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Minnesota Duluth hurdler Danielle Kohlwey's goal each season has always been to do better than the year before, but she knows there's no guarantee with any race, especially hurdles. Kohlwey saw that firsthand at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships in March when San Francisco State junior Monisha Lewis, the top seed in the 60-meter hurdles, hit a hurdle in preliminaries and crashed. "It's such a fast race, and anything can happen," Kohlwey said.
Lori Ogren loved most sports and wasn't afraid to try something new, but she admits she had no idea what she was getting herself into in the summer of 1983. "Before I really didn't," Ogren said. "But when my friend, Carol Lindsey, said I should try team handball, thinking I'd be really good at it, my immediate response to her was, 'Why would I want to play handball? I don't even like racquetball.' Bouncing a ball against a wall, right? She said, 'No, no, no. It's not like that.' And I said, 'Well, what's it like?' "
The Polar League track and field championships started at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Esko, but for nearly an hour, Barnum senior thrower Sam Goodwin did nothing more than lounge around with his teammates, listening to music on his headphones. Nearby, teammate Garrett Coughlin laid on his back and got some zzz's, his maroon and tan Bombers baseball cap resting atop his face, shading himself from the sun.
Minnesota Duluth senior outfielder Sammi Sadler came to bat in the fourth inning of the NSIC softball tournament against top-seeded Winona State last week thinking she would attempt a bunt. The game was scoreless and neither team had a hit, so Sadler wanted to try to make something happen. She did, but it certainly was no bunt. Instead, Sadler took an 0-1 pitch and deposited it over the right field fence. "I had never hit a home run in my entire life," Sadler said. "I was shocked that I swung."
Minnesota Duluth senior outfielder Sammi Sadler came to bat in the fourth inning of the NSIC softball tournament against top-seeded Winona State last week thinking she would attempt a bunt. The game was scoreless and neither team had a hit, so Sadler wanted to try to make something happen. She did, but it certainly was no bunt. Instead, Sadler took an 0-1 pitch and deposited it over the right field fence.
Former Duluth East baseball coach Don Garnett remembers getting occasional letters from Bob Davidson when Davidson was toiling away as a minor-league umpire. Davidson, who played outfield for Garnett at Duluth East before graduating in 1970, was becoming increasingly frustrated as one umpire after another got called up to the big leagues but not him. "The minor leagues are a tough place to be, whether you're a player, a coach or an umpire — anything," Garnett said.
Head of the Lakes Management Group is in its ninth year running the race track in Superior, and Joe Stariha remembers that first year quite well. Come hell or high water, they were going to race the season opener, Stariha said.
Duluth's Scott Behling looks back more than most runners, and on Saturday during the 30th annual Fitger's 5K, he was looking back more than ever after losing the lead at the finish last year. "I'm not very good at sprinting," Behling said. "Anybody near me will pass me." Behling is no longer looking back after gradually pulling away to win his third Fitger's 5K on Saturday in Duluth. Behling, 29, covered the five kilometers in 15 minutes, 18 seconds, with former champion Trevor Zimak of Thunder Bay finishing second in 15:50.
Tina Ham of Duluth went to the emergency room for severe abdominal pain on March 22, and the news only got worse. Ham was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and one of the first people to find out was her son, C.J. Ham, the Minnesota Vikings fullback. He came up to Duluth as fast as he could to give his mom a big hug and tell her he loved her. "My family is my backbone," C.J. Ham said. And Duluth is his hometown. Ham, 25, was back in Duluth on Friday for a surprise dedication of a mural in his honor in the Duluth Denfeld gymnasium lobby.
PREP GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD / SEASON PREVIEW Cloquet senior Kendra Kelley had just finished anchoring the Lumberjacks' dominating 400-meter relay on Tuesday when she had to cut a conversation short. "Sorry, got to go," she said. Kelley barely had time to catch her breath as less than 10 minutes later she won the individual 400 in a minute flat. While certainly not her best time, consider the circumstances.