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UMD athletics sets fundraising mark

The Minnesota Duluth athletic department reported Thursday that a record $1.83 million was raised from approximately 1,500 donors for the 2016 fiscal year, which ended June 30.

That eclipsed the previous all-time high of

$1.33 million set in 2014-15 and is a 317 percent gain over the $438,713 raised just four years ago. The $1.83 million includes current and future gifts to the Bulldog Club as well as named scholarships, program support, capital projects and various fundraising events.

Last April, Dave Goldberg pledged $500,000 to establish the Goldberg Championship Scholarship Challenge in hopes of inspiring other donors to support UMD’s NCAA Division II programs through this scholarship, existing Division II scholarship endowments or the creation of a new scholarship.

Those interested in learning more about supporting UMD student-athletes can contact UMD Athletic Development Director Gary Holquist at (218) 726-6185.

College track and field

Nauman leaving CSS for Roanoke College

St. Scholastica track and field coach Kirk Nauman is leaving the Saints to become cross country and track and field coach at Roanoke College in Salem, Va.

Roanoke College, which announced Nauman’s hiring Thursday, is an NCAA Division III school like St. Scholastica. The Maroons compete in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

Nauman was head coach of the Saints program for nine seasons, coaching 10 All-Americans, 34 NCAA championships qualifiers and nine all-region selections.

Under Nauman, the Saints won eight consecutive UMAC women’s outdoor championships and five straight UMAC men’s outdoor championships. The Saints men and women each have won seven consecutive indoor UMAC titles.

Running

Hegge returns to defend ultra title

Jake Hegge of Onalaska, Wis., will be chasing his second consecutive victory when the 34th edition of the Voyageurs Ultramarathon begins at 6 a.m. Saturday.

The race, which begins at Carlton High School and continues northwest on trails and roads to the Lake Superior Zoo, before turning back and finishing at Carlton High School, will feature a number of familiar faces.

Mike Borst, 24, of La Crosse, Wis., who finished fifth last year and won the 2013 and 2014 races, is looking for his third overall title. Since 2012, training partners Hegge and Borst have each won twice. Both competitors are eyeing the course record of 6 hours, 41 minutes, 16 seconds, set by Proctor native Scott Jurek in 1998. Hegge’s winning time in 2015 was 6:49:33.

Robert Peterson of Maple Grove, Minn., is ranked as the top runner in the race by UltraSignup, a database of event registrations and results. Peterson, 35, has never competed in the Voyageur Ultramarathon but finished second in the Gold Rush 50-kilometer in Folsom, Calif., in May.

The top local runner is Chris Rubesch of Duluth, who three top-six finishes in the Voyageur Ultramarathon since 2013.

On the women’s side, last year’s champion Leslie Semler is not entered. UltraSignup’s top-ranked woman entered is Jamie Blumentritt, a 28-year-old from Eagan, Minn., who is running in her first Voyageur Ultramarathon. Rebecca George, who finished second last year, and fifth-place Stacey Buckley of Omaha, Neb., are returning.

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