Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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The Bemidji boys track and field team recorded four individual event championships and also won the 4x400 relay at Tuesday's Brainerd quadrangular. The home team and Sartell shared the team crown with 200 points while Bemidji tallied 182 and Detroit Lakes 80. In the girls division the Lumberjacks collected one individual title, Allie Heifort in the shot put. Sartell captured the team title with 229.5 points and Brainerd was second with 169.17.
Scott Engelstad is hoping for a break in the weather today as his Bemidji boys tennis team is scheduled to head to Thief River Falls for the annual Northwest Quad meet. Joining Bemidji will be the host team, East Grand Forks and Crookston. The Lumberjacks have been off since April 27 when they visited Detroit Lakes. A meet at Thief River Falls on April 29 was a weather victim and Bemidji has been dodging raindrops since then. "We could be rusty," Engelstad said.
During the past eight days the percentages have caught up with the Bemidji softball team. "We had a great April as far as getting in games but the last week of April and so far in May it's been a struggle," said BHS coach Brad Takkunen. "And Tuesday was another example." On April 26 the Lumberjacks blitzed St. Cloud Tech 11-0 in St. Cloud.
After an unexpected few days off the Bemidji high school teams have a busy week in store, beginning today when the softball team hosts Grand Forks Red River and the track teams head to Brainerd. Because of last week's steady rain, the softball team has been off since April 26. In between the Lumberjacks saw Thursday's home game against Duluth East and Friday's game at Grand Forks Central become weather victims. Bemidji (7-2) will entertain Red River beginning at 4:30 p.m. Thursday sees BHS visiting Moorhead at 5 p.m. and the Jacks will head to Brainerd 5 p.m.
A shorthanded Bemidji girls golf team competed at Headwaters Golf Course in Park Rapids Monday and the Lumberjacks finished sixth in a 10-team field. Last Saturday at Grand Rapids BHS also was shorthanded because of prom. The result was an 11th-place finish in the 14-team field. "The school had advanced placement tests Monday so we only had four varsity girls play at Park Rapids," said BHS coach Jeff Nelson. "We probably would have finished 25 shots better had we had everybody but we did fine. I'm pleased with the way the kids played.
The weather was the big winner Friday although the Bemidji girls golf team was able to conduct its annual tournament at the Bemidji Town & Country Club. The rain forced postponement of a pair of home events, the softball game against Grand Forks Central and the baseball doubleheader against Alexandria. Also postponed was the track and field meet at Brainerd. That competition has been rescheduled for Tuesday. The softball game will not be made up while the baseball doubleheader will be played May 14.
Surrounded by his parents and others who have helped pave the way, Bemidji High School swimmer Matt Wilcox signed a letter of intent Thursday at the high school to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. next fall. Wilcox is coming off a senior season which was capped by the individual 100-freestyle championship at the MSHSL state meet. He also finished second in the 200 and helped the Lumberjacks place second at state in the 400 free relay and third in the 200 free relay. "It takes good coaching and many good people to get as far as I have," Matt Wilcox said.
The Bemidji girls golf team will host its 23rd annual invitational 9:30 a.m. today at the Bemidji Town & Country Club. Among the 18 teams will be Minnewaska which captured the event championship a year ago and capped its season with the Class AA state crown. Also expected to challenge for the invitational title is Grand Rapids. "We're looking to break 350 and finish in the top three," said BHS coach Jeff Nelson. "Our overall scores may not indicate that we're getting better but parts of our game have improved.
Kevin Larson shot 79 to lead the Bemidji boys golf team at Wednesday's Brainerd Invitational held at The Pines course near Nisswa. The Lumberjacks shot 331 and finished eighth in a field of 18. Moorhead won the meet with a 307 and Edina placed second at 311. Also finishing ahead of the Jacks were Fergus Falls with 312, Chaska with 315, Armstrong with 320, Alexandria with 322 and Stillwater with 326. "Many teams struggled with the windy conditions but I was expecting us to shoot better than we did," said BHS coach Eric Niskanen. Tyler Rustad of Moorhead was meet medalist with a 71.
The Bemidji softball team will own the home spotlight today as the Lumberjacks entertain Duluth East at 4:30 p.m. Also in action today is the tennis team which will visit Thief River Falls. The softball team (7-2) is coming off an impressive 11-0 win Monday at St. Cloud Tech.