Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children.
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NEW LONDON -- Against all odds, Tom Gjerde did the nearly impossible. The 64-year-old retired mail carrier, made two holes-in-one in one round -- in fact, just four holes apart. It happened Tuesday morning on a perfect summer day while playing his usual round at the Little Crow Country Club on the south side of New London. Playing the Oaks, which is the club's southwest nine-hole layout, Gjerde aced No. 3 going out and No. 8 heading back to the clubhouse. In an interview the same afternoon, Gjerde, a 17-handicapper, said he used a 4-iron over the water on No.
WILLMAR -- Once again, the MIAC dominated the high finishes at the 17th annual Foot Lake 4, sponsored by Rice Hospital. Ex-runners for the Bethel College Royals took three of four top places overall and Katie Eggers of Gustavus Adolphus claimed her second straight top prize in the women's race. Dan Greeno, 23, running a blistering 5:04 pace in his first FL4, reached the finish at Second Street Southwest and Becker Avenue in 20:16. He trumped ex-Minnesota Gopher Ben Kampt by 17 seconds. Next came Bethel graduates Tyler Hinrichs (21:18) of St.
WILLMAR -- Ian Hansen won the Men's Open singles and his little brother, Jess, 13, was the A Singles champion at the Cardinal Classic Tennis Tournament that concluded a three-day run on Sunday at the high school courts. All things considered, the trip from Dawson was well worth it. Father Tom Hansen, a dentist, and his oldest son, Dutch, a second-year medical student at UM-Duluth, reached the Men's Doubles semifinals while Ian and Jack, the next to youngest, got to the Men's Open finals. Ian, who will be a senior at St.
WILLMAR -- Andy Jacobson became only the third player in the 80-year history of the Lakeland Tournament to win as many as four championships on Sunday. Jacobson led from start to finish, winning the 54-hole, two-day event by seven strokes over runners-up Bart Bradford and Jon Hanner, 211 to 218. Jacobson tidied up his second tournament victory this month on his hometown course by shooting a four-under 32 on the back 9 Sunday at Eagle Creek. The 211 total is four strokes off the tournament's 54-hole low score of 207, set by New London native Aaron Barber a year ago. Barber, who also won in
The boy from Kansas is staying home when it comes to his first two years of college. Nathanial Swoyer, the Cardinals' top male athlete this school year, will play football and wrestle at Ridgewater College beginning this fall. He signed a letter-of-intent before graduation. He will enter the program to become an electrician. He'll still have an option of continuing at a senior college, perhaps Concordia. Willmar alumni Terry Horan, the Cobbers' football coach, wanted the linebacker-fullback.
WILLMAR -- Back in preschool little Jordan Smith's crayon drawing on brown tablet paper told what he wanted to be when he got big. In block letters below two stick figures, he wrote -- a "policeman and a ballplayer." Sunday, it came true, the ballplayer part. A little over two weeks short of his 21st birthday, the 6-foot-4 third baseman/outfielder signed a minor-league contract with the Cleveland Indians organization. The framed bit of child's art was on display on the kitchen counter.
This spring, Tom DeBoer transitioned from playing hardball to coaching softball. The Raymond Rockets right-handed pitcher from Willmar took over the Litchfield Dragons prep softball team. "I was surprised how competitive I got and how satisfying it was," he said. The Dragons didn't win a game. A few games were close, many others were lopsided. "Toward the end of the season it got tough to keep the girls motivated," said the first-year coach.
ST. PAUL -- Aaron Wubben of Central Minnesota Christian and Morris Area athletes Cody Cannon and Rachel Moser topped the area medal haul at the state track and field meet on Saturday. All three jumped for gold in Class A. Wubben cleared 6-foot-7 in the high jump, Moser pole vaulted 11-0 without a miss and Cody Cannon won a narrow victory in the 110 hurdles. Second-place awards at Klas Field on the campus of Hamline University included Dawson's Ryan Swenson, running for Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd.
NORTH MANKATO - Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg took advantage of 16 hits en route to a 11-5 win over Blooming Prairie in the Class A third-place game Friday at Caswell Park. The win ends KMS's season with a 23-1 record while the Awesome Blossom's finish the year with a 21-3 mark. The Saints beat Hawley 1-0 and lost to New Life Academy 3-2 on Thursday. Erin Haglund got the win in the circle as she worked seven innings and allowed eight hits while striking out seven. At the plate she helped her cause as she went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and another run driven in.
NORTH MANKATO -- Although they lost on the scoreboard, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg won a victory of sorts late Thursday afternoon against New Life Academy. The Eagles (23-4) sweated out a 3-2 win in the Class A state softball semifinals on Field No.