My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University.
My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
- Member for
- 4 years 2 weeks
BAXTER - It all came rushing back to David Supinski Friday. After double hip surgery erased most of his sophomore and junior seasons, Supinski ran his first cross country meet in a long time. The result was a fifth-place finish during Brainerd's Run for the Melon event at Forestview Middle School. The Brainerd Warrior senior, who enjoyed a successful track and field season last spring, looked happy with his 17:39. "It's a lot longer than the 400 (-meter dash) that I run in track. That's for sure," Supinski said. "It felt good to be back out here. I love these races with so much more of a mental game because it is so much longer."
Faith Watson wasn't fast last year. That's not the case this year. The Brainerd sophomore didn't even qualify for the Warriors junior varsity during last year's Run for the Melon event. Watson shaved three minutes from her time last year to place third in Friday's Run for the Melon at Forestview Middle School and pace Brainerd to the team victory. "I just wanted to have a really good race," said Watson. "I've been kind of hurting. I just wanted to go out and run.
Home is where the heart is and that's good news for Greg Anderson. The driver of the Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro missed the season's first five events after heart surgery. Anderson was born with a bicuspid aortic heart valve and underwent a precautionary procedure to keep him in championship form. First he needs to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship.
The last eight weeks have not been kind to Spencer Massey. Thankfully for him Brainerd International Raceway will be his next stop. Massey returns to BIR to defend his Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Top Fuel title. Last year, Massey beat top qualifier Clay Millican in the finals to capture his first win at BIR. It wasn't easy as Massey blew up the car in the opening round against Brittany Force. "It wasn't a pretty win last year," Massey said.
Robert Hight has been on the outside looking in before. He prefers the view he has entering this weekend's Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. Back in 2009, Hight showed everyone how the Countdown to the Championship should be done as he barely snuck into the 10-team postseason before winning the Funny Car championship. Again last year, Hight snuck into the countdown in dramatic fashion by winning at Indianapolis. Those dramatics won't be needed this year as Hight will open racing Friday with a 47-point lead in the Funny Car division.
When Erica Enders-Stevens flies down the Brainerd International Raceway dragstrip Friday for the first round of the Lucas Oil Nationals qualifying, it will have been 26 days since she last competed. Enders and her Elite Motorsports team passed on Sonoma (Calif.) and Seattle to test, work on their Chevy Camaro and get ready for the final two races before the Countdown to the Championship. Whether the gamble was worth it or not will depend on how Enders does on a track where she's won before. "I can not wait," she said last week. "It's been a long couple of weeks without racing.
About the only golf event Fred Boos hasn't won was the one put on in his honor Monday. Instead Jack Wawro, Boos' PGA golf professional, owned the course that Boos built, but the day still belonged to the man who had a vision that transformed the Brainerd lakes area into one of the world's top 50 golf destinations. It was Boos' vision and the fact Grand View Lodge already owned the land that The Pines Golf Course set the area into a golf craze in 1990.
Doug Kalitta Hometown: Ann Arbor, Mich. Car: Mac Tools dragster Crew chief: Jim Oberhofer Top Fuel standings: First Don't pinch Doug Kalitta. The driver of the Mac Tools dragster is in the middle of a dream season. Kalitta finds himself leading the Top Fuel division of the NHRA's Mellow Yellow series. He's already clinched a spot in the postseason Countdown and owns a 76-point lead over the hard-charging Antron Brown. Kalitta has led or been second in the point standings all season and he's bringing his No.
Fried chicken and champagne. That's what Amy Thielen is most excited about. Which is fitting for the author of the James Beard Award winning book, "The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes" and host of Food Network's Heartland Table.
EMILY – On a sunny morning with the golf course buzzing with carts and people of all ages playing golf, Gregg Gamble sat on the clubhouse deck at his Emily Greens Golf Course. He greeted almost every person who walked near him by name and they returned the greeting with his name. Gamble is proud of his connection with customers.