Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.
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FARGO — In an era where facilities are a point of emphasis, Adrian Contreras has all he needs in his apartment garage in south Fargo. It's an old-school attitude for a 16-year-old boxer who has dreams of someday competing in the Olympics. A punching bag hangs from a rafter. A speed bag is bolted to the back wall. And the concrete surface of the garage acts as his ring when he works with his father and trainer Raul Contreras. It's a father-son team that is going all in on the USA Boxing Junior Olympic National Championships in Charleston, W. Va., that starts on June 25.
FARGO—Brian Reisenauer moved from Fargo to Phoenix about 10 months ago to begin working on his doctorate in psychology. He's got a ways to go, with hopes of completing the educational process by 2020. In the meantime, he's got something else to keep him busy: qualifying for the Pan American Championships in weightlifting.
FARGO—What started as a troublesome-looking weather forecast last Wednesday steadily got better as the Scheels Fargo Marathon week honed in on its 13th annual event on Saturday, May 20. By Friday, marathon executive director Mark Knutson was feeling pretty good about the conditions. He was right. Light winds and cool-but-not-cold temperatures made for ideal running weather and nowhere was that more evident than in the medical tent near the finish line at the Fargodome. There wasn't much going on.
FARGO — For almost 20 miles, David Tuwei and Bernard Too were almost like buddies running around the streets and bike paths of Fargo-Moorhead. It was a different story the last six. Saturday, Tuwei broke away to win his second men's Scheels Fargo Marathon in three years finishing with a time of 2 hours, 28 minutes, 4 seconds. The breakup came fast, just as the runners were approaching Nativity Church on Fargo's southside. In a matter of a couple blocks, the gap went from nothing to about 20 seconds.
FARGO — Two Scheels Fargo Marathons. Two convincing and dominating performances by the hometown kid. Fargo South High School graduate Semehar Tesfaye, now living and training in Boston, went wire-to-wire in taking the women's division Saturday with a time of 2 hours, 38 minutes, 9 seconds. She labored at the end, but still finished 38 seconds ahead of second place Shawnta Everett of New Town, N.D. It hasn't been the healthiest of recent months for Tesfaye, whose last race—a half-marathon three weeks ago—didn't go so well.
FARGO --- There's a lot of Boston in David McGillivray, from his accent when speaking in front of a room full of people at the Fargodome, to the several references of Fenway Park and the professional sports franchises in that city. And why not? He's the director of the Boston Marathon who has had quite the running career himself. He once ran across the United States in 80 days, a route that took him from Medford, Ore., to Medford, Mass. He's Boston strong.
FARGO—It's debatable whether an elephant could fit through the big double doors at Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse on the North Dakota State campus, but figuratively speaking it has left the room. That cloud that surrounded the head volleyball coach's contract not being renewed after this upcoming season? That left the building, also.
FARGO — Rolf Slen was a navigator on a B24 bomber in World War II that flew 40 missions over the Pacific Ocean, with targets in the Philippines, China and Japan. The last mission came a few days before Japan surrendered. So when it comes to the Fargo Marathon 5K Hero Run/Walk on Friday night, May 19, that starts at the Fargodome, Rolf is certainly as qualified as anybody.
FARGO—The Scheels Fargo Marathon has gone through some changes in its 13 years of existence, mostly in the form of route changes and an increasing number of participants. The timing company that has kept track of all the runners and walkers has also seen some adjustments over the years. ChampionChip Minnesota Inc. has something new in store for this year: a smaller timing chip to attach to each runner. "It's a real thin strip of foam," said ChampionChip owner John Magnuson, one of those behind-the-scenes guys at the Fargo Marathon.
FARGO—The high school softball statistics of North Dakota State sophomore Vanessa Anderson look like something out of a video game. She hit .607 her senior year and left Byron High School in the southeastern corner of Minnesota with seven state prep records. She had all of nine at bats as a freshman at NDSU. It was a striking change of pace for a player who was used to dominating opponents. She was also a different type of recruit for NDSU, which routinely attracts players from across the country who have played in high-level summer programs.