After almost giving up on his dream, Crosby-Ironton grad Mark Hoge got a phone call this spring that changed his life. Ever since he was young, 27-year-old Hoge felt he was called to play professional basketball. Following a successful high school career with the Rangers and then at the University of Jamestown, he spent a couple of years trying out around the country.
From Europe to Australia, Staples-Motley High School graduate Jordan Riewer continues to experience the world through his pro basketball career. After graduating from high school as the Cardinals' career scoring leader (1,927 points), Riewer went on to a stellar career at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He was named MSUM Athlete of the Year his senior year after leading the Dragons to the 2015 NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the first time in school history. He led the nation in free-throw percentage (94.9 percent) that year and was second in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Derek Halbur's passion for BMX racing and successes far exceed his diminutive size. The 12-year-old sixth grader from Forestview Middle School qualified for Team USA for the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) BMX World Championships in Huesden-Zolder, Belgium, this summer. At 4-foot-8 and 69 pounds, Halbur is one of the smallest kids in his 12-year-old division, but is ranked 20th. Last year, he placed second at a national event in Kansas City, Mo., his best finish ever.
Hayden Zillmer has his eyes set on the 2020 Olympics. Eight years after graduating from Crosby-Ironton High School, the three-time Class 1A state wrestling champion is still on the mat with a goal of making Team USA for the XXXII Summer Games in Tokyo. Recently, Zillmer finished 3-1 at 92 Kg (202 pounds) for the Team USA, which won the bronze medal in mid-March at the Freestyle World Cup in Yakutsk, Russia. He scored four takedowns in a 10-0 win over Japan's Atsushi Matsumoto that contributed to a 6-4 win over Japan in the bronze medal match.
Three area basketball seniors are already being recognized for their efforts on and off the court this season. Crosby-Ironton's Shyanne Loiland and Joseph Stokman along with Olivia Lane from Pequot Lakes have accepted invitations to play in the Border Battle All-Star game March 26 at the University of Minnesota-Duluth Ralph Romano Gym.
The Moab is a 238.3-mile footrace for ultra-trail runners that begins and ends in Moab, Utah, traversing some of Utah's most stunning and challenging terrain. It is classified as a non-repetitive race meaning that it is one huge single loop, never covering the same route or terrain. Racers face desert trails, slick rock, canyons and mountain ranges.
By almost anyone's definition, Julie Moulton is crazy. The Brainerd High School graduate has taken her passion for ultra-trail running to the ultimate level. From Oct. 12-16, she completed the Moab 240 Endurance Run, a 238.3-mile, five-day foot race through some of Utah's most beautiful and challenging terrain. The race course is a massive loop that begins and ends in Moab, Utah. It follows the Colorado River through Canyonlands National Park and makes its way across the Abajo and the La Sal mountains back to Moab.
LITTLE FALLS—This year's Section 5-1A championship match was a complete flip of last year's title contest. The second-seed and 10th-ranked Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Jaguars clawed their way past top-seeded and fifth-ranked Pine River-Backus Tigers 3-1 Saturday, Nov. 3 for a trip to the Class 1A state tournament. Last year, it was the Tigers, playing without any seniors, who shocked a senior-laden BBE squad with a 3-1 win. This year, it was the Jaguars turn, playing with just three seniors, to upset the higher-ranked Tigers with five seniors by the same score.
BAXTER—Sauk Rapids' Wade Cruser set a course record and returned to the top of the podium while Baxter's Jacquelyn Bacigalupi was a first-time winner for the women in the Lakes Country Triathlon Sunday, Aug. 26, in Baxter. Cruser finished the course in 56:55, breaking the previous course record of 58:33 that he set in 2016. The current race was shortened slightly in 2014 and begins with a quarter-mile swim at Whipple Beach followed by a 14-mile bike ride and finishes with a 3.2-mile run through Baxter's residential area.
At age 16, Hopkins High School basketball phenom Paige Bueckers has already realized more success and experiences than most prep players can ever dream of achieving. Perhaps even more remarkable than her achievements on the court is the desire she has already developed about wanting to give back to her sport and help younger kids grow and become as passionate about basketball as she is.