Jake Pfeifer is a sports reporter and outdoors editor for RiverTown Multimedia. Previously, he worked at Detroit Lakes Newspapers.
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Last spring, Red Wing's girls' 4x200-meter relay team broke a school record on their way to medaling at the Class AA championship. This year, three of those four runners — Madisyn Lyons, Emily Hart and Tyler McGrath — return, as do many of the other athletes that led the Wingers to a fourth-place finish at the Big Nine championship, first-place finish at the Section 1AA True Team meet and a third-place finish at the Class AA state True Team championship.
ROCHESTER — Another meeting between Byron and Lake City and another tightly contested matchup decided by three points or less. In the final rendition, it was Byron who came out on top, defeating the Tigers, 66-63, on Saturday at Mayo Civic Center in the Section 1AA semifinals. Much like the previous meetings, Lake City played from behind for most of the game. The Tigers were never put out of the game, but were also unable to regain the lead it once had in the opening minutes.
ROCHESTER — Regulation was not enough as Red Wing and Northfield would need one extra frame to determine the Section 1AAA champion. The Wingers were stymied in overtime though, and fell to the Raiders, 41-34, on Thursday at Mayo Civic Center. In a game where neither team was able to separate from the other, overtime was an appropriate conclusion. In fact, the seven-point lead the Raiders won by was the largest margin by either team. Although for the Wingers, the fact that they had led for the majority of the game makes the defeat more difficult to swallow.
Minnesota and Wisconsin are home to the largest population of nesting eagles in the United States outside of Alaska. That is why, if you take a stroll along the Mississippi River near Red Wing, you are bound to see the national bird. "The state of Minnesota alone has about 700 breeding areas," Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Brittany Hauser said. "A lot of those areas are along the Mississippi River valley which serves as a migration corridor for them."
There is no better way to cap off a high school career than to win state gold. Red Wing senior William Meacham experienced that first-hand with his first-place swim of 49.76 in the 100 butterfly on Saturday at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center in Minneapolis. His time was a school record and an All-American consideration. Even with turning out a school record and finishing first among the state's best swimmers, Meacham remained humble with his achievement.
The gymnastics season came to a close on Saturday, but for five area gymnasts, it concluded with solid performances and valuable experience on the largest stage. Red Wing sent two gymnasts and Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa sent three to the Class A individual state gymnastics meet at Maturi Pavilion at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Jaci Newman and Sawyer Gorman of PIZM qualified for all-around, while Brynn Olson of PIZM, and Breck Bergin and Carolyn Hanson of Red Wing participated in select events.
Zumbrota-Mazeppa faced a familiar foe in the Section 1A finals and for the second year in a row, the Cougars were able to come away successful, beating Goodhue, 44-15, on Saturday at Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. Although the result was the same as the last two Cougars-Wildcats matchups, how it happened wasn't. For Cougar Sam Nordquist, that was fine by him. He faced Mason Huemann and pulled off an unexpected 5-3 decision. "It was pretty great (to win),"Nordquist said. "I've wrestled him five times now and that's the first time I've been able to pull off the victory."
Sen. Mike Goggin,R-Red Wing, and members of the Senate Capital Investment Committee will tour several projects in southeastern Minnesota on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 12-13. One destination for Goggin will be a ski jump presentation at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday at Baldy125, a proposed Olympic ski jump at Mount Frontenac. On Sept. 5, 2017, Rep. Barb Haley hosted the House Capital Investment Committee on a tour of Mount Frontenac by looking at the proposed Baldy125 ski jump location.
In the depths of winter, the cold can be unforgiving to an outdoorsman. One group of local outdoor enthusiasts annually takes up the challenge, however, by building wood duck houses. Once built, the waterfowl boxes make their way to the Mississippi River backwaters near Bay City for the leisurely use of the waterway's native species.
Red Wing pulled out the victory over Albert Lea, 63-54, on Thursday, Feb. 8. The win ended an eight-game losing streak for the Wingers, bringing their record to 5-14, 4-11 in the Big Nine Conference. Defensive pressure and points in transition proved to be too overwhelming for the Tigers as Red Wing was in the lead or tied for the majority of the game. Leading the Wingers in scoring were DonTray Johnson with 21 points and Nathan Carlson with 15.