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Brainerd and Fergus Falls are the favorites today for the Central Lakes Conference swimming/diving championships at St. Cloud Apollo. Last year, Willmar placed fourth while winning five of the 11 swim events. Brainerd finished unbeaten in dual meets and Fergus Falls lost only to the Warriors and is the Section 2A true-team champion.
New London native Aaron Barber shot a 76 Friday and is 11 strokes back of leader David Branshaw at the Nationwide Tour Championship at Prattville, Ala. Barber made only one birdie against three bogeys and a double bogey for 4-over for the second round. Play continues today and Sunday. The Championship is the last chance for players to move up on the Tour's money list. The top 21 receive PGA Tour cards for next season.
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, a section finalist two of the last three seasons, began a bid for another with a 25-9, 25-9, 25-17 victory over New London-Spicer in the quarterfinals of Section 6AA-North tournament Friday in Brooten. BBE (25-2), the top-seed in the section, will next face No. 5 Eden Valley-Watkins, a four-game winner over Paynesville, a 7 p.m. Tuesday in New London. Albany and Sauk Centre will meet in the other semifinal match at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Long Prairie.
WADENA -- Guided by Nikki Swenson's first-place finish Thursday at the Section 6A meet, the Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd's girls team qualified for the state tournament. Swenson clocked a time of 14:47, 17 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. Kelly Swenson of LQPV/-DB finished in ninth place at 15:55. The Eagles finished one point ahead of Sauk Centre to claim a state tournament berth.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The New London-Spicer senior duo of Alyssa Wachter and Paula Beckermann won their first two matches at the Class A Individual State Tournament Friday in three sets each to move into the semifinals at the Nicollet Tennis Club in Minneapolis. The Section 3A champions beat Amy Luther-Lindsey Czeczok of Park Rapids 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the opening round before edging Beth Larson-Meghan Kindler of Mounds Park Academy 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. Wachter and Beckermann face Lauren Luebbe-Julia Scanlon of Rochester Lourdes in the semifinals this morning at 8 a.m.
Ridgewater, the MCCC Southern Division champions and winners of its last 11 matches, begins play in the MCCC State Tournament today at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls. The Lady Warriors (25-5) open against Mesabi Range at 11:30 a.m. before taking on Itasca at 1 p.m. and MSCTC-Fergus Falls at 4 p.m. The tournament concludes Sunday.
Top-seeded Benson cruised past Ortonville and MACCRAY, Morris Area and Montevideo all advanced after winning quarterfinal matches in Section 6AA-South. MACCRAY 3, Minnewaska 1 Tory Brouwer with 15 kills and Hilary Groothuis with 10 paced the Wolverines' attack. Ashley Beseman made six kills and three ace blocks, Danielle Loomis 32 assists and Danielle Goeman 13 digs. Laura Tvrdik was the focus of the Minnewaska attack. The six-foot junior had 13 kills from 51 attacks. Ashley Chan added seven kills. Andrea Kuseske made 12 digs and delivered two ace serves.
The Tribune All-Area football and volleyball nomination forms are due today.
Central Minnesota Christian, Buffalo Lake-Hector and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg all advanced to the semifinals of Section 2A-North after sweeping opponents Thursday. Central Minnesota Christian, the top-seed, defeated Cleveland. Buffalo Lake-Hector, the No. 2 seed, downed McLeod West and No. 4 Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg topped No. 5 Holy Trinity. See semifinals pairings on this page. CMCS 3, Cleveland 0 Kresson Vreeman made eight ace serves in 18 attempts and Missy Mulder and Hillary Slagter had seven ace hits apiece as Central Minnesota Christian cruised by Cleveland at Prinsburg.
New London native Aaron Barber, who hasn't played a full round on the Nationwide Tour since Sept. 25, shot a 71 and is tied for 13th at the Tour's Championship Thursday at Prattville, Ala. Barber pulled out of the Oregon Classic Oct. 2 reportedly because of tendinitis and did not compete in the next three events. He's currently 42nd on the money list with $111,219.