Sun Current http://current.mnsun.com Local News for Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina and Richfield Minnesota Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:28:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Gentle Yoga classes meet on Thursdays http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/gentle-yoga-classes-meet-on-thursdays/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/gentle-yoga-classes-meet-on-thursdays/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:28:53 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=144149 Bloomington’s community center is hosting weekly Gentle Yoga classes.

The weekly classes are 10-11 a.m. Thursdays, at Creekside Community Center, 9801 Penn Ave.

Kripalu yoga teacher Sharon Sebring leads the weekly class, which explores traditional yoga poses using a mat. The class teaches techniques for breathing, enhancing your mood and mind and gently strengthening your body and balance.

Registration: 952-563-4944

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Karnas brothers strive to remain unnoticed http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/karnas-brothers-strive-to-remain-unnoticed/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/karnas-brothers-strive-to-remain-unnoticed/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:05:42 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=144089 In a basketball and football officiating career that has gone on for the past 40 years, brothers Mike and Jim Karnas have seen it all – on the court and on the field.

When they worked the Hopkins-Minneapolis South game in the Section 6, Class 4A Basketball Tournament Feb. 28 at Eden Prairie High School, it was a smooth operation. The two head coaches, Kenny Novak Jr. of Hopkins and Joe Hyser of South, had very little to say during the game. That’s because they knew the game was in good hands with the Karnas brothers.

Mike Karnas is the master communicator on the basketball court and behind the line of scrimmage on the football field. (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)

Mike Karnas is the master communicator on the basketball court and behind the line of scrimmage on the football field. (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)

Mike, the younger of the two brothers, who both graduated from Richfield High School in the 1970s, had to stop play once when players from the two teams started jawing at one another.

“I told them, ‘I don’t know if you guys are best friends or worst enemies, but the talking is going to stop right now,’” said Mike.

The players smiled and went back to playing ball.

“There was some emotion going on,” Mike noted. “As a referee, I try to get players from point A to point B and coaches from point A to point B.”

At one point in the first half, coach Novak noted that the fouls were 9-5 against his club. Then in the second half, the fouls were 8-5 against South, so it all evened out.

Jim Karnas, about to signal a foul Feb. 28 in the Richfield-Minneapolis South basketball game, says, “We get respect because people know they’ll get a good, honest effort from us.” (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)

Jim Karnas, about to signal a foul Feb. 28 in the Richfield-Minneapolis South basketball game, says, “We get respect because people know they’ll get a good, honest effort from us.” (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)

Mike and Jim began officiating when some of their teachers at Richfield High – Jim Haire, Brian Kispert and Chuck DeCorsey collared them while they were college students. By officiating, the Karnas boys could give back to young athletes and they could earn a little bit of extra money by doing so.

“Jim and I had great mentors,” said Mike. “Men like Billy Hafner, Lefty Yurek, Jerry Seeman and Bernie Kukar taught us how to be good officials. You know you have had your best game when you’re not noticed. You learn to put your ego aside.”

“Forty years have gone by quick,” said Jim. “We’re starting to see the grandkids of people we officiated for years ago. It’s something we’ve always done … a good way to give back to the kids.”

“It’s a way to stay connected to athletics when your playing days are over,” Mike added.

In addition to working basketball games together, the Karnas brothers have worked on the same football crews for high school and college football for decades. Mike is the referee in most games and wears the white hat with pride.

“As is the case with most of the ‘white hats,’ Mike has the gift of being able to talk players and coaches off the ledge,” said Jim.

“We’ve been at this a long time,” said Jim, “and when people see us walk into a gym or onto a field, they know they’ll get a good, honest effort from us. At the end of the day, we are role models for these kids. We try to teach them how to deal with adversity. We try to teach them what can happen when you cross the line.”

On the basketball court, Mike said the Karnas brothers are not quick to call technical fouls. But they do have a low tolerance for personal comments.

“One time, in a game at a Big Nine Conference school, Jim hit one of the coaches with two bench technicals in the first two minutes,” said Mike. “At the time, any coach assessed three technicals in a game was ejected.

“I was over by the bench and this coach asked me, ‘Where did you get your partner? He’s terrible!’” Mike recalled.

Mike replied, “You can’t say that about my brother!” And the coach was on his way to the locker room.

Obviously, to last 40 years as an official, you have to love it.

“We’ve been lucky,” said Mike. “We’re healthy enough to continue doing this.”

Mike had his doubts he would last this long. He had one of his knees replaced in 2004 and the other in 2005, but you’d never know it from how well he gets up and down the court.

“We might not be as fast as we used to be, but we’re a lot smarter,” Mike quipped.

Mike said as an official matures, he develops more common sense and, usually, better communication skills.

“The majority of good officials don’t make any cheap calls,” he said. “That’s one of the first things we learned from Billy Hafner and Lefty Yurek. “You want to let the players and coaches decide the outcome.”

Some people have said in the past that a referee is usually in a no-win situation.

“I am sure I have made some enemies along the way,” said Mike. “Whenever you blow your whistle, half the people like the call and half the people don’t.”

The top officials are often rewarded with the best games.

“Jim and I have both refereed 11 or 12 years in the state basketball tournament,” said Mike. “I don’t apply anymore because I want some of the younger officials to have that opportunity.”

Speaking of young officials, all three of Mike’s sons – Matt, Jimmy and Luke – have become high school basketball and football officials.

“All five of us did a football game together one time,” said Mike.

The Karnas brothers have formed strong friendships with many associates in the officiating ranks. Brian, Tommy, Jimmy and Kenny Mauer Jr. are great friends of the Karnas family. Kenny is a longtime NBA official.

The Karnas brothers enjoy the challenges of officiating, and they’ve learned to take the surprises in stride.

“One time, we worked two high school football games the same night,” said Mike. “We had Cretin at Wayzata, and then Jaime Sherwood, Wayzata’s athletic director, got a call from Patti Weldon over at Armstrong. Patti told him that the officials had not shown up for the Armstrong-Moorhead game.

“We finished the Cretin-Wayzata game, and then we had a police escort from Wayzata to Armstrong. We started the second game at 10 and were finished by about midnight.”

Of course, the brothers had a college game the next day.

“My favorite event is college football on a Saturday afternoon,” said Jim. “I can’t think of anything better … because of the atmosphere. Of course, I also love doing high school football. You are usually in bed by a reasonable hour.”

During their time as students at Richfield High, both Karnas brothers participated in the three main sports – football, basketball and baseball. Jim was on the Richfield basketball team that ended Edina’s state-record, 69-game winning streak in 1968. Mike played on a Richfield American Legion Baseball team that qualified for the World Series. Their dad George, the Richfield Legion’s athletic director, was on hand for every game they played. And George was also able to watch Jim when he was the starting first baseman for the University of Minnesota baseball team.

“Jim was the athlete in the family,” said Mike. “He played for the Chief [Dick Siebert] over at the U. I had my moments, but was never the athlete Jim was.

“Officiating is a way for Jim to relieve stress. In his job, he serves 12,000 meals a day as food service director at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester.”

Mike also has some stress in his full-time job. He is the assistant to Richfield High athletic director Todd Olson. Mike enjoys the daily contact with the student athletes and he still loves to wear the Richfield red and white.

Over the years, the Karnas brothers have officiated more than 2,000 games. In fact they may be closing in on 3.000.

“You have to like the guys you work with,” said Jim. “And that’s one reason I keep doing this. It’s a great excuse for Mike and I to get together, and when we’re working football in the fall, with games on Friday and Saturday, I am able to stay with my folks [George and Lois], so there’s the family aspect, too.”

Contact John Sherman at john.sherman@ecm-inc.com

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The fines were levied during the council’s Feb. 23 meeting. The fines are a result of compliance checks conducted by the Bloomington Police Department on Dec. 17, 2014. In all cases an employee of the business served alcohol to an underage operative of the police department. The council did not find any of the violations to be willful on the part of the employees or the businesses.

Of the four violations, one was for an off-sale liquor store. Clover Wine and Spirits, 800 W. 98th St., sold a 12-pack of beer to a 19-year-old man. The clerk did not ask for the operative’s identification before completing the transaction, according to Assistant City Attorney Ann Kaul.

The owner, Glemar Bechara, conducted the transaction. He told the council during the license violation hearing last week that he had been distracted during the transaction and had failed to ask for the man’s identification.

The liquor store has had no violations under Bechara’s ownership. He was charged with a gross misdemeanor for selling alcohol to a minor and the council imposed a $1,000 fine against the business.

Three restaurants were also fined as a result of failing Dec. 17 compliance checks. None of the restaurants has had a liquor license violation under their current ownerships during the past five years, and all employees associated with the transactions were charged with gross misdemeanors.

RedRossa Italian Grill, 1901 Killebrew Drive, was fined $1,000 as a result of a 21-year-old bartender’s sale of a glass of beer to a male operative.

A 19-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman entered the restaurant. The bartender checked the identification of the woman, but did not check the man’s identification before serving him a beer, according to Kaul.

Fuddruckers, 3801 Minnesota Drive, was also fined $1,000 as a result of a 24-year-old bartender serving a beer to a 19-year-old man.

The operative ordered a beer, and the bartender asked to see his identification. Although the identification showed that the operative was less than 21 years of age, the bartender served him a beer, Kaul said.

Streetz American Grill, 1200 W. 98th St., was fined $500 for selling a beer to a 19-year-old man.

The man and a 20-year-old woman entered the restaurant together. The man ordered a beer from the sales counter of the restaurant and was served after the 34-year-old clerk had reviewed his identification, which showed he was less than 21 years of age, Kaul said.

The restaurant was fined less than the other restaurants because it holds a limited beer and wine license rather than a full liquor license, Mayor Gene Winstead noted.

]]> http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/bloomington-city-council-hands-out-liquor-license-violation-fines/feed/ 0 Mittelstadt’s goal sends Eagles to state http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/mittelstadts-goal-sends-eagles-to-state/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/mittelstadts-goal-sends-eagles-to-state/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 23:13:22 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=144193 Casey Mittelstadt’s slow skate behind Minnetonka’s net looked harmless at first.

Eden Prairie’s Nolan Sullivan (12) carries the puck behind the Minnetonka net tended by goalie Jacob Berger during the Eagles’ 2-1 overtime win in the Section 6AA hockey title game Feb. 25 at Mariucci Arena. (Photo by Mark Trockman-trockstock.com)

Eden Prairie’s Nolan Sullivan (12) carries the puck behind the Minnetonka net tended by goalie Jacob Berger during the Eagles’ 2-1 overtime win in the Section 6AA hockey title game Feb. 25 at Mariucci Arena. (Photo by Mark Trockman-trockstock.com)

But then, Eden Prairie’s sophomore forward made a quick move and wristed shot past Minnetonka goalie Jacob Berger to beat the Skippers 2-1 in overtime. That well-placed shot concluded the Section 6AA boys hockey championship game Feb. 25 at the University of Minnesota’s Mariucci Arena. Eden Prairie will advance to the State Class AA Tournament March 5-7 at Xcel Energy Center.

After the game Eden Prairie head coach Lee Smith was asked how the winning goal looked from the bench.

“Great!” he said.

Smith is passionate about hockey, but at the same time, he is a compassionate man.

“That was one unreal hockey game,” he said. “It’s too bad someone had to lose after both teams played that hard.”

Minnetonka head coach Brian Urick said, “We needed one more bounce.”

The Skippers almost had that bounce late in the third period when a shot bounced off the back of EP goaltender Shaun Durocher and fluttered perilously close to the goal line. They almost had it again when a shot late in regulation play hit the post.

Urick and the Tonka bench stood waiting for the red light to come on, but it never did.

“We had our ups and downs, but we really came together at the end of the season,” said Urick. “All 20 of our guys believed as a group and became more confident as the season went on. They learned to play together more as a team by putting their own agendas aside.”

The Section 6AA title game was a defensive struggle from start to finish with Durocher and Minnetonka goalie Jacob Berger going head to head. One highlight for Berger came when he stopped a breakaway by Michael Graham in the third period. That was one of his signature stops.

Mittelstadt scored the first goal of the game at 8:24 of the first period. Minnetonka tied the score 1-1 on Dominic Picciano’s goal at 6:57 of the second period on assists from Max Cavanaugh and Gavin Payne. The score stayed that way through the third period, during which Minnetonka picked up the pace with 11 shots on goal.

Minnetonka was not able to get a shot on goal in overtime, and Mittelstadt’s game-winner came at 4:38.

“The game seems easy [for Mittelstadt] at times,” said EP’s coach Smith.

On the winning shot, the cool sophomore took his time and saw the opening he needed to find the back of net.

The Eagles advance to state with an 18-9-0 record. Minnetonka finished the season 14-12-2.

From Minnetonka’s perspective, the team played its best hockey in the playoffs. The Skippers quest for the section title began with a 5-1 victory over Armstrong-Cooper, and then the Skippers held off a tough Wayzata team 3-2.

Fans left the championship game proud of the Skippers, but disappointed they couldn’t score the win.

“We outskated them, we outshot them, but be couldn’t outscore them,” one Tonka fan observed.

“I thought our guys played as well as they could,” said Urick. “When you hold a team like Eden Prairie to only 20 shots, that shows how good your defense was. We showed tonight that we can play with any team.”

Eden Prairie will face Blaine (22-5-1) in the final first-round game of the state tournament at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at Xcel Energy Center. Playing in front of more than 18.000 fans is always a challenge for a high school team, but most of the Eagles are

accustomed to playing in big games.

The Eagles were given the fifth seed for the state tourney, while Blaine is No. 4. The winner will face top-seeded Lakeville North or unseeded Hill-Murray in the semifinals at 8 p.m. Friday, March 6. The state championship game will be played at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 7.

Contact John Sherman at john.sherman@ecm-inc.com

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Eden Prairie tops Falcons in semifinals http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/eden-prairie-tops-falcons-in-semifinals/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/eden-prairie-tops-falcons-in-semifinals/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 23:05:44 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=144190 What did Eden Prairie High boys basketball coach Dave Flom say after his team held off Armstrong 64-62 in the Section 6, Class 4A semifinals Feb. 28?

Eden Prairie’s Blake Cashman looks for a shooting opening while defended by Armstrong’s Evan Nolan (21) during the Eagles’ 64-62 section semifinal victory Feb. 28 at home. Cashman eventually hit the game-winning shot with five seconds remaining in regulation. (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)

Eden Prairie’s Blake Cashman looks for a shooting opening while defended by Armstrong’s Evan Nolan (21) during the Eagles’ 64-62 section semifinal victory Feb. 28 at home. Cashman eventually hit the game-winning shot with five seconds remaining in regulation. (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)

“That was more like a state semifinal game than a section semifinal,” he said. “Each team had only nine turnovers, both teams shot over 50 percent. I don’t know if either team could have played any better. Both teams made plays.”

Greg Miller, Armstrong’s head coach, agreed.

“We executed pretty well the whole game,” said Miller, whose team finished the season 21-7 overall. “Our guys battled hard. Eden Prairie is a hard team to guard because all of their guys can shoot and all of them can drive.”

Miller said it was hard to single out anyone on his side, although he noted that True Thompson had his best rebounding game of the season.

Eden Prairie, likewise, did not rely on only one or two players.

In the end, EP’s difference-maker was senior guard Blake Cashman, who sank the winning basket in the lane with only five seconds remaining.

The Eagles held the ball for more than a minute, while working patiently for the final shot in regulation.

“We went with one of our bread-and-butter plays,” said Flom, who took a timeout from the bench to make sure everyone knew his assignment.

The ball went to Josh Lanasa in the high post. Armstrong thought the 6-foot-5 senior might take the last shot. After all, he already had 18 points.

Lanasa’s feed to Cashman was on target and after a head fake Cashman was able to bank in a shot off of the backboard.

Coach Miller immediately called timeout from the Armstrong bench with 5.7 seconds remaining.

Coming out of the timeout, EP’s Owen Chose fouled, but the Falcons were not yet in the bonus with only 2.9 seconds remaining. Figuring EP would foul again, Miller called for a long pass play to his power forward, Sean Burns. It was a strong pass to a spot near the free throw line, but EP’s Carter Coughlin leaped and made the interception. He was fouled, then EP ran off the last second.

Burns was a warrior in his final game with the Falcons. The 6-4 senior scored a game-high 21 points, while True Thompson added 12. Race Thompson scored seven and Tre Tate had six.

Lanasa’s 18 points were tops for the Eagles. Chose scored 13 points and Ryan Jacobus added 10.

Jacobus hit a huge three-pointer late in the contest to put Eden Prairie in the lead for good.

When Armstrong threw the desperation pass at the end of the game, Flom had a good idea where the ball was going.

“We put a defender in front of Burns and one behind him,” he said.

Coughlin, a star defender for the Eagles’ state-champion football team, intercepted the ball the same way he would intercept a football pass, and the Eagles, who improved to 25-4, headed to the locker room.

In the second semifinal game on Saturday, Hopkins eliminated Minneapolis South 105-75 behind 28 points from John Warren and 26 from Ishmael El-Amin. Hopkins outscored the Tigers 63-44 in the second half to salt it away.

Eden Prairie had little trouble disposing of eighth-seeded Minneapolis Southwest in the section quarterfinals Feb. 25 at home. Fourteen different Eagle players scored in the victory.

EP’s leading scorers were Colton Simmer (16), Jake Ruppert (11) and Cashman (10). Chose and Brady Rudrud scored eight points each.

Eden Prairie and Hopkins were scheduled to meet in the finals on Wednesday, March 4, the day this addition arrived at newsstands throughout the Sun coverage area. The winner will advance to the State Class 4A Tournament next week at Target Center.

Contact John Sherman at john.sherman@ecm-inc.com

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Three-way battle is expected at state AA swim meet http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/three-way-battle-is-expected-at-state-aa-swim-meet/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/three-way-battle-is-expected-at-state-aa-swim-meet/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 23:00:32 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=144187 Stillwater, Eden Prairie and Minnetonka finished the boys swimming and diving regular season as tri-leaders in the State Coaches’ Association rankings.

Eden Prairie’s Griffin Back swims the backstroke leg of the 200-yard individual medley during the Section 6AA section swimming finals Feb. 28 at the Art Downey Aquatic Center in Edina. Back placed first in the 200 IM. (Photo by Mark Trockman-trockstock.com)

Eden Prairie’s Griffin Back swims the backstroke leg of the 200-yard individual medley during the Section 6AA section swimming finals Feb. 28 at the Art Downey Aquatic Center in Edina. Back placed first in the 200 IM. (Photo by Mark Trockman-trockstock.com)

They will have a chance to settle the issue in the State Class AA Meet Friday and Saturday, March 7 and 8, at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Prelims will begin at 6 p.m. on the 7th and the finals will begin at 6 p.m. on the 8th.

As usual Section 6AA will be well-represented at state with section champion Eden Prairie and runner-up Minnetonka, plus a very competitive Edina team and some fast individuals from Chanhassen.

Eden Prairie edged Minnetonka 507-487 in the battle for the section title Feb. 28 at Edina’s Art Downey Aquatic Center. Edina was third at 340, followed by Chanhassen 214, Shakopee 201, St. Louis Park 154 and Hopkins 134.

“Eden Prairie and Minnetonka are the two best teams in the state,” said Edina’s Art Downey, who is in his 59th year as the Hornets’ head coach. “Our team had a great day in the section finals. We have some good individuals going to state along with all three relays.”

Eden Prairie opened the section meet by winning the 200-yard medley relay as Austin Pham, Griffin Back, Josh Withers and Jordan Greenberg went 1:34.57. Minnetonka finished second with Erik Gessner, Thomas Pederson, Marco Conati and Joe Hanson. Edina took third place with Tommy Joas, Will Lindell, Brett Weicht and Devin Palm. St. Louis Park was fourth with the team of Nathan Beneke, Nils Rykken, Nate Stone and David Salamzadeh. The teams from Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and Edina qualified for state.

Sam Schilling and Ryan Current of Minnetonka went 1-2 in the 200-yard freestyle with Schilling swimming 1:41.35. Also going to state by time standard is Chanhassen’s Jack Dahlgren.

Six swimmers from Section 6AA will advance to state in the 200-yard individual medley. They are led by Back, the champion from Eden Prairie, who won the section crown in 1:52.05. The others are Dolan Craine from Chanhassen, Lindell from Edina, Pham from Eden Prairie and Pederson and Bastien Ibri from Minnetonka.

Three Section 6AA swimmers will advance to state in the 50-yard freestyle. Eden Prairie’s Greenberg won section honors in 21.51. He will be joined at state by Weicht and Willett from Edina, who placed second and third in the section.

The top six divers in Section 6AA are, in order, Tommy Heil from Eden Prairie, Josh Theis from Shakopee, Charlie Greene from Edina, Eric Conniff from Shakopee, Heston Balenger from Edina and Connor Flatum from Eden Prairie.

The top six in the Section 6AA Meet all qualified for state in the 100-yard butterfly. In order of finish, they are Withers from Eden Prairie, Weicht from Edina. Marco Conati from Minnetonka, Markus Paulson-Luna from Minnetonka, Stone from St. Louis Park and Patrick Cummings from Eden Prairie. Withers’ winning time was 50.60.

Five swimmers from Section 6AA are going to state in the 100-yard freestyle, led by the champion, Greenberg from Eden Prairie, who swam 47.07 in sectionals. The other qualifiers are the runner-up, Willett from Edina, and three Minnetonka swimmers, Current, Joe Hanson and Adam Stettner.

Minnetonka’s Schilling cruised to a win in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:39.52. The only other state qualifier from Section 6AA is Chanhassen’s Dahlgren, who placed second in 4:47.13. Stephen McMahon of Eden Prairie placed third in sectionals and Spencer Allen of Hopkins was fourth.

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, there are four state qualifiers from Section 6AA. Eden Prairie won the title with Greenberg, Back, Will Green and Withers swimming 1:25.29. Edina finished second with Weicht, Evan Lebakken, Palm and Willett, while Minnetonka placed third with Current, Joe Ackerson, Ethan Li and Schilling. Chanhassen is going to state, as well, with Ryan Mohr, Alex Bock, Craine and Dahlgren.

Four swimmers, three of them from Minnetonka, qualified for state in the 100-yard backstroke. Hanson of Tonka won the section title in 53.15. Eden Prairie’s Pham was second, followed by the Tonka duo of Marco Conati and Gessner.

Section 6AA had a bonanza in the 100-yard breaststroke with seven state qualifiers. Back from Eden Prairie advances as the champion after swimming 57.82 in sectionals. Runner-up Lindell from Edina swam 59.41. Qualifying by state standard were Craine from Chanhassen, Zachary Corbin from Eden Prairie, Bock from Chanhassen and Pederson and Vladi Nillissen from Minnetonka.

The meet concluded with four section teams qualifying for state in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Minnetonka team of Current, Hanson, Pederson and Schilling won the title in 3:09.35. Eden Prairie finished second with McMahon, Withers, Pham and Corbin. Chanhassen placed third with Mohr, Craine, Griffin Deck and Dahlgren and Edina was fourth with Palm, Lebakken, Lindell and Willett.

Contact John Sherman at john.sherman@ecm-inc.com

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Jefferson diver takes section championship http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/jefferson-diver-takes-section-championship/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/jefferson-diver-takes-section-championship/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 22:55:53 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=144184 Jefferson High School’s second-place finish in the Section 2AA Swimming and Diving Meet last weekend featured many highlights.

Jefferson ninth-grader Andy Pfau earned the Section 2AA diving title and helped lead the Jaguars to a second-place team finish in the finals last week at the Richfield Middle School pool. (Submitted photo)

Jefferson ninth-grader Andy Pfau earned the Section 2AA diving title and helped lead the Jaguars to a second-place team finish in the finals last week at the Richfield Middle School pool. (Submitted photo)

Among the keys to Jefferson’s high place was a win in the diving competition by freshman Andy Pfau, who scored 457.35 points. Pfau’s closest competition came from runner-up Alex Crow of Eagan, who had 395.50 points. Both boys will advance to state prelim competition at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

The swimming prelims will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, March 6, and the state finals for both swimming and diving will get underway at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 7.

Pfau is not the only Jaguar going to state. To earn state berths, swimmers had to either place first or second in an event or beat the state-qualifying standard.

Jefferson qualified by time standard in the 200-yard medley relay with the team of seniors Jesse Upton, Scott Blazanin and Noah Becker and junior Michael Foss. Their time in the section finals was 1:39.02.

The Jaguars also earned a state berth by finishing second in the 200-yard freestyle relay with the team of Foss, Blazanin, senior Reeve Bowling and Upton. Their time was 1:29.86.

Jacob Upton qualified for state in the 200-yard freestyle by finishing second in the section with a time of 1:48.17.

Jefferson’s Becker finished fifth in the 100-yard backstroke, but made the state cut with a time of 54.43.

The Jaguars have two state qualifiers in the 100-yard breaststroke, as Blazanin and Upton both made the state cut. Blazanin was third in the section with a time of 1:00.62, and Upton placed fifth in 1:01.25.

Jefferson finished the meet with a second place in the 400-yard freestyle relay. That swim also qualifies the Jaguars to compete at state. Foss, Becker and the Upton brothers, Jesse and Jacob, posted a time of 3:17.73 in the finals.

Eagle highlights

The 200-yard freestyle relay of Collin Kern, Truman Le, Lucas Shocinski and Alex Chapman was Kennedy High School’s top finisher in the Section 2AA Meet. The Eagle team finished sixth in 1:37.75.

In individual events, Kennedy’s leaders were Noah Kampmeyer, who was eighth in the 100-yard backstroke, and Kern, who was 10th in the 100-yard freestyle.

Section totals

Eagan 585, Jefferson 332, St. Paul Central 257, Cretin-Derham Hall 236, Minneapolis Southwest 215, St. Paul Highland Park 189. Minneapolis South 145, Kennedy 112.

Contact John Sherman at john.sherman@ecm-inc.com

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Magicians earn hockey sweep over Chill http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/magicians-earn-hockey-sweep-over-chill/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/magicians-earn-hockey-sweep-over-chill/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 22:52:07 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=144182 The Minnesota Magicians moved closer to clinching the fourth and final playoff spot in the Midwest Division of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) standings with a strong performance last weekend.

The Richfield-based Junior A hockey team swept a series against the Coulee Region Chill. Those wins improved the team’s record to 18-29-3. The Magicians have a fourth-place total of 39 points. Fairbanks and the Minnesota Wilderness squads have locked up playoff berths with 72 points each. Third-place Coulee Region has 56 points. Kenai River is last in the division with nine points less than the Magicians.

It took overtime and a shoot-out session to decide the Friday night winner between the Magicians and the Chill. An announced home crowd of 423 witnessed the Magicians’ 4-3 extra-session win. Sam Becker, a defenseman, came through with one goal and two assists in the victory.

Also scoring for the Magicians in regulation were Denis Shevyrin and Nolan Schaeffer. Kate Durment and Lukas Laub scored goals in the overtime shootout.

Minnesota goalie Vaughan Ahrens stopped 22 Coulee shots.

The Magicians drew a larger crowd (789) the following night and treated their fans with a 6-4 triumph over the Chill. Durment came through with a hat trick for the winners. Also scoring for Minnesota were Curtis Simonson, Laub and Kris McKinzie.

Sean Keating tended goal for the Magicians and finished with 22 saves.

Four Magicians players recently competed in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich. The event is the most prestigious one hosted by the league and is attended by scouts representing all major college and professional teams.

The Magicians’ leading goal scorer is Laub (18). Becker is tops on the squad in both assists (35) and points (42). Goalie Ahrens has posted a 3.45 goals against average of 3.45. His save percentage was .901.

Contact Greg Kleven at greg.kleven@ecm-inc.com

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Power drive to basket http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/power-drive-to-basket/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/power-drive-to-basket/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 22:50:18 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=144176 Tenzin Tsega of Richfield drives to the basket while defended by St. Louis Park’s Addy Mae Perkins during the Spartans’ 80-59 Metro West Conference loss Feb. 28 on the Orioles’ home court. The Spartans finished their regular season with a 12-14 record. Richfield compiled a 7-7 league record. The Spartans played Holy Angels in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A, Section 6 playoffs that began March 3. (Photo by Mark Trockman-trockstock.com)

Tenzin Tsega of Richfield drives to the basket while defended by St. Louis Park’s Addy Mae Perkins during the Spartans’ 80-59 Metro West Conference loss Feb. 28 on the Orioles’ home court. The Spartans finished their regular season with a 12-14 record. Richfield compiled a 7-7 league record. The Spartans played Holy Angels in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A, Section 6 playoffs that began March 3. (Photo by Mark Trockman-trockstock.com)

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Bloomington wrestling trio takes center stage http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/bloomington-wrestling-trio-takes-center-stage/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/03/bloomington-wrestling-trio-takes-center-stage/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 22:44:46 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=144169 Two Kennedy competitors and one Jefferson athlete represented Bloomington in the state 3A wrestling tournament Feb. 27-28 at the Xcel Energy Center. Unfortunately, the city trio ran into tough early opposition against high-seeded wrestlers.

Bloomington Kennedy’s Louis Wiklund tries to turn over Matt Boncich of Cretin-Derham Hall during this 195-pound first-round state Class 3A wrestling action Feb. 27 at the Xcel Energy Center. Wiklund lost 18-6 and was eliminated from state competition. (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)

Bloomington Kennedy’s Louis Wiklund tries to turn over Matt Boncich of Cretin-Derham Hall during this 195-pound first-round state Class 3A wrestling action Feb. 27 at the Xcel Energy Center. Wiklund lost 18-6 and was eliminated from state competition. (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)

Jefferson senior Brayden Morris concluded his prep wrestling career with a pair of losses. Morris lost 7-1 to 182-pound opponent Luke Dodd of Eastview in first-round competition and then was eliminated on a 5-1 loss to Michael Bothwell of Coon Rapids in wrestlebacks. The Jaguar competitor finished the season with a 31-7 record.

“Brayden started wrestling as an eighth-grader and has continued to improve throughout his career,”  said Bloomington coach Chuck Vavrosky. “He has worked hard to promote Jefferson wrestling.”

Kennedy senior Hunter Judge was defeated 7-2 by John Vouk of Hastings in his first-round match at 170 pounds. He compiled a 27-13 record this season.

“Section runner-up wrestlers always get tough pairings against section champions at state,” said Vavrosky. “Hunter lost his first-round match but can still look back on his career with pride after making steady improvement each year.”

Kennedy’s other state participant was Louis Wiklund at 195 pounds. He was defeated 18-6 by Matt Boncich of Cretin-Derham Hall in a first-round match. Wiklund finished his junior season with a 23-16 record.

“Louis has proved to be tough wrestling at mat level and needs to continue working on his techniques from a standing position,” said Vavrosky.

Coach Vavrosky is optimistic about his team’s future.

“We were a very young team and hope to get those returning wrestlers to work in our Bloomington Wrestling Club freestyle program this spring,” said Vavrosky. “Gaining more experience will improve them individually and make us a stronger team next season.”

Jayson and Dylan Ness, two Kennedy and Gopher wrestling standouts, will help their dad Jay coach the Bloomington Wrestling Club competitors again this season.”

Contact Greg Kleven at greg.kleven@ecm-inc.com

 
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