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Record crowd off to the races PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 15:54

Team competition heats up as Fish Day benefit for Portal tops 1,100 entrant

Sweltering summer heat didn’t prevent the 25th annual Fish Day Run/Walk from attracting a record crowd last Saturday in Port Washington.

The field of 1,108 runners and walkers included more than a dozen teams, whose run-with-the-pack approach reflects an increasingly popular trend in road racing.

For the most competitive teams, the focus was on the traditional 8-kilometer race, which was won by Andy Ashenden of Grafton.

Running as a member of the Falcon Fast team in the men’s field, Ashenden broke the tape in 25 minutes, 43 seconds. Placing second was Garick Hill of Wauwatosa in 27:19.

Leading the women’s field was Holly Ochs of Milwaukee, who finished in 30:49.

Kaitlyn Verfuerth of Port Washington won the 8K wheelchair title in 27:46.

Falcon Fast took top honors in the team competition, which was based on the cumulative time of each squad’s five fastest runners. The team, which included students from Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon, finished in 2:23:40.

Besides Ashenden, the team included Benjamin Pape, Danny Fecht, Kevin Gries and Daniel Kleinowski.

Falcon Fast’s victory snapped a streak of four straight Fish Day team titles for TROP, a Port Washington-based contingent. Taking second in this year’s team competition was Instep in 2:24:42.

Headed by former Port High School standouts Jack Hackett, Evan Ross and Mark Allen, TROP finished third in 2:30:38. The team also included Port High cross-country and track coach Mark Pasten.

Although bragging rights eluded TROP this year, team members kept a firm grip on other priorities — camaraderie and shared pursuit of their favorite sport in a festive setting.

“It’s a challenging course, especially for the first mile, but the main reason we get together is to be with our friends and have fun,” said Hackett, who will be a junior this fall at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he runs on the track and cross-country teams.

“We don’t have a lot of strategy for running it because we’re not together that often. Everybody just goes out and runs their fastest.”
The pack mentality of TROP (PORT spelled backwards) isn’t exclusionary, either. Although the team has 10 members, their group was joined by another 10 runners from throughout the Midwest, most of whom have excelled in college programs.

Proceeds from the Fish Day Walk/Run benefit Portal Industries, a nonprofit rehabilitation agency that serves adults with disabilities who live in Ozaukee County.

In addition to the 8K run, the event includes a 2-mile fun run and 2-mile walk.

The fun run was won by Dustin Dietz of Sheboygan in 11:58. The women’s top finisher was Sue Miller of West Bend in 12:18. Both successfully defended their titles in the race.

Marlene Morgan, Portal’s development coordinator who oversees the walk/run, said this year’s event had more than 760 advanced registrations and nearly 350 participants who signed up Saturday.

The field included runners and walkers from 20 states as well as one from the Czech Republic, she said.

“It was a tremendous turnout,” she said. “We blew away last year’s record attendance of 940.”

The event is expected to raise more than $20,000 for Portal after expenses, Morgan said.


A RECORD 1,108 entrants took to the streets of Port Washington for the 25th annual Fish Day Run/Walk last Saturday. Below Middle, Andy Ashenden. Below bottom,  Holly Ochs. Photos by Sam Arendt

 
An ace for an octogenarian PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 15:49

Port woman, 83, shows area golfers you’re never too old to shoot a hole in one

When Adeline Schmitz lined up her tee shot on the 17th hole at Hawthorne Hills Golf Course in the Town of Saukville on July 14, she was hoping to avoid a sand trap.

But the 83-year-old Port Washington woman did a lot better than just staying straight on the fairway. Her drive with a 7-wood sailed true to the flag 102 yards away, landed just in front of the green, hopped forward and rolled into the cup.

It was Schmitz’s first hole in one — and it set off a celebration almost as memorable as the accomplishment.

“I just screamed. I couldn’t believe it,” said Schmitz, who was playing in a Flight B foursome in the Wednesday Hawthorne Honeys women’s league.

Remarkably, another golfer in the same league, Vicki Kaiser, also shot an ace on the same par-3 hole June 9.

However, Schmitz’s effort was especially eye-opening because it makes her one of the oldest — if not the oldest — golfer to card a hole in one on a county course.

“I took my favorite club, teed it up and hit it high,” said Schmitz, who has been playing golf “off and on” since she was in her 30s.
Schmitz wasn’t as thrilled about her 61 score for the nine-hole round. “When you get a hole in one, you should shoot better than that,” she said.

However, she and other members of her foursome — Grace Anton and Joy Hoard, both of Port Washington, and Marilynn Wilke of Cedarburg — aren’t likely to forget the hugs they shared after seeing a tee-shot sail into the cup.

“It was so exciting, a really big thrill,” Schmitz said.

In recognition of her ace, Schmitz will receive a commemorative trophy and have her name engraved on a plaque mounted in the Hawthorne Hills pro shop.


ADELINE SCHMITZ made quick work of the 17th hole at Hawthorne Hills Golf Course last week. Photo by Sam Arendt

 
Gritty Hawks come up big in NSC finale PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 14 July 2010 15:45

Grafton weathers storm on road with Fisk-fueled effort that secures 3rd place in race

The strong arm of their best pitcher helped the Grafton baseball team weather the storm Monday — literally.

And when the threatening conditions  that delayed a North Shore Conference game in Germantown finally subsided, the Black Hawks emerged with their most satisfying win of the season.

Riding a dominant mound performance by Conor Fisk, Grafton rallied to defeat Germantown, 5-2, and wrap up sole possession of third place in the final conference standings.

Fisk, a senior right-hander, struck out a career-high 17 batters and allowed only one hit in a complete-game effort. Germantown’s lone hit came on a check-swing single by Ben Seifert on an 0-2 pitch in the bottom of the first inning.

Fisk capped the game by striking out 12 in the final four innings, including four in the seventh after two walks and a wild pitch on a third strike allowed Germantown to load the bases.

“It was a great win for us,” said Grafton coach Brian Durst, whose team finished NSC play with an 11-7 record, one game ahead of fourth-place Cedarburg.

“Conor had an unbelievable performance, and we had to come from behind to beat Germantown in a pitchers’ duel.”

The Black Hawks, who deserve recognition as the conference’s most improved team after going 1-17 last year, faced a tough task against Germantown starting pitching ace Tyler Thicke.

Thicke, a senior left-hander, struck out seven and took a 2-1 lead into the top of the fifth. But Grafton hustled for a tie with a rally started by Skyler Bohn’s infield single.

After courtesy runner Doug Coeur reached second base on a sacrifice by B.J. Weisflog, Robbie Doring tied the game with a two-out RBI single.

When Thicke, who was working with a limited pitch count, left the mound with one out in the sixth, the Black Hawks broke loose for three runs.

Alex Nennig struck out against reliever Brad Stefanski but reached base on a wild pitch. After an infield single by Dylan Mayer, C.J.

Koehler’s grounder was misplayed, allowing the go-ahead run to score and putting runners on second and third.

Bohn’s sacrifice fly drove in a run, and a throwing error on Weisflog’s grounder brought home another to make it 5-2.

As soon as Grafton’s half of the sixth ended, the teams left the field while storm clouds rolled in and warning sirens sounded. It appeared the game, which was the twice-postponed makeup of a contest first scheduled for June 15, might be delayed again.

“We kept playing for a while, but we had to wait another 30 minutes before it was safe to go back out,” Durst said. “The umpires looked like they might call it, but we really wanted to keep going.”

The delay raised some questions about how effective Fisk would be with his pitch count nearing 100. However, he fanned the side in the bottom of the sixth and worked his way out of a jam in the seventh to end the suspense.

“It did take away some of our momentum, but Fisk came out just as strong,” Durst said. “We knew we had to win it right there because you never know what might happen if we had to wait for another day to finish it.”

Germantown, which finished 7-11 in conference play, made the Black Hawks sweat by manufacturing a pair of runs.

Grafton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Weisflog singled, was bunted to second base, reached third on a wild pitch and scored on an errant pickoff throw.

However, Germantown pulled even in its half of the first. After Seifert singled, he stole second base, was sacrificed to third and scored on a throwing error.

In the third, the Warhawks took a 2-1 lead when Tony Ferrand was hit by a pitch, moved up on a groundout and passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.

“It was a very tough game, but the kids persevered,” said Durst, who singled out the spark-plug play of Weisflog for keeping Grafton’s offense charged.

As the Black Hawks’ leadoff hitter, the junior reached base in the first inning in 12 of their 18 conference games this season and scored seven times in the same frame.

“It’s really rewarding to do as well as we did in the conference,” said Durst, who hoped his team would finish in the top third of the league this season and did so by trailing only champion West Bend West (17-1) and Nicolet (13-5).

“They’ve worked hard and are certainly deserving of finishing where they did.”

Fisk ended conference play with a 7-1 record and two saves, and an earned-run average of 1.15. He struck out 103 in 67 innings. 

The win improved Grafton to 16-9 overall.


CONOR FISK struck out 17 batters and allowed only one hit as Grafton defeated Germantown, 5-2, on Monday to secure sole possession of third place in the final North Shore Conference standings. Photo by Sam Arendt

 
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