Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Echo Press in Alexandria. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Alexandria area sports updates and jokes he thinks are funny.
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The Alexandria girls swimming and diving team wants to build off last season’s successes as it dives into action this year. “We look forward to countless personal bests, achievement of team and personal goals and better team cohesiveness,” head coach Kathy Walker said. “Our team will be able to celebrate successes in and out of the pool.”
For the past two seasons, Greta Reichmann had a consistent doubles partner on the Minnewaska girls tennis team. But this year, the Laker junior has teamed up with freshman Alissa Thorfinnson at the top doubles slot. So far, so good. Reichmann and Thorfinnson defeated Shea Olson and Camryn Hoffarth of Osakis 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday, which continued the duo’s perfect season and proved to be the difference in Minnewaska’s 4-3 victory in Osakis.
Justin Haak grew up watching his father farm. He's gotten away from the farming life as an adult, but he still has an eye for a good crop. That's exactly what he's seen this year. "To me, it seems like a particularly good year. The corn seems a lot taller and a lot healthier than I've seen it before," said Haak. "About the time of the state fair, it normally starts to dent (at the crown of each kernel). From what I've grabbed, and according to the height of the corn in the early growing stage, it's ahead of a normal schedule."
The West Central Area boys and girls cross country teams each picked up second-place finishes at the Lac qui Parle Valley Invitational on Tuesday. For the boys, Jacob Bright finished in 16 minutes, 49 seconds to claim first place. Jack Van Kempen followed in third, while Kade Runge (sixth) and Kyle Schill (11th) also picked up top-15 finishes. It wasn’t enough to hold off LQPV, however, as the Eagles took the team title by a 13-point margin.
Due to pool problems at Discovery Middle School, the Alexandria girls swimming and diving team hasn’t been able to practice for days. But that didn’t stop them from tying Melrose in Tuesday’s dual at DMS.
The Brandon-Evansville volleyball team couldn't quite muster enough in a 3-0 loss at Henning on Tuesday after getting a season-opening sweep itself the night before. "We struggled to find consistency all night in most facets of the game," head coach Kelly Olson said. "We didn't lose our composure, but we didn't really ever have control either. Henning did a great job tonight being more consistent and efficient than we were."
The Alexandria boys soccer team managed to hang around with Sartell-St. Stephen for a while on Tuesday, but the Sabres dominated much of the match because of Ouceny Soumah. The senior Sabre wreaked havoc on the Cardinals, culminating on two perfect corner kicks that set up second-half goals in Sartell-St. Stephen’s 3-0 win at AAHS.
The Brandon-Evansville volleyball team shook off the rust and kicked off the new season with a 3-0 sweep at Hancock on Monday. “(Monday’s) season opening match was a good one for the players,” head coach Kelly Olson said. “With a few girls’ first varsity court time as starters, we didn’t see a lot of nerves.” The Chargers (1-0) started the night with a 25-18 win in the first set, where Olson said junior Kailee Klimek led the way.
The Minnewaska cross country teams have been reborn entering into the fall. “Cross country was just added back to Minnewaska Schools this fall after several years of not having the program,” head coach Jennifer Johnsrud said. “We look to foster the development of a new program, improve each athlete’s performance/skill level and hope to have some individuals earn all-conference honors.”
After limping into the third set with a 2-0 lead and falling flat into the fourth, the Alexandria volleyball team found its solution. “We just started to play with a little bit more composure and not panic in situations, and we started to trust each other,” new head coach Mary Byrne said. “I thought that was a big win for us, not only with the score, but just how we can persevere. We just have to keep trusting our teammates and moving in that direction.”