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College track and field

UMD women, Rivard top NSIC poll

The Minnesota Duluth women’s track and field team, led by freshman national champion Sam Rivard, was selected as the top team in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference preseason poll, released by the conference Wednesday.

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The Bulldogs garnered 10 of 14 first-place votes to earn the role of favorites in the outdoor season. They won the NSIC indoor championship for their first title since 2004 and placed 10th at the NCAA Division II meet earlier this month.

Rivard of Oak Grove, Minn., was voted as women’s preseason track athlete of the year by league coaches. She claimed the NCAA indoor mile title and was named an All-American in the 3,000 meters earlier this month.

The UMD men were selected to finish fourth behind Minnesota State-Mankato, Augustana and Sioux Falls.

Augustana junior C.J. Ham, a Duluth Central graduate, was listed by the conference as an athlete to watch.

Endurance running

Grandma’s fees to increase next week

Runners registering for the 38th annual Grandma’s Marathon have through Monday to enter the race at a reduced cost. Beginning Tuesday, the current entry fee of $95 increases to $110, where it will remain until registration closes May 31.

Visit grandmasmarathon.com to register for the Two Harbors-to-Duluth race, set for Saturday, June 21, at 7:45 a.m. The 26.2-mile race is limited to the first 10,000 participants. Nearly 6,200 already have registered — about 600 more than at this time a year ago.

Registration for the 2014 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon was conducted last month via a lottery process in which 6,700 participants were randomly selected. Entries still may be secured through one of the race’s four charity partners. More information on these programs can be found on the race’s website or by calling Grandma’s Marathon office at (218) 727-0947. Drawings for complimentary half-marathon entries also are being held locally through March 31 at participating Little Store locations

More than 1,100 of the allotted 2,000 have entered the William A. Irvin 5K, scheduled for 6 p.m. June 20.

College Men’s Hockey

Basaraba signs with ECHL team

Minnesota Duluth senior winger Joe Basaraba became the third member of the Bulldogs men’s team to sign a professional contract since the end of the season, inking a deal earlier this week with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the East Coast Hockey League.

Basaraba was one of the last ties to UMD’s 2011 NCAA championship team and the 6-foot-3,         194-pounder from Fort Frances, Ontario, concluded his senior season with eight goals and 10 assists for     18 points in 35 games. He had 28 goals and 28 assists over a four-year career with the Bulldogs.

A third-round pick of the Florida Panthers in the 2010 NHL Draft, the 23-year-old Basaraba was expected to be in the Cyclones’ lineup for Wednesday night’s game at Orlando.

Details of the contract were unavailable.

Junior center Caleb Herbert and senior goaltender Aaron Crandall signed pro contracts last week.

Northland duo in NCAAs

Minnesota Duluth failed to advance to the 16-team NCAA Division I men’s tournament this spring, however a pair of Northeastern Minnesota standouts are still hopeful of reaching the Frozen Four.

Minnesota freshman defenseman Jake Bischoff of Grand Rapids and Vermont senior forward Anthony DeCenzo of Hibbing are the lone Northland athletes still competing for a chance to decide college hockey’s top team next month in Philadelphia.

Bischoff, who earned the Reed Larson Award as Minnesota’s top high school senior defenseman a year ago, scored three goals and added four assists in 28 games during his debut season with the Gophers. Minnesota (25-6-6), which won the Big Ten Conference regular-season title but was upended in the tournament semifinals, earned the top seed in the West Regional and will play No. 4-seeded Robert Morris (19-17-5) in a regional semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

DeCenzo had limited playing time with the Catamounts, scoring one goal and assisting on four others in 12 games. He had nine goals and 15 assists in his four-year career, which will end with his first appearance in the NCAAs. Vermont (20-14-3), which was awarded a No. 4 seed and will play top-seeded Union (28-6-4) in an East Regional semifinal at 1 p.m. Friday, won only 25 games during DeCenzo’s first three seasons.

BASEBALL

Former Husky makes Nationals roster

Former Duluth Huskies pitcher Aaron Barrett has made the 25-man opening day roster for the Washington Nationals.

Barrett, a 6-foot-3 right-hander, will be in the bullpen for a pitching staff that includes starters Stephen Strasburg, the No. overall 1 pick in the 2009 MLB draft, and former Wisconsin-Stevens Point standout Jordan Zimmermann. The Nationals open the season at the New York Mets on Monday.

Barrett, 26, played for the Huskies in 2008. The native of Evansville, Ind., played college baseball at Wabasha Valley Community College before transferring to Mississippi. He spent four years in the minors before getting his break this year, not allowing an earned run in spring training. He reportedly has a vicious slider to go with a low-to-mid 90 mph fastball.

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