Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dead bodies found in Burkhardt apartment

On Tuesday, May 27 the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office was called to an apartment located at 1102 County Road A in Burkhardt for a report of a deceased person. Upon arrival deputies discovered two bodies were in the apartment.

The deceased persons were identified as brothers Gregory Allen Knoll, age 44, and Jeffrey Konrad Knoll, age 41. There were no indications of a struggle in the apartment or any visible indication of trauma to the bodies. Initial investigation indicates that death may have occurred from five to seven days prior to discovery.

An autopsy is being performed by the Ramsey County Minnesota Medical Examiners Office to determine cause of death. The Sheriff's office does not believe there is any reason for concern by other residents of the area. The incident remains under investigation by the Sheriff's Office.

Panthers advance to sectional

The St. Croix Central Panther baseball team beat Clayton/Turtle Lake and Grantsburg in two one-run games last week to advance to the sectional semi-finals.

The Panthers topped Clayton 7-6 on Tuesday at home and then traveled to Grantsburg on Wednesday and held on for a 4-3 win over the Pirates.

The two wins advance the Panthers to the sectional semi-final on Tuesday at 11 a.m. against Osseo-Fairchild. The winner will face the winner between McDonell Central and Park Falls in the 5:00 sectional championship game. The games will all be held at Marshfield.

"Osseo-Fairchild comes from a pretty tough conference," said Coach Mike Fern. "I'm sure they will be a very good opponent."

The Panthers didn't have an easy time reaching the sectional. On Tuesday the Clayton/Turtle Lake team jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Nick Nygaard cut the lead to 4-1 with a solo home run to start the second inning and Central tied the score in the third inning when Jeff Fern, Mark Shaver and Noah Bollom all walked and scored.

"A lot of hits found holes and we got behind early," Fern said about Turtle Lake's offense. "But they made some mistakes and helped us out."

On Wednesday the Panthers struck first when Luke Brown singled in the second inning. Brown stole second and the ball bounced through to the outfield allowing Brown to score.

The Pirates tied the score in the bottom of the third, but the Panthers came back to score three runs in the fourth for a 4-1 lead.

Jared Fern led off the inning with a single, followed by a base hit by Hartung. Erickson walked with one out to load the bases. A base hit by Michael Tilton drove in two runs, followed by a single by Jeff Fern for the third run of the inning.

The Pirates scored twice in the bottom of the fourth to pull within a run at 4-3. But Nygaard came in in relief of Erickson to get out of the inning and Shaver pitched the final three inning to preserve the win.

"Andrew did what we needed him to do," Fern said. "We got through the fourth with Nick and Mark shut them down.

"It was a tight ball game all the way. We left 11 runners on base and we're lucky that didn't come back to haunt us."

Fern noted the Panthers made some good defensive plays. "They (Grantsburg) were the number one seed and have always been a thorn in our side-in all the sports. The win takes a lot of pressure off."

The winner of the sectional on Tuesday advances to the WIAA state tournament which will be held in Appleton at Fox Cities Stadium on June 11-12.

Fedie and Johnson advance to the state meet

The St. Croix Central golf team will be represented by two golfers at the WIAA state tournament on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

Brad Fedie was the low score of individuals not on a qualifying team with an 81 and Austin Johnson tied for second place with an 82. Eric Christensen of Amery is the third qualifier from the Somerset Sectional.

"The kids are excited," said Coach Lindy Johnson. "They played very well."

Fedie had a 43 on the front nine at Bristol Ridge Tuesday, but came back with a 38 on the back nine. Johnson's round was just the opposite with a 38 on the front and 44 on the back.

The Panthers missed qualifying the whole team by just two strokes. Rice Lake won the sectional title with 329 and Mosinee was second at 342. The Panthers were just two strokes back at 344.

"We would have liked going to sudden death," Johnson said about a playoff for the second qualifying spot. "We had two solid rounds with a 342 at regionals and 344 at sectionals."

Other Panther scores were Jesse Krizan 90, Colin Bruesewitz 91 and Nick Revoir 101.

The Panther golfers began state tournament play at University Ridge near Madison with 18 holes on Monday. Both Central golfers shot an 87. Fedie shot 44-43 and Johnson shot 4740. Eric Christensen leads Division 2 after a first round 69. Play continues with 18 holes on Tuesday.

"The key at University Ridge is to hit the ball straight," Johnson said. "The course plays long, but both kids can play the long ball."

Howard wins two matches at state

Tyler Howard, Baldwin-Woodville's best tennis player ever, won his first two matches at the WIAA Division 2 state tournament before falling to the defending state champion and then losing in a consolation match to the number three seed in the tournament.

"Tyler had a very good tournament," said B-W Coach Jim Rumpel. "He definitely had some tough draws along the way and still did everything we asked of him."

B-W's top doubles team of Nathan Zacharias and Ed Rumpel also "did very well against a very good team," said Coach Rumpel. Playing their first match against the team that went on to lose to the team that went on to finish third in the doubles tournament, they lost 6-2, 6-3.

Coach Rumpel said in his opinion, Howard played "one of the two toughest players he could have drawn" out of the 20 possibilities in first round competition, Matthew Bellio, a sophomore of Saint Mary's Springs with an 18-3 record, and won 6-3, 7-5. In the second round he beat the player who beat the Altoona foreign exchange student whom Howard had beaten twice during the year. By beating the Altoona player, Jimmy Leschke, a senior of Oshkosh Lourdes with a 14-7 record, "obviously was a good player," said Coach Rumpel, and Howard beat him 6-3, 6-0 and "played very solid tennis.

In the third round Howard faced the defending state champion Michael Koval of Notre Dame, with a 26-1 record, who until the final round didn't lose a game at the tournament. "Sometimes people who don't understand the game will look at a score of 6-0, 6-0 and think there's a huge difference, but it's not always a huge difference," said Coach Rumpel. "Sometimes a shot here or a shot there makes the difference."

In the consolation bracket for fifth place, "probably the biggest thing affecting Tyler was the number three seed upset" so Tyler had to play him in the first round of the consolation. "So by the luck of the draw, his consolation match was against the toughest kid he could have faced and in a tough match in which he kept fighting back, he lost 6-4, 7-6.

"Just to show how tough that player was, he went on to win fifth place match and had a much easier time than he did against Tyler," said Coach Rumpel.

Wagner second in 3200m race

Baldwin-Woodville's premier distance runner Kayla Wagner powered to a second place finish in near record-setting time in the 3200m run in Division 2 action at the WIAA state track meet Friday night in LaCrosse.

Wagner's time of 10:38.44, more than 20 seconds off her previous best, was less than two seconds shy of the previous Division 2 state record of 10:36.88 set in 1984 by Lori Wolter of Sauk Prairie. Winning the event this year, and no doubt pushed by Wagner, was Ashley Beutler of Belleville/New Glarus who set the new state record of 10:33.43.

The record-setting race was late Friday night after an one and one-half hour delay at the WIAA state track meet at LaCrosse due to a strong band of storms that caused evacuation of the stadium and grounds.

"Kayla felt a little disappointed in Saturday's finish," said B-W Coach Darren Peterson. "But she did extremely well and should be proud of running with and pushing one of the state's premier distance runners. Friday's 3200m run was extremely impressive and from where she was three or four weeks ago she has decreased her time exponentially."

Coach Peterson said Wagner has been taking 20 or so seconds off her time almost every week which is a phenomenal achievement. "The longer a race goes, the stronger she gets."

The results were not quite what Wagner wanted in the 1600m run on Saturday. She finished in seventh place, just one place from being on the podium, with a time of 5:14.25, which is not her best time of the year. "The thing that hurt Kayla, and a lot of other runners who did both the 3200m and 1600m back to back, was the short turn-around time," said Coach Peterson. The rain delay of Friday night that amounted to about two hours, pushed the 3200m run to nearly 10:00 and the 1600m run was early Saturday afternoon.

Coach Peterson noted that the Division 2 times in both the 3200m and 1600m runs were faster than the Division 1 times.

In addition to a short recovery time, Wagner was boxed in by the pack almost immediately in the 1600m run. "The start hurt," said Coach Peterson. "When you have a poor start in a shorter race you have less time to make up for it."

Coach Peterson said that Wagner and Beutler running together helped them both. He added that six of last year's place winners in the 1600m run were returning to the race this year. "Kayla learned how to compete and run in a very competitive race. She competed against elite runners and she held her own very well. It definitely puts her in the top echelon again for next

Coach Peterson's notion that Wagner and Beutler helped each other in the 3200m run is borne out by each of the runners. Beutler is quoted in the Wisconsin State Journal as saying "I was just trying to beat the girl behind me, not set the record. That girl was amazing."

Wagner said she felt good during the 3200m run "except at the end when I felt like my body was breaking because I was trying to go too fast." After the race had ended "Ashley told me I better break the record next year," said Wagner. "She was really nice. It was great to run with her."
She agreed that she pushed Beutler and Beutler pulled her.

At the awards ceremony it was former New Richmond stand-out distance runner Ayla Mitchell who congratulated Wagner and put the medal around her neck. "Ayla talked to me afterwards too. It was exciting and she was so nice," said Wagner.

For the 1600m run, "I was exhausted," said Wagner. "My legs obviously didn't feel as good as they should. During the race my arms and my legs hurt. The beginning was difficult because I got boxed in. I tried to get around people but the anxiety caused me not to run as well as I could. I was a little disappointed but I was happy to be there and happy to run a good race the night before."