Howie Hanson: Duluth Rowing Club looks to defend home regatta on July 9

The 47th annual Duluth International Rowing Regatta, on July 9, is expected to draw over 200 rowers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario and Manitoba Canada.

The 47th annual Duluth International Rowing Regatta, on July 9, is expected to draw over 200 rowers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario and Manitoba Canada.

The 27-event competition is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Duluth Rowing Club at Park Point. Men and women will compete in junior, master and open categories. Events will include singles, doubles, fours and eights -- and all races will be 2,000 meters.

The Duluth Rowing Club won its home regatta last year, and appears strong and confident after a runner-up finish at the Canada Day Regatta in Thunder Bay last week.

Duluth's best rowers include Jeff Ellison, Al Denman, Pete Olson, Dan O'Neill, Mike Cochran, Greg Peterson, Gretchen Madson, Claire Smith, Bonnie Fuller-Kask, Mary Ann Weinzierl, Andrea Peterson, Zach and Ben Ellison, Bria Kask and Katie Ouellette.

In a noon ceremony, the Duluth Rowing Club will christen two new rowing shells -- four-person and eight-person racing boats -- a generous gift from the Max Rheinberger Jr. family.


Between the lines

  • Hats off to KBJR-TV 6 Sports for its continuing commitment to report local scores and information.

In particular, KBJR Sports Director Tom Hansen gets a big pat on the back for keeping his shows mostly local. The veteran broadcaster understands this market, and knows that his viewers tune in for local sports scores and highlights. He has excellent contacts in Minnesota and Wisconsin and continues to condense the most content possible into his broadcasts.
Hansen also has no ego, and it shows. He's a journalist who reports scores and highlights from both sides of the Blatnik Bridge. He never, never cheats his viewers.

Overall, outside of Hansen and his News Six colleague Jason Kuss, local television sports reporting has eroded to an all-time low point. The late Marsh Nelson and Bob Junkert, Steve LePage, Ray Higgins, Jeff Papas, Chris Earl, Chris Long and Paul Guggenheimer (Remember "Googy's Great Plays"?) were outstanding local sports anchors, who were committed to pounding the most local content possible into their shows. Though their broadcasts were brief, viewers got their nightly local sports fix.

There was no "I, I, I" in their reporting -- only local scores and highlights.

  • Sara Oliver is a slick-fielding, veteran shortstop for the Duluth Thunder -- and one of the best athletes in the U-18 Lake Superior Fastpitch League.

"Everyone has a lot of fun playing in the summer league, without the pressure of the high school season," said Oliver, Denfeld's Outstanding Senior Female Athlete Award winner announced this spring.
Lake Superior Fastpitch League games are played Mondays through Thursdays at Fields 6-7 at Wade Stadium and Braun Park in Cloquet. Teams compete in U-18, U-16 and U-14 leagues. Teams will play 12-14 games in the regular season, depending on the league.

Oliver said she isn't surprised by the rapid growth the league has experienced in its brief history.

"One of the things that makes the Lake Superior League fun is playing on teams with girls from different schools," Oliver said. "I've been able to meet a lot of new girls in the three years I've played in the league."

Oliver, who excelled in soccer, basketball and softball at Denfeld, is one of the school's best-ever female athletes. This fall she will attend Mesabi Range, where she will play basketball and softball.


"My plan is attend Mesabi for two years and to finish up at UMD," said Oliver, who plans to major in business.

Howie Hanson writes a regular sports column for Duluth Budgeteer News. He can be reached by e-mail at .

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