Staff Writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper
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Fairview Township officials invited residents to town hall Wednesday, May 3, for a workshop meeting to discuss the creation of a multi-use trail along County State Aid Highway 77 that would connect with trails in East Gull Lake and Lake Shore. Roughly 25 residents joined the discussion, which was led by Bryan Drown and Joel Odens, of engineering firm Bolton & Menk, along with Lake Shore City Administrator Teri Hastings and East Gull Lake City Administrator Rob Mason to discuss the logistics of connecting a walking trail with those of the two cities.
The Pequot Lakes Patriot track teams saw two school records broken on Tuesday, May 2, as the girls team finished second and the boys finished third at a Brainerd Triangular that also featured Brainerd and Alexandria. Sophomore Britt Kratochvil set a new school record in the high jump, finishing first in the event with a height of 5 feet, 3.5 inches, while Reid Pierzinski tried his hand at the 400-meter race and set a new school high mark with a time of 50.01 seconds.
The Pequot Lakes 12U volleyball team finished second in the Gold Division at the 13U Wadena-Deer Creek tournament on Saturday, April 29. They defeated Osakis, Fergus Falls, Perham, and Wadena - Deer Creek before losing to Fosston. Front row, from left: Bailey Clausen, Charlee Sullivan, Isabel Larson and Abi Martin. Back row: Maci Martini, Brea Eckes, Ella Kratochvil, Macy Jackson and Kelsi Martini. Coaches are Melinda Jackson and Lisa Martini
Centerfielder Spencer Richards went 3-4 with two RBIs and two runs during the Pine River-Backus Tigers' 9-2 win over the Cass Lake-Bena Panthers Tuesday, April 25. "The boys showed their mental toughness in a cold conference game," coach Michael Dinnel said. "Nick Ackerman pitched outstanding, and we got timely hitting from the heart of our lineup. I am very proud of every kid on this team for their attitude and effort." Ackerman pitched all seven innings for the Tigers, striking out 10 batters while allowing just two hits and one earned run. He also allowed just one walk.
Pequot Lakes' Reid Pierzinski picked up an individual victories in the Hamline University Elite Meet on Friday, April 28. To participate in the meet, runners must qualify as one of the nine fastest and best in the state in a given event, regardless of class. Pierzinski won the 110-meter hurdles, finished second in the triple jump, ninth in the 300 hurdles and helped the Patriots 4x400 relay to seventh place. Ben Nelson, Maximus Johnson and Cody Huss were also on the relay.
The weather is still somewhat finicky, but I think it's safe to say spring is here. Sure, it snowed in Backus over the weekend, but nothing accumulated. Let's just call that a fluke. We may still have to deal with a nearly unending chance of rain and high temperatures that may fluctuate 30 degrees in a given 24-hour period, but things are starting to green up and nature is becoming a bit more consistent. If you don't mind wearing a hoodie, or really anything that warms you, there is no time like the present to check out the beauty that the lakes area can provide.
Due to his work done in the name of the Minnesota Football Coaches Association, Pequot Lakes Patriots assistant football coach Bill Magnuson was the 2017 recipient of the Don Swanson Award. "I am surprised, honored and blessed," Magnuson said. "I was given an award for something I love doing anyway. I went into teaching and coaching to make a difference in kids' lives, and when someone recognizes the work you do, it is an honor."
The Pine River-Backus track team left the Pillager Invitational on Thursday, April 20, with a third-place finish by the girls and a fifth-place finish from the boys.. The girls finished with an overall score of 108 while the boys finished with a score of 84.5. Sidney Lodge finished first for the girls in the 3,200-meter run, finishing in 13 minutes, 16.64 seconds. Olivia Adkins took first in the 300 hurdles with a time of 52.14 and Shayna Moore won the triple jump with a distance of 30 feet, 10.25 inches.
The Patriot girls track team finished first out of 18 teams and the boys finished second of 16 at the Crosby Invitational on Friday, April 21. "It is so rewarding to see the girls' times creep down," girls coach Jana Lueck said. "It gives them satisfaction in knowing that their hard work at practice does pay off. We had a lot of girls get a personal record and our relays were very strong. In the field, our ladies really help us solidify the win for the team." The girls were led by Addie Hubbard, who finished first in the 300 hurdles, long jump and triple jump.
The price of gasoline across the state is rising along with the average temperature, and experts anticipate prices to continue increasing for the next few months. Currently in Minnesota, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel is $2.32, 8 cents below the national average. That average is an increase of 6 cents from the previous week. Crude oil is trading at roughly $53 dollars per barrel.