Local Names & News
Smith wins at Amsoil Speedway
Smith, who previously won in 2011, beat out fellow top-five finishers Jake Redetzke, points-leader Ricky Weiss, Don Shaw and pole-sitter Darrell Nelson of Hermantown for the $2,000 prize. Smith passed Nelson in the second half of the race using an inside move to take the lead.
Nelson did pick up a win in the 19-car Modified feature, beating out Deven VanHouse of Silver Bay and Jeff Broking of Grand Rapids.
Also on Friday, Superior’s Cody Carlson won his first Midwest Modified feature race, Nick Oreskovich of Mason, Wis., earned his first Amsoil feature win in the 17-car Super Stock race and Hibbing’s Mike Blevins took the checkered flag in the 18-car Pure Stock feature for his second win of the year.
Bich third in age group at nationals
Duluth’s Brian Bich finished 31st overall and third in the men’s 45-49-year-old age group in the Olympic distance race Saturday at the USA Triathlon National Championships in Milwaukee.
A week earlier, the 48-year-old Bich won his 12th Brewhouse House Triathlon at Island Lake in Duluth. He completed the Milwaukee course in 1 hour, 57 minutes and 57 seconds, which was 1:21 quicker than his Brewhouse time.
Duluth’s Josh Blankenheim, 34, finished 52nd overall in 1:59:38, which was good for ninth in the 30-34 age group.
In the women’s race, Duluth’s Elaine Nelson took 25th overall and seventh in the 35-39 age group in 2:12:22. Jessica Rossing, also of Duluth, finished 87th overall and 15th among 25-29 year olds in 2:17:57.
Dukes fall to Menomonie in playoffs
The Duluth Dukes’ season ended Saturday in the first round of the Wisconsin Baseball Association playoffs via a 7-3 loss to the Menomonie Eagles in Haugen, Wis.
The Dukes, who finish the year 9-14 overall and in second place in the Upper 13 League at 7-3, were held to just three hits by starting pitcher Carter Vogt. He walked two and struck out four for the complete-game win.
Duluth led 1-0 in the top of the first inning thanks to a lead-off walk and two errors. That lead was extended to 3-0 on a two-run home run by Proctor High School graduate Jimmy Merling in the third. Merling finished the year with single-season club records in batting average (.423), slugging percentage (.667), hits (33), doubles (10), home runs (3), total bases (52) and RBIs (16).
Menomonie tied the game in the bottom of the third, and then went ahead 5-3 in the fifth with one hit and three Dukes errors.
Jake Lewis took the loss for the Dukes after allowing four earned runs on seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts.