Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.
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ST. PAUL—Moorhead seniors Kyle Johnson and Connor Salisbury took second and third, respectively, in the pole vault at the Class 2A state track and field meet Friday, June 10, at Hamline University. Johnson was able to clear 14 feet, 9 inches, but couldn't clear 15 feet, while Salisbury cleared 14 feet, 6 inches. Mounds View's Calvin Ciganik cleared 15 feet for the state title. Last season, Johnson finished third at state and Salisbury finished tied for sixth. Class 2A Boys
NORTH MANKATO, Minn.—New York Mills knocked off Pine River-Backus 13-1 to lock up fifth place in Minnesota Class 1A softball Friday, June 10. The Eagles finish the season 25-1, with their only loss of the season coming to Badger-Greenbush-Middle River in the state quarterfinals. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton was able to get its first win at the state tournament in program history on Thursday, June 9, over Esko 8-2, but the Rebels fell Friday, June 10, in the fifth-place game 8-3 to Pipestone Area. The Rebels close the season 23-5.
PARK RAPIDS, Minn. — It was a race Park Rapids senior Abby Mueller didn't win that said everything about her early in her high school track career. She finished second at the sub-section meet, despite pulling a muscle from her bone in her hip. The doctor said she shouldn't have been able to walk. "She was talented from the start," Park Rapids girls track coach Corey A. Hill said.
FARGO—Former Moorhead standout and current Pittsburgh Penguins center Matt Cullen isn't thinking about the Colton Orr hit that left him limp on the ice in 2007. He's not thinking of losing in the conference semifinals in 2007, getting swept by the Penguins in the conference finals in 2009, or not making it out of the first round of the playoffs in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
BRECKENRIDGE, Minn.—Breckenridge has a new basketball coach that is actually an old Cowboys basketball coach. Arly Ohm was hired Wednesday, June 8, to take over the Cowboys boys basketball program. Ohm was a head coach at Breckenridge from 1994-99 and again in the 2000-01 season. Since then he's been involved every year in the program, coaching junior varsity squads.
GLYNDON, Minn.—The back of buses for high school athletes is sacred ground. Generally, the back is reserved for seniors. "I never go back there because I'm afraid I won't come back," Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton softball co-head coach Ron Drechsel said. That didn't stop all of about 4-foot-10 of D-G-F shortstop Megan Meyers from heading to the back of the bus when she was an eighth-grader. Drechsel knew what he had right away.
NEW YORK MILLS, Minn.—New York Mills senior Lydia Irons always got up. She'd fallen plenty of times in four years of varsity volleyball, basketball and softball, but her last name fit perfect, as she always got up. On Jan. 7, Irons didn't get up. "I played with her my whole life," said NYM senior Sidney Imsande. "I saw it happen and I knew it was different. She's pretty tough and gets up and walks it off. It was different. Your heart stops for her, as she's laying there."
SAUK CENTRE, Minn.—The Moorhead boys golf team entered the second day of the Minnesota Class 3A, Section 8 golf meet trailing Brainerd by eight strokes at GreyStone Golf Club. The Spuds made that up Thursday, June 2, winning their first section championship since winning a state title in 2012 behind a two-day score of 606 compared to Brainerd's 615. Regan Steen led the way for the Spuds, tying for first overall with a two-day score of 146. Alex Schwab finished fourth overall with a 147, Carter Czichotzki added a 158 and Easton Masseth scored a 160 for the Spuds.
MOORHEAD — Ottertail Central and North Dakota State track and field commit Tony Ukkelberg was at his first track meet this season and Ashby-Brandon-Evansville's James Strese pointed and said to him: "The jumpers go over there, Ukkelberg." It's understandable why he thought that, considering Ukkelberg won the Minnesota Class 1A state title in the triple jump two seasons ago, and, if not for tearing two ligaments in his foot in basketball, he would have been right back at state to defend it last season. Ukkelberg looked at Strese and said: "I'm throwing this season."
WEST FARGO—West Fargo Sheyenne senior Mike Glanville had played his last two varsity seasons with West Fargo baseball. It was his team. He was a Packer. The white and green were his colors come baseball season. His senior season he had to change to the blue and orange and become a Mustang in the inaugural varsity baseball season at Sheyenne.