Sports briefs: Aug. 31 – Sept. 6

Sports Reporter

by Eric Oslund

Sports Reporter

Carlson shines against best in his sport:

Elk River native Andrew Carlson has been on a tear in the PRO 2 circuit ever since he won his debut race back on July 15.

His story continued on Sept. 5 when he competed in the 48th annual World Championship Off-Road Races at Cradon International Raceway. Cradon is recognized as the birthplace of short-course, off-road racing, and the annual Labor Day races are often regarded as the Super Bowl for the sport.

They draw some of the best racers from across North America, and after three podium finishes, Carlson proved that his name belonged among them.

The weekend didn’t start out great for him though. He took 7th in the PRO Light race, but didn’t let that bother him as he climbed into his heavier PRO 2 truck. After all, he’s felt more comfortable in the PRO 2 since he first got the chance to drive it in a race, and used that comfort to record his third win of the season.

His weekend wasn’t done there though, as his Sunday was highlighted by a second-place finish in his PRO 2 behind overall winner Bryce Menzies in the PRO 2 East vs. West Challenge. He then got ready for the AMSOIL Cup.

It’s the marque race of the weekend, which pits the best PRO 2 and PRO 4 racers in North America against one another. The PRO 2 trucks are given a predetermined time advantage over the faster PRO 4’s, and it was almost enough for Carlson.

He led the field for eight laps in the 10-lap final, but was edged out by to PRO 4 drivers in the end, but a third-place finish against some of the best drivers in his sport is nothing to hang his head about as it made him the top placing TORC Series driver in the final.

Carlson and his crew are now preparing to come home and race at the Elk River Extreme Motor Park to compete in the final TORC Series races of the season, which are slated for September 22-24.

Team 125 member takes up new sport:

Nick Anderson, an Elk River native, and member of the 2016 state championship football team, will be joining the men’s rowing team at the University of Wisconsin. He was one of 15 added to the roster for the 2017-18 season.

“A complete animal and fierce competitor, and does it all with a huge smile,” assistant coach Lowell McNicholas said of Anderson. “Nick wil be the first guy to step up to the plate, but will also make sure his teammates aren’t falling behind. Nick’s energy and presence will be a force his class will rally around.”

Elk River CC starts the season right:

The Elk River cross-country team made their way to St. Cloud on Monday, Aug. 28, to compete in the Apollo Early Bird Meet. The girls would end up taking second with a team score of 47, and the boys took third with a team score of 103.

The Elk River boys cross-country team (above) finished third and the girls finished second in the Apollo Early Bird Meet up in St. Cloud. (Photo courtesy of Jordan Thorpe)

 

Seven girls placed in the top 15, running in a pack for most of the race and working with one another. Audrey-Neuerburg-Chapman took sixth, Jessica Holmquist took eighth, Makayla Leuthold took 10th, Ava Trombley took 11th, Madison Mitzuk took 13th, Annica Carr took 14th, and Elaina Kuhnau took 15th.

The boys did not have runners place as high as the girls, but they were also going up against some of the best competition in the state. Lucas Gustafson and Noah Haaf led the way, finishing in 15th and 19th, respectively. Freshman Joseph Gustafson also had a good meet, as he had the finest showing of all the ninth graders, finishing in 25th.

Elks suffer first loss of season:

After starting the season 2-0, defeating Hopkins and Cannon Falls – each in three sets – the Elk River volleyball team hit a bit of a rough patch.

They went up against Stillwater on Thursday, Aug. 31, and came away with their first loss of the season, but they didn’t just roll over for the Ponies, they gave them everything they could handle and then some.

The Elks would take the first set by a score of 25-19, but fell by the same score in the second set. The Elks rebounded to take the third set 25-16, but fell in the second set 25-15. It all came down to the fourth and final set, but the Elks just ran out of gas, dropping the set by a score of 15-9, and the match 3-2.

Sarah Johnson led the offensive charge with 12 kills on the night, and Kincaid Strain did her part with 32 assists. Starin also helped out on defense with 24 digs, which was second to Erin Davis’ 29.

Sting boys, Thunder girls shine:

Both the Spectrum and Zimmerman cross-country teams made their way to Princeton on Thursday, Aug. 31, to compete in an invitational.

For the girls, Zimmerman was led by Cherisa Bouley, who finished third with a time of 20:21.72 and Sophia Smith, who came in 12th with a time of 22:30.67. Spectrum’s top runner for the girls was Martha Bergley, who finished one spot ahead of Smith with a time of 22:11.43. She was followed by Maria Novotny in 32nd with a time of 24:27.39.

For the boys, Spectrum finished in second as a team and were led by Zack Anderson who took first (17:37.33), Ben Harvey in eighth (18:46.49), Matthew Helser in ninth (18:51.17), and Nevin Sagstetter in 11th (18:56.88). Zimmerman’s top runner was Aaron Coons, who took 36th with a time of 20:44.40. He was followed by A.J. Marting in 40th with a time of 21:06.58.

Sting top Thunder:

The Spectrum girls soccer team traveled north on Thursday, Aug. 31, to take on the Zimmerman Thunder in a non-conference match. It was a close contest throughout, but in the end it was the Sting coming away with a 3-2 win.

They were led by senior Elizabeth Hackbarth, who netted two goals, and freshman Abbie Westermeyer, who scored the third.

“The girls played exceptionally well against a very solid team from Zimmerman,” said Sting head coach Dana Gibson.

Sting so home opener right:

The Spectrum volleyball team hosted Fridley for their home opener on Thursday, Aug. 31, and came away with a 3-0 victory – taking the sets 25-18, 25-16, and 25-23.

The match started out on a low note as the Sting lost starting sophomore middle blocker Nicole Sagstetter during their warm ups to an apparent knee injury. Eighth grader Jessica White was called upon to replace her, and performed well recording a team-high nine kills, and three blocks.

Ellie Rogers led the team with 21 assists, and Lauren Gillquist and Elise Berry led the team with seven digs a piece.

Emily Rubbelke (above) teammed up with Sami Stickler in No. 1 doubles to give the Royals their only victory against Buffalo. (Photo by Rob LaPlante/Wright County Journal Press)

No. 1 doubles highlight Royals:

The Rogers girls tennis team traveled to Buffalo on Sept. 9 and came away suffered a 6-1 defeat, dropping them to 1-5 on the season.

The one highlight from the night came in the No. 1 doubles court where the pairing of Emily Rubbelke and Sami Stickler came away with the win. The ended up dropping the first set 7-5, but rallied back to take the second set 6-4, and then cruised to a victory in the tiebreaker, taking the third set 6-1.