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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This is a look at how some area athletes are doing at their respective colleges or in their athletic careers.
SWIMMING AND DIVING Alexandria at section meet, Sartell, 5:30 p.m.
A special week for the Hasz sisters was capped off on Wednesday afternoon as they signed their letters of intent to run track and cross country at the University of Minnesota. Saturday saw Megan and Bethany wrap up their cross country careers in an Alexandria uniform with a third-straight 1-2 finish at the state meet at St. Olaf. Bethany finished her career with the two state titles in the fall and a runner-up, while Megan won the 2014 title and added second-place finishes behind Bethany in 2013 and 2015. Now they are officially members of the Gophers.
The Alexandria girls hockey team has gone through stretches where it has dominated its opponents on the way to a 2-0 start to the season. The Cardinals won 9-2 in the season opener against North Metro and followed that on Tuesday with a 6-2 win at North Wright County. Alexandria scored the first three goals with McKenzie Revering, Mackenzie Abrahamson and McKenna Ellingson all connecting within almost 10 minutes of action. Abrahamson's goal was the first of her varsity career, and it came in pretty fashion.
Minnesota firearms hunters registered 68,401 deer during the first three days of firearms deer season, according to a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) release that was issued on Tuesday. Final numbers from the first three days show that the number of deer registered rose 6.3 percent from 2014.
The sound of water trickling over the rocks in a narrow creek below me was the only sound that broke up the darkness as I waited for the sun to rise on opening morning of firearms season. There was no blaming the weather for slow deer movement on Saturday. Conditions were almost perfect — light west winds; cool temperatures. Deer should be on the move. It's never long after first light before the first shot rings out in the distance. Was that close enough to be someone in our hunting party?
Herd named All-MIAC at St. Catherine Shanee Herd, an Alexandria native and Jefferson High School graduate, was named an all-conference volleyball player in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) this season for her efforts in helping Division III St. Catherine University to an 18-13 overall record. Herd stood out defensively as a libero in the MIAC as she averaged 6.19 digs per set. That was second in the league behind only MIAC defensive player of the year, Camille Benson from Carleton College, and fifth nationally in Division III.
The fall season is coming to an end in high school sports and the Alexandria girls hockey team wasted no time getting the winter season off on the right foot. The Cardinals have some high expectations after a consolation title in Class A last winter. They dominated their first game of the season on Saturday afternoon at the Runestone Community Center, winning 9-2 against a North Metro team they beat 4-3 in overtime a year ago. "I was very thrilled with how we played," Alexandria head coach Blair Hovel said.
The Echo Press wants to publish your hunting stories from this deer season. Big bucks, first deer, interesting tales — every hunt has a story, and we would love to share yours. Send some of your favorite hunting photos and details of the hunt from this season through email to Outdoor editor, Eric Morken, at email@example.com .
Hunters can now preview an interactive deer information tool being developed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on the deer map page at www.dnr.state.mn.us/deermap/index . "This is our first step toward launching an online application that delivers useful information hunters need and want," said Steve Merchant, the DNR's wildlife populations and programs manager.