Standing by in sports, Sun., June 14

Standing by LEAD PHOTO
Shay Nielsen recorded a career-best mark of 15.91m (52-02.50) to place ninth in the shot put at the Big Ten Championship and move into eighth place in Minnesota program history.

Nielsen All-Big Ten Academic

Senior Shay Nielsen was one of 182 University of Minnesota Golden Gopher student-athletes earning Academic All-Big Ten selections for the spring and at-large seasons, the conference announced Friday, June 5.

Nielsen has already earned a bachelor’s degree in special education and is currently finishing a two-year master’s degree in Leadership in Education. She is completing her Master’s in just one year after finishing 17 grad school credits this past spring.

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Shay Nielsen


With the most recent academic merits, Maroon & Gold student-athletes have now earned a total of 375 Academic All-Big Ten accolades for the 2019-20 academic year.

To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten merits, student-athletes must be on a varsity team, have been enrolled full time at the institution for a minimum of 12 months and carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Ten University of Minnesota programs and their student-athletes were recognized by the league on Friday with women’s track & field leading the way for the Gophers with 48 honorees followed by rowing (36), men’s track & field (28), women’s hockey (16), baseball (16), softball (10), men’s golf (eight), women’s golf (seven), men’s tennis (seven) and women’s tennis (six).

Individually, redshirt juniors Bethany Hasz and Megan Hasz of Alexandria and Val Larson of DeForest, Wisconsin – all of the women’s track & field program – paced the Maroon & Gold with 4.0 cumulative grade points averages – three of 47 Big Ten student-athletes to carry an unblemished performance in the classroom.

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Gabe Grunewald

Grunewald 10-year record anniversary

Wednesday was the 10-year anniversary of Perham’s Gabriele Grunewald running a University of Minnesota women's program record time of 4:13.45 in the 1500m to finish as runner-up at the NCAA Track and Field championships.


Gabe was a fifth-year senior when she was first diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma. Following surgery and radiation, she returned to competition setting the record 2010 NCAA championships and went on to gain international recognition during her career and her positive outlook on her diagnosis.

Grunewald passed away in 2019 after a decade of fighting cancer.

Richards mountain bike reports

Maplelag owner Jay Richards has been compiling regular reports for mountain bike enthusiasts and racers. Richards touches on trails being created and races in Minnesota and around the midwest. Mountain biking has been affected by COVID-19 like so many sports, including the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series Detroit Mountain Shakedown that was scheduled for June 7. The 30th Laddies Loppet at Maplelag is still scheduled Sept. 4-7. Give Jay a follow for all the mountain biking news you could ask for on Twitter handles @RichardsJay and @laddiesloppet. Check out his latest report at

Fargo Soccer Club to host 3-on-3 tournament

The Fargo Soccer Club will host the region’s first soccer tournament of the summer June 26-28 at the Kennedy Elementary School soccer fields.

The Fargo 3-on-3 Soccer Tournament will be open to players born as young as in 2014, all the way up to adults, those born in 2000 or before. All games will be held three players against 3 players with no more than two players substituting per team. All games will be held on fields of identical size using 4 foot by 5 foot goals, with modified rules and only one referee per game.

Games will be 18 minutes long, instead of the usual 50-90 minutes in duration. No goalkeepers will be allowed.


Registration for the tournament is open at Fees are only $125 for a five-person team.

MBA announces exhibition town ball games

According to one of Minnesota town ball’s most fervent supporters Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Minnesota Baseball Association board agreed Wednesday to allow teams to play exhibition' games starting this weekend. Teams must have the approval of their city and also the entity charged with running ballparks to have games. Any games played will not be official for league standings or counting toward the number of games a player needs to be eligible for the playoffs. One hiccup is umpires. Umpire associations are not expected to provide umps without full state approval for games.

Paging Sports Podcast

Catch this week’s Paging Sports podcast with Jason Groth and I, along with special guest Norm Gallant, activities director at Wadena-Deer Creek high school. This month is the 10-year anniversary of the tornado that destroyed the high school and portions of Wadena.

We’ll also be recapping Detroit Lakes golfers putting up strong finishes in Fargo, Alexandria and Coon Rapids. The Heart O’ Lakes Fishing League is set to resume action. DL’s Tye Wilke, the star of Sunday’s Tribune sports feature story, has been in the winner’s circle in three of five INEX Legends races this year. We’ll be discussing coaching openings around the area, new gyms and school construction around the region and more.

All three episodes of the podcast are available on the sports pages of the Detroit Lakes Tribune, Perham Focus and Wadena Pioneer Journal. Be sure to follow Jason ( @PerhamWDCSports ) and I ( @DLakesSports ) on Twitter for breaking news around the region.

Robert Williams has been a sports editor for Forum Communications in Perham and Detroit Lakes since 2011.
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