Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.
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FARGO—The plan was for utility infielder Andy Young to finish the three-game minor league baseball series with the Peoria (Ill.) Chiefs and then drive to Midland, Mich., for the home run derby in the Midwest League All-Star game. Then he got the call. No home run derby and no All-Star game. He got something better. A promotion. "It was a surprise," Young said.
FARGO—What started as a troublesome-looking weather forecast last Wednesday steadily got better as the Scheels Fargo Marathon week honed in on its 13th annual event on Saturday, May 20. By Friday, marathon executive director Mark Knutson was feeling pretty good about the conditions. He was right. Light winds and cool-but-not-cold temperatures made for ideal running weather and nowhere was that more evident than in the medical tent near the finish line at the Fargodome. There wasn't much going on.
FARGO — For almost 20 miles, David Tuwei and Bernard Too were almost like buddies running around the streets and bike paths of Fargo-Moorhead. It was a different story the last six. Saturday, Tuwei broke away to win his second men's Scheels Fargo Marathon in three years finishing with a time of 2 hours, 28 minutes, 4 seconds. The breakup came fast, just as the runners were approaching Nativity Church on Fargo's southside. In a matter of a couple blocks, the gap went from nothing to about 20 seconds.
FARGO — Two Scheels Fargo Marathons. Two convincing and dominating performances by the hometown kid. Fargo South High School graduate Semehar Tesfaye, now living and training in Boston, went wire-to-wire in taking the women's division Saturday with a time of 2 hours, 38 minutes, 9 seconds. She labored at the end, but still finished 38 seconds ahead of second place Shawnta Everett of New Town, N.D. It hasn't been the healthiest of recent months for Tesfaye, whose last race—a half-marathon three weeks ago—didn't go so well.
FARGO --- There's a lot of Boston in David McGillivray, from his accent when speaking in front of a room full of people at the Fargodome, to the several references of Fenway Park and the professional sports franchises in that city. And why not? He's the director of the Boston Marathon who has had quite the running career himself. He once ran across the United States in 80 days, a route that took him from Medford, Ore., to Medford, Mass. He's Boston strong.
FARGO—The Scheels Fargo Marathon has gone through some changes in its 13 years of existence, mostly in the form of route changes and an increasing number of participants. The timing company that has kept track of all the runners and walkers has also seen some adjustments over the years. ChampionChip Minnesota Inc. has something new in store for this year: a smaller timing chip to attach to each runner. "It's a real thin strip of foam," said ChampionChip owner John Magnuson, one of those behind-the-scenes guys at the Fargo Marathon.
FARGO—A running club out of Coon Rapids, Minn., that annually brings a handful of native Kenyan competitors to the Scheels Fargo Marathon, is struggling with overseas travel issues this year. The result will be a slimmed-down representation at this weekend's 13th annual Fargo event. Bill Kosgei, founder of the Duma Runners Club, said he does not know why at least four Kenyans were denied entry into the United States. "They never say why. It's hard to tell," he said. "I know it's something we've not experienced before, but now it's becoming an issue."
FARGO — Sue Thompson was 14 years old when she lost her older sister in a cheerleading accident that turned the North Dakota State campus silent. It was more than 30 years ago and as the memory bank goes, she's looking to replenish the riches. If there's a photo of Janis Thompson out there, she would like to see it. "If there's any new fresh image, any story, it brings her back to us," Sue said. "It just makes us feel so good to relive our memory of her."
FARGO—As long as fax machines are part of National Signing Day, the direct connection between the North Dakota State football office and the states of North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin will forever be active. It's where the Bison concentrate their recruiting efforts and it's where the bulk of its roster calls home.
FARGO—It was in the summer of 2015 when Big Ten Conference commissioner Jim Delany laid down the scheduling law that left every Division I FCS school within reasonable driving distance of a Big Ten school in a bad mood. Don't even think about coming to one of our houses, the mandate read.