-7 to Cherry.
Bartlette has hopes next year that the team can improve by not giving up a big inning, like they were prone to do this season.
The loss against Hill City was the last high school game for shortstop Hunter Panetti as he graduated, but many players are expected to return next season.
Two Harbors baseball
The Agates season came to a screeching halt last Wednesday as they were blown out by Proctor 10-0 in five innings in the first round of the section playoffs finishing the season with an 8-12 record.
“I thought they improved as the year went along,” said head coach Rick Coughlin about his young squad. “We were kind of up and down all season.”
John Forsberg took the loss pitching against the Rails.
Among the seniors on the team lost to graduation were shortstop Scott Comrie and catcher Matt McDannold.
“We will have most everybody back,” Coughlin said.
They may also have a new field to play on.
Coughlin said they will take care of a dangerous hump behind the pitcher’s mound at the field at the new high school next week. There are plans to re-grade that area of the field so it will hopefully be ready for the next season. That would not be paid for by the original contractor because it appears to be more of a settling issue.
The field has also faced problems in the past such as drainage issues, which have been fixed along with a contractor putting down the wrong agricultural line.
Originally the contractor put down crushed limestone, when they should have used a different type of rock which lets the water run through it. That problem was also fixed.
Two Harbors golf
The Agates golf team had some good outings this season, but it wasn’t enough to get them to the state meet.
No one from the Agates boys golf team qualified for the state meet.
Among the boys lost to graduation this season are Aaron Lee, Andrew Guzzo, Andrew Kragseth, Jake Homick and Mack Conrow.
A few weeks ago, the girls golf team also didn’t qualify anyone from sub-sections.