Star News » Sports The Star News covers community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for Elk River, Otsego, Rogers and Zimmerman, Minnesota and their surrounding areas. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 23:14:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Softball: Zimmerman’s Ryding signs with SW Minnesota Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:07:33 +0000 Ashley Ryding of Zimmerman signed with Southwest Minnesota State for softball on Nov. 14.

Ashley Ryding

Ashley Ryding

Ryding, a second baseman and outfielder, made all-conference as a sophomore, hitting .339 with three homers while fielding 1.000.

She switched to track last year with the  Thunder, saying she needed to work on speed and endurance, but continued to play softball with the Minnesota Force, hitting .350 with 50 RBI in 60 games.



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Hockey: Elk girls down North Metro 11-0 Wed, 19 Nov 2014 04:40:05 +0000 Shae McLean and Raelyn Korinek each delivered three goals as Elk River-Zimmerman coasted 11-0 over North Metro Stars at home Tuesday evening.

The Elks (3-1) have scored 20 consecutive goals in three wins. Previously they beat Totino-Grace 7-0 and Forest Lake 4-1 when they had the last two goals.

Raekyn Korinek

Raelyn Korinek

“The girls know it’s going to get tougher,” said coach Dale Sager, “but even though the scores have been lopsided, they are doing the things we ask them to do, and learning and getting better, and that’s all we can ask. We hope to build on this momentum as we start seeing tougher conference opponents.”

Shae McLean

Shae McLean

Along with the hat tricks by sophomores McLean and Korinek, who had two power-play goals, the Elks got a goal each from Abbie Canton, Breanna Simon (shorthanded), Julia Miller, Madison Bizal, and Rachel Dorff. Samantha Westgaard assisted on two goals.

The Elks (2-0 conference) have another NWSC duel Saturday against Irondale at the super rink in Blaine.

The Elks opener was a 4-1 loss to No. 2 ranked Eden Prairie, which looks “pretty respectable,” Sager said, considering that the Eagles are 5-0 and will take over the No. 1 spot after beating top-ranked Hill-Murray 4-3 Tuesday.

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Hockey: Tiger girls beat Rogers 4-1 Wed, 19 Nov 2014 04:37:44 +0000 The Princeton Tigers scored three first-period goals and handed the Rogers Royals a 4-1 loss on Tuesday evening.

Paetyn Levis got the Royals on the board with a power play goal in the first period after they fell behind 3-0.

Bridget Walter, Erica Schramel, Kenzie Skuza and Eden Bretzler scored for Princeton (3-1).

Tiger goalie Kara Schramel stopped 21 of 22 shots, and Rogers’ Ellie Anderson stopped 27 of 31.

Rogers (0-2) will play at Chisago Lakes on Friday.

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Hockey: Canton, Elks thump Totino-Grace 7-0 Sun, 16 Nov 2014 07:22:49 +0000 Abbie Canton led with four points as Elk River-Zimmerman cruised 7-0 over Totino-Grace on Saturday.

At Parade Ice Gardens in Minneapolis, Canton scored the Elks’ first and fourth goals in the first period, and assisted on a goal by Julia Miller. She had another assist in the third period.

Canton, senior forward who has led the Elks in scoring the past two years, has three goals and three assists this year, leading a team that’s very young overall.

Breanna Simon also notched two goals and Miller, Madison Bizal (power play) and Shae McLean (shorthanded) had one each.

Haley Williams provided two assists and Bizal, Sam Westgaard, Jessica Dexheimer, Reilly Springman and Raelyn Korinek one each,

The Elks (2-1) outshot the Eagles 29-8, with Tiffany LaFontain in goal for the shutout.

The Elks will host North Metro on Tuesday, 7 p.m.

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Swimming: Young places 11th, Odegard 12th in finals at state meet Sat, 15 Nov 2014 07:16:59 +0000 Jessica Young at state. (Photos by Bruce Strand)

Jessica Young at state. (Photos by Bruce Strand)


Senior teammates Jessica Young and Taylor Odegard each moved up a few notches in the final races of their respective careers, at the state swimming meet, Saturday evening.

Young, of Rogers, swam her third straight personal best, 5:08.11, in the 500 freestyle consolation finals, to grab 11th place in Class AA at the University of Minnesota. Young had been 13th in prelims with a 5:09.90 after a 5:12 at sectional.

Taylor Odegard at state.

Taylor Odegard at state.

Odegard, of Elk River, swam the 50 freestyle in 24.19 in the consolation finals to place 12th. That was also a lifetime best. She had placed 15th in prelims with 24.30.

The other Rogers state qualifier, Alaina Sylvester, didn’t make the top 16 in the breaststroke or individual medley in prelims Thursday. Odegard didn’t advance in her other event, the 100 freestyle.

Rogers, Elk River and Zimmerman swim as one team in the regular season and split for post-season.


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Athlete of the week: Samantha Hendricks, Elk River, swimming: Aqua adventure Sat, 15 Nov 2014 07:04:36 +0000 by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Samantha Hendricks, hoping for one more state trip to cap an exciting multi-sports career, fell short at section swimming last Saturday, but it’s been a great ride.

“It feels kind of weird to be done, because I’ve gone to state in something every year since eighth grade,” said the Elk River senior who’s gone in three different sports. “So, it’s bittersweet.

“I’m still happy, because our season was super fun, and I wouldn’t trade a second of it for the world — being a captain, and our team doing really well in our conference, and senior night, and seeing these three (teammates) go to state.”

Oh, and she was homecoming queen, too. Not a bad senior season.

Katie Hartneck, 3-time all-conference swimmer, went to state meets in swimming, country and track. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Samantha Hendricks, 3-time all-conference swimmer, went to state meets in swimming, country and track. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Hendricks helped the Elk cross country team take fourth in the state as an eighth-grader. She went to state in track with the 4-by-800 relay in ninth grade, and in swimming with the 200 freestyle relay the last two years, picking up a fourth-place medal as a sophomore.

At sectionals last week, she scored in four events, but in her best chance, 200 freestyle relay, her quartet placed third, ending her career.

A three-time all-conference swimmer despite not starting until ninth grade, Hendricks was one of three seniors, along with Taylor Odegard and Jessica Young, leading a 6-2-1 season.

“Samantha is a strong swimmer and a great leader for us,” said coach Luke Johnson. “She is always smiling and giving her all. She has been a great training partner for Taylor all these years. She can swim a lot of strokes well.”

In cross country, Hendricks came on strong late in her eighth-grade year to help the Elks win their section (she finished 11th) and place fourth in the state meet, where she was third on the team and 73rd among 158 state qualifiers.

Despite that success, Hendricks said she “lost my passion” for cross country and opted to join her best friend Odegard on the swimming team as a freshman. She quickly worked her way into varsity her first year and was a big part of the Elks plans after that.

Hendricks capped her sophomore year by teaming with Odegard and senior stars Allison Schwab and Courtney Grunewald to place fourth in the state 200 free relay with a school record and prep All-America time of 1:36.61. “I’ll never forget that, as long as I live,” said Hendricks.

The 5-foot-6, 130-pound athlete, best suited for the shorter races, usually competed in 100 freestyle, breaststroke, and medley and 200 freestyle relays, but could easily be plugged into the 50 or butterfly, when needed. “I like relays the best,” she said. “There’s so much energy and noise. I got to be in a lot of great relays.”

In track, Hendricks was a steady scorer in the 800 and 4-by-800 relay on Elk teams that won conference and section titles in 2001, 2012 and 2013. As a freshman she took fifth in the section 800 with a career-best 2:23.

Last year, she dropped track in mid-season to devote more time for DECA, where she’s one of the leaders. She’s even more active outside of sports, with several interests, including multi-cultural activities (she’s of partial Cherokee descent) while maintaining an “A” average.


Samantha Hendricks

Samantha Hendricks

Personal file — Age: 18 … Family: parents Vicki and Dan; sister Julia, 8th grade …. Sport: swimming, formerly track and cross country, Central Lutheran youth group Impulse … Academics: 3.9 GPA … Other activities: DECA, National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, American Indian Education Club, Multi-Cultural Club … College plans: probably Arizona State, graphic design

Favorite stuff — Class: DECA, advanced marketing, graphic design …. TV shows: “Survivor” and “Bachelor” … Movie: “The Life of Pi” … Reading: fashion magazines “Vogue,” “Marie Claire,” and “Seventeen” …. Food: Chipotle fare … Drink: cherry coke … Athlete: Gabby Douglas

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Elks’ Katie Hartneck glad she took the plunge as a senior Sat, 15 Nov 2014 06:58:34 +0000 by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Better late than never, Katie Hartneck decided, with regard to adding diving as a new sport, and she’s glad she did.

The Elk River senior was one of several girls with gymnastics backgrounds recruited by Jenn Bartlett when the former Elk gymnastics coach signed on to mentor Elk divers this year. She was the only senior among the three who accepted the challenge.

“It’s been a really fun year,” said Hartneck, after her season ended with a disappointing day at sectionals Saturday.

Starting from scratch, Hartneck developed enough skills to score 199.5 in the conference championship meet at Centennial, placing a close second, one of the Elk highlights in a losing effort that night. She placed third with 175.80 to help the Elks tie Maple Grove 93-93 in their other conference showdown.

Katie Hartneck in pike position on a dive at sectionals. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Elk senior Katie Hartneck in pike position on a dive at sectionals. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

“Katie has been killing it,” said Bartlett. “Her best dive is the back somersault with one and a half twists … Her gymnastics training helped with this dive. I look forward to see how it transitions onto the floor (exercise.)”

Hartneck was intrigued but hesitant when Bartlett approached.

“Seniors don’t usually try a new sport,” said Hartneck, “but I  decided to do it. I wanted a new experience, and I thought it might help me with gymnastics.”

Hartneck said she had “no idea” how to dive when she started — “I didn’t even know how to do a forward dive” — but steadily soaked up the fundamentals, helped by her gymnastics training.  Her best dives have been “anything with twisting,” mainly the back one-and-a-half twist and the back full-twist.

The hardest part, she said, is the jolt of hitting the water at high speed from a height of around 10 feet. “You get bruises,” she revealed. Diving, like gymnastics, presents dangers, she acknowledged; her teammate Krista Kovar was injured hitting the board.

“It’s a little scary, but you try not to think about that,” Hartneck said.
In the section prelims, she didn’t make the top 16. “Nerves got to me,” admitted Hartneck, who hopes that wasn’t her last meet.

Harneck was an Elk gymnast through 10th grade, with moderate success, then took last year off, but plans to return this winter. Hartneck said she’s now a better diver than a gymnast and is looking for an opportunity to continue in college.

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For Amber Paul, a banner senior season at DePaul … like at Rogers Sat, 15 Nov 2014 06:54:54 +0000 Amber Paul (left), senior from Rogers, and DePaul teammates hoisted the Big East trophy after beating Georgetown 2-0. Paul had one of the goals in that game and was named Offensive MVP for the playoffs. (DePaul photo)

Amber Paul (left), senior from Rogers, and DePaul teammates hoisted the Big East trophy after beating Georgetown 2-0. Paul had one of the goals in that game and was named Offensive MVP for the playoffs. (DePaul photo)


by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Amber Paul, who capped her prep soccer career at Rogers with a state championship, is closing her collegiate career at DePaul University with another championship season.

The Chicago-based Blue Devils captured the Big East Conference regular season and playoff titles, and take a 16-0-4 record into the NCAA tournament against Wisconsin (18-2-2) Saturday night in Madison.

Amber Paul, who scored 78 goals for Rogers and closed her career with a state championship, has 8 goals this year for DePaul after getting 7 her first three years. She plays midfield. (DePaul photo)

Amber Paul, who scored 78 goals for Rogers and closed her career with a state championship, has 8 goals this year for DePaul after getting 7 her first three years. She plays midfield. (DePaul photo)

Paul, a strong, 5-foot-4 mid-fielder, was named outstanding offensive player in the conference playoffs. She scored a goal in a 2-0 win over Georgetown in the finals Sunday in Jamaica, N.Y.

“To have this amazing season my senior year is incredible, and very similar to my senior year of high school,” said Paul, interviewed via e-mail by the Star News.

Paul has eight goals (third on the team) and two assists for 20 points. She had seven goals total her first three seasons.

DePaul, ranked No. 7 by Soccer America, is one of only two unbeaten Division I teams, along with top-ranked, defending champion UCLA. Wisconsin will be the third Big Ten team DePaul has played. They beat Nebraska and Iowa early in the season.

At Rogers, Paul scored 77 career goals, 21 of them her senior year when the Royals went 24-0 and captured the Class A championship. They also made state her junior year.

Paul, who’s majoring in Health Science, with a concentration on Health Education, chose DePaul after attending a soccer camp run by Blue Devils coach Erin Chastain (sister-in-law of the renowned Brandi Chastain).

The Blue Devils won just three games her first year, but became more competitive her sophomore year, then pulled off some big upsets and qualified for the NCAA’s last year.

“I thought last year might have been as far as we would ever go,” said Paul, “but after this year, I couldn’t be happier.”

Boosted by some talented freshmen, the Blue Devils became more offensive-oriented, and their veteran midfielder, who had more of a defensive role the previous two years, was able to get in on the fun.

“I started out this season as a holding midfielder, not quite knowing yet what this team could do,” said Paul, “but as we realized that we could really score goals this year, with some new players up top, we didn’t need to keep as many (players) back as we usually have.”

Paul was able to rush the net and finish more often, like in high school.

“I was very happy about that because I love scoring goals,” said Paul. “I decided this was going to be my year, and I couldn’t be more thankful how it is turning out. God has gone above and beyond for me this year.”

The great 2010 Rogers team (coached by Holly Sutton) had three members still playing this year. Colleen Reeves, a defender, finished her career at South Dakota, and Jessica Bianchi is a junior midfielder at Concordia-St. Paul. Aliya Ballon, Paul’s classmate who was also a prodigious scorer, played one season at North Dakota before dropping the sport.

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Rogers’ Murray, Anderson, Paulsrud, Nowak sign with college hoops teams Fri, 14 Nov 2014 10:03:24 +0000 Four Rogers basketball players signed with college teams on Wednesday, announced Dan Ohlgren, activities director.

Minnesota State-Moorhead signed Cole Murray, 6-foot-9 post who averaged 16 points and 9 rebounds last year for the 9-16 Royals.

Headed for the Minnesota State-Mankato women’s team are guard Taylor Anderson and forward Taylor Paulsrud. Signing with Jamestown (N.D.) College was forward Marina Nowak. Last season, Anderson averaged 9.5 points and Nowak 9.0 points for the Royals (15-13).

Taylor Paulsrud

Taylor Paulsrud

Cole Murray

Cole Murray

Taylor Anderson

Taylor Anderson

Marina Nowak

Marina Nowak

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Zimmerman’s state mat champ May signs with Moorhead Fri, 14 Nov 2014 09:58:16 +0000 Austin May formally signed at ZHS, flanked by parents Bryan and Teri, and sister Ilea, a freshman. (ZHS photo)

Austin May formally signed at ZHS, flanked by parents Bryan and Teri, and sister Ilea, a freshman. (ZHS photo)


Zimmerman’s state champion wrestler Austin May will continue his mat career at Minnesota State-Moorhead.

Austin May beamed after winning his state semifinal match last March.

Austin May beamed after winning his state semifinal match last March.

May, who signed with the Dragons and coach Kris Nelson on Wednesday, captured the Class AA 182-pound title last March, the first state crown by a District 728 wrestler in seven years. He had a 37-7 record, including 4-0 at state after qualifying as a section runner-up.

May is also an all-conference football player at fullback and linebacker.

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