Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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Megan Plourde capped one of the most successful track careers in Somerset High School history by finishing second in the Division 2 high jump event at the WIAA State Track and Field championships in La Crosse on Friday. Plourde's success was the bright spot in a state meet that largely didn't go the way that Somerset's girls or boys teams had planned. Plourde was a state placewinner in the high jump in all four of her high school seasons. She won the state championship as a freshman by clearing 5 feet, 7 inches.
Somerset's track team will be well represented at the 2008 WIAA State Track and Field Championships, with four relays and five individual events advancing to this year's state meet. This is one of the largest collective groups of state entries ever between the Spartan boys and girls track teams. Somerset's boys have three relay teams and two individuals competing at state. The Spartan girls advance one relay and three individuals. An excellent sectional meet for the Somerset boys was capped by a sectional championship in the final event of the meet, the 1600 relay.
The New Richmond track teams will be five individual entries and two relays to the 2008 WIAA State Track and Field Championships, which will be run this Friday and Saturday at UW-La Crosse. The Tigers had an outstanding day at the Eau Claire North Division 1 sectional meet last Thursday, with the majority of the Tiger entries setting personal best marks at the sectional meet. New Richmond's boys had an outstanding day, finishing fifth in the team competition at the sectional meet. Advancing as individuals for the Tiger boys are senior Brian Figueroa in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, senior T
It's one of those good news, bad news situations. The New Richmond varsity baseball team finished its regular season with a pair of impressive wins last week. The bad news comes with the fact that the Tigers may have lost two of their best offensive players during those games. Last Thursday the Tigers went to Baldwin-Woodville and scored a 5-4 win over the Middle Border Conference champion Blackhawks. That win came two nights after the Tigers won an old-fashioned slugfest at Amery, 21-9. During the game at Amery, the Tigers lost senior Hayden Zimmerman and sophomore Dan Leavens.
Junior Derrek Pedersen became the first St. Croix Central boy since the 2000 season to qualify for the WIAA State Track Meet when he earned his way to state during last Thursday's WIAA Division 2 Medford sectional meet. Pedersen qualified for the 2008 WIAA Division 2 State Track Meet by placing fourth in the 800 meter run at the Medford sectional meet. Pedersen had a strategy set for the race and he stuck to it. He was the pace setter for the race, leading through the first lap of the two-lap race.
The seniors on the New Richmond softball team have one more chance to reach the WIAA Division 2 state championships. And they have a chance to deliver some payback along the way. The 2008 Tigers won a WIAA regional championship last Thursday, with a 13-0 bashing of Amery.
It has been a season of firsts for the Somerset soccer team and the Spartans hope they can add more accomplishment to their outstanding season. The Somerset girls earned their first WIAA Division 3 regional championship on Saturday when they defeated Three Lakes 4-0 in the regional final at Washburn. The Spartans will return to Washburn this Thursday to play in the sectional semifinals against Washburn at 5 p.m. The winner of Thursday's game will advance to the sectional championship game, which will be played at 2 p.m. on Saturday in Stevens Point.
After going 16 years between conference championships, the New Richmond boys track team has now won consecutive Middle Border Conference championships. The Tigers earned the 2008 MBC crown last Tuesday, scoring 198 points to win the meet on a rainy day in Somerset. The 2007 MBC championship also went to New Richmond. This is the first time the Tigers have won consecutive conference titles since the 1981 and 1982 seasons. The team championship was led by victories in six individual events for the Tigers.
The anticipated four-team battle for the Middle Border Conference girls track championship was everything fans could have hoped for. The results were so close that the final decision on the meet championship wasn't completed until two days after the meet. Osceola ending up winning the 2008 girls championship, by two points over Ellsworth. New Richmond and Somerset also put up strong challenges in an attempt to win the 2008 title. Osceola won the meet with 142.9 points, while Ellsworth finished at 140.9 points.
For the first time in the lifetime of the St. Croix Central players, the Panthers are conference baseball champions. Central earned a share of the 2008 Dunn-St. Croix Conference baseball championship last Thursday, by winning at Mondovi 6-0. The Panthers were scheduled to play at Pepin this Tuesday in their final D-SC game of the season. If the Panthers were winners at Pepin, they will be sole champions in the D-SC this season. This championship is the first conference baseball title won by a Central team in 32 years. The last Central champion came in 1976.