Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
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A total of 29 entries were submitted to this year's Hunt Down Your Photos contest put on by the Echo Press. From those, the top three were named. Brandon's Shirley Saathoff snapped the winning photo during an elk hunt in the White River National Forest in Colorado this past October. Saathoff says she has tagged along on elk hunts with her husband, Daryl, through J-Bar-H Outfitters in Colorado. "I love to go horseback riding and it's awesome to ride in the mountains," she said.
Alexandria's Missy Erickson has been dreaming of competing at the 2016 summer Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, and that goal took another step with her selection to the Team USA cycling long team. USA Cycling announced the men's and women's track Olympic long teams on Dec. 18.
The Alexandria girls basketball program will host its annual holiday tournament, starting on Tuesday and wrapping up on Wednesday at Alexandria Area High School. Hutchinson (6-1), Buffalo (3-4) and Robbinsdale-Armstrong...
To celebrate the new year, Lake Carlos State Park in Alexandria is hosting a variety of events. All are free to the public with a purchase of a Minnesota state parks vehicle permit. Thursday, Dec. 31, 6 to 8 p.m. All are invited to a New Year's Eve Candlelight Event that will offer snowshoeing or walking by moonlight with candle luminaries set up along the path. Afterward, there will be fires and marshmallow roasting.
The Brandon-Evansville girls basketball team is 7-0 after hanging on for a 48-46 win at Ortonville on Tuesday night. The Chargers got 10 points from Carrigan Okerlund, while Rachel Hoernemann led all scorers with 21 points in the losing effort. Kylee Hansen added a nice all-around game for the Chargers with eight points, seven assists and six steals.
The Brandon-Evansville boys basketball team lost a 61-60 contest to Ortonville in the final seconds on Tuesday night as Tyson Powell made a layup with 17 seconds left to propel the Trojans (4-2) to the win. The Chargers' James Strese had given B-E a one-point lead before that on a three with 25 seconds left. Brandon-Evansville wasn't able to get a shot off before the buzzer on its final possession. Sam Anderson paced the Chargers with his fourth double-double of the year by pouring in 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Skyler Quinn added 16 points and 12 boards.
The Alexandria boys swimming and diving team took its first loss of the season as Brainerd defended its home pool in a 105-79 meet. The Cardinals' first win came from Nic Chromey in the 200 IM in a time of 2:09. He was a two-time winner after also taking the 100 breaststroke in 1:03. Henri Santelman won the diving portion of the meet with 213 points, while Patrick Chromey added Alexandria's final win by taking the 500 freestyle in 5:17. MEET SUMMARY Brainerd 105, Alexandria 79
The Alexandria Nordic ski teams traveled to Grand Rapids on Tuesday in search of enough snow to compete at Mt. Itasca and took on a field of 500 skiers. "Teams came from the mighty Arrowhead region and they proved why they have the skiing reputations that they do, as well as a handful of teams from Greater Minnesota," Alexandria head coach Jeremy Rapp said. "With the close holiday, the whole team didn't compete, but we brought with whoever we could. Junior varsity and varsity were tasked with racing a 6.3-K skate race."
The Alexandria boys hockey team dominated the final period in Willmar on Tuesday night to win 4-2 after outshooting the host Cardinals 46-8 overall. Mack Strong had two goals for Alexandria and Nate Folsom added two assists. Jack Westlund and Aarin Willander each added a goal apiece, while Jack Steffl, Ben Doherty, Zac Nelson and Wade Smith added assists. Alexandria put up 13 shots in the first, 16 in the second and 17 more in the third.
The fifth-ranked West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville wrestling team continued its torrid pace this season by beating Osakis 53-13 and Minnewaska 45-27 at the Osakis Triangular on Tuesday. Nathan Kulzer (106, MD, 11-0), Brendon Coyer (138, fall, 1:03) and Colton Waldvogel (152, 10-5) had the Silverstreaks' only wins against WCA-A-B-E.