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Charlene Staats knows the toughest mile to run at Grandma’s Marathon won’t be the final one, it will come between mile markers eight and nine. That’s the spot, less than a mile inland from the Scenic Highway 61 course, where her husband, Kerry, will be buried Monday, two days after she runs the marathon he loved so much.
The Duluth Huskies snapped their five-game losing streak, pulling to .500 in the Northwoods League with a 12-4 and 8-4 doubleheader sweep of Thunder Bay on Tuesday at Wade Stadium. It was the third and fourth time this season that the Huskies faced Thunder Bay at home but were considered the road team due to field renovations at Port Arthur Stadium in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Two-time defending champion Elisha Barno of Kenya is entered in Grandma’s Marathon on Saturday as he seeks to become the first three-time winner of the 26.2-mile race. Barno, 31, is expected to face challenges from countrymen Milton Rotich, Nelson Oyugi and Macdonard Ondara, but won’t have to contend with course record-holder Dominic Ondoro, who is not entered.
Jeremy Finton's path to his first Grandma's Marathon started on a hot summer day in 2001 when an immature prank cost him the use of his limbs. But the 37-year-old resident of Canal Winchester, Ohio, hasn't allowed quadriplegia to quell his zest for life. A two-time medalist at the U.S. Paralympics Track and Field Championships and a wheelchair rugby athlete, Finton will become just the second quadriplegic to compete at Grandma's Marathon on Saturday.
PREP SOFTBALL / CLASS AAA CHAMPIONSHIP / WINONA 9, HERMANTOWN 2 NORTH MANKATO, Minn. — Ashton Hoeppner and her Winona softball teammates had places to go and people to speak to Friday. The senior pitcher was speaking at her graduation ceremony later in the evening so getting off the Caswell Park diamond early was a priority. Hoeppner and the Winhawks accomplished that by defeating Hermantown 9-2 in the Class AAA championship game of the Minnesota high school softball state tournament.
NORTH MANKATO, Minn. — Esko's two games Thursday at the Minnesota high school softball state tournament were as night and day from each other as the day and night start times. Junior Emilee Wilson dominated in the 4-0 Class AA quarterfinal win over Pipestone Area in the daylight but she was touched for 11 hits in Zumbrota-Mazeppa's 9-4 semifinal win under the lights at Caswell Park. That sends the Eskomos (22-4) into a third-place game at 11 a.m. Friday against Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (25-4).
NORTH MANKATO, Minn. — The Hermantown softball team has to stop treating its coach this way. Despite Tom Bang's well-documented heart problems, the Hawks continued to live on the edge Thursday at the Minnesota high school softball state tournament at Caswell Park. After a 7-6 Class AAA quarterfinal win over Visitation that included a late five-run rally and then surviving a four-run ninth, Hermantown used a Jordyn Thomas grand slam and a nervy finish to beat top-seeded Mankato West 6-5 in an evening semifinal.
NORTH MANKATO, Minn. — Hermantown and Esko each won quarterfinal games this afternoon at the Minnesota high school softball state tournament, setting up the semifinal matchup this evening at Caswell Park. Hermantown rallied for six runs in the sixth inning and then hung on in a tense seventh inning to defeat Visitation 7-6 in a Class AAA quarterfinal.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Class A boys tennis championship result was so preordained that Virginia players were not competing to win their matches against Blake but competing against each other to see who could stretch out their matches the longest. “We knew they were going to beat us as bad as they did,” junior No. 1 singles player Jake Seitz said of Blake’s 7-0 victory over the Blue Devils on Wednesday at Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center.
PREP SOFTBALL / CLASS AAA STATE TOURNAMENT PREVIEW Attend any Hermantown softball game and the Mihalik family is bound to steal the spotlight. Kailey, a senior third baseman, leads the team with a .500 batting average; sophomore Hannah mans second base and is second on the team with 33 RBIs; the sisters' father, Mike, is a volunteer bench coach who has mentored his daughters ever since their youth league debuts; and mother Michele is the unofficial team photographer and cheerleader, whose encouraging voice can be heard a diamond or two away.