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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"Fast Enough To Get Here." That was the motto New Richmond senior Chad Aldous and the rest of the Tigers took in their approach to competing in the 2006 WIAA Division 1 State Track Championships at La Crosse last Friday. New Richmond had two boys relays and one girls relay advance to the state track meet, in the first year that New Richmond was competing at the Division 1 level.
When Christina Flandrick's pole shattered, sending her plummeting to the pavement, it marked the end of a difficult experience for the Somerset track teams at the 2006 WIAA State Track Championships over the weekend in La Crosse. The Spartans went into the state meet with a mix of goals. In a few events the Spartans had set their goals quite high, while in other events, they were looking to get experience for what is largely a very young team. The highest hopes for the Spartans were heaped on the shoulders of sophomore Megan Plourde, the defending state champion in the Division 2 high jump.
The New Richmond baseball team got out to a fast start in Middle Border Conference play for the 2006 season. The Tigers faced Grantsburg and Glenwood City in their first MBC games of the 2006 season last week. In each game the Tigers were able to pull out a win. If there was a time when the Tigers were susceptible, it was Thursday at Glenwood City. With six players, four of them starters, competing at state track and state tennis, the Tigers went into the game short-handed.
That sizzle you hear isn't steaks on the grill, it's the hitting of the Somerset baseball team. In their final season as a summer program, the Spartans look intent in making this one of their best seasons. The Spartans are out to a 3-0 start in the Middle Border Conference, leading into Thursday's showdown with New Richmond. That game will be played at 6 p.m. in Somerset. The Spartans are coming off a 15-5 win in Glenwood City Monday night. Nobody in the area has been hotter than Somerset senior Mitch Colanino. He went 3-4 in Monday's game.
For the second straight year, the New Richmond softball team has won the WIAA Division 2 regional championship. Altoona was the victim in each of the past two regional championship games. In last Thursday's regional championship game, New Richmond edged Altoona 2-1. This was a sharply played game by both teams, with only five hits and one error in the game. With this win, New Richmond advances to the WIAA Division 2 sectional tournament, which was played Tuesday in West Salem.
The move up to Division 1 proved to be a huge challenge for the New Richmond track teams. But the Tigers proved that they were able to step up to the Division 1 level and still be competitive. New Richmond competed in the Wisconsin Rapids Division 1 Sectional Track Meet last Thursday.
With three relay teams and six individuals qualifying for the 2006 WIAA State and Track and Field Championships, the Somerset track teams should be a force in the Division 2 meet this Friday and Saturday in La Crosse. Somerset will be represented by a total of 10 girls after only having one girl compete at state last year. That was Megan Plourde, who ended up winning the Division 2 state high jump championship.
Neither the Somerset nor St. Croix Central boys golf teams were able to advance any golfers to the sectional level in 2006. Somerset and Central played in the Osceola Division 2 Regional Tournament last Tuesday at Krooked Kreek Golf Club. Somerset finished seventh among the 10 teams in the regional, with St. Croix Central placing eighth. Somerset freshman David Moulton did make a major push to be an individual qualifier to the sectional tournament.
The New Richmond girls soccer team earned its first-ever WIAA tournament win last Thursday, then was defeated in the WIAA regional championships on Saturday morning. The Tigers opened the Division 2 regionals last Thursday with a 4-3 overtime win at Spooner, a team that had beaten the Tigers the previous week. That win moved the Tigers into the regional championship game against top seed Hayward. The Tigers kept the game close through the first half, trailing 1-0 at halftime.
The difference between having 20 games in for Eau Claire Memorial's spring team, compared to one full practice in for New Richmond's summer team, showed last Tuesday when these two teams met in New Richmond's season opener. Memorial pounded out six runs in the top of the first inning. The Tigers gradually settled in, but Memorial was able to put away a 10-0 win in five innings. The Old Abes came into the game with a reputation as an excellent hitting team and they lived up to their reputation. The first two batters of the game crushed triples to the right-centerfield alley.