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Steve Wagner / Forum Communications Co., Published June 17 2012

Wagner: Area runners vie for trip to London at U.S. Trials

Bemidji, Minn.

Later this week, a half dozen athletes with ties to the area will compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

In the women’s 800-meter run, Laura Januszewski, a former North Dakota State University star, and Laura Roesler, a Fargo South High graduate, return to Eugene, Ore. – also known as Track Town USA – for a chance to make the team.

Former NDSU standout Amanda Smock aims to punch her ticket to London in the triple jump.

In addition, Bison pole vaulter Leslie Brost, former Bison javelin hurler Riley Dolezal and former University of Minnesota runner Gabriele Anderson – who grew up in Perham, Minn., and will compete in the women’s 1,500-meter race – all hope to join Team USA.

According to the website for the U.S. Trials, Anderson has the fifth-best qualifying time for the 1,500. She also was the subject of a recent story by KARE 11 TV, which did a profile on the cancer survivor’s Olympic quest.

This year, there are 12 hours of television coverage planned.

To learn more about the Trials’ schedule and athletes, visit online at tracktown12.gotracktownusa.com.

An ultra win for

team with area ties

Earlier this month, a team of six men with ties to the area and Scheels All Sports placed in the ultra division of the Ragnar Relay from Madison, Wis., to Chicago.

Team members John Peterson, Aaron Fjerstad and Tony Duerr all live in Fargo, while Josh Duerr and Casey Miller originally hail from Wahpeton, N.D. Fjerstad, Tony Duerr and Matt Hanson – who now lives in St. Cloud, Minn. – work for Scheels, which sponsored the team.

Overall, the team finished 15th out of more than 400 teams.

“It’s a great test both physically and mentally,” Peterson said, adding it was important to monitor and support each other in the nearly 200-mile relay. “Great for team building and comradeship.”

Great races turned in by several local runners

Several area runners headed to Duluth, Minn., for this past weekend’s Grandma’s Marathon, Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and the U.S. half marathon national championships.

Fargo resident Eric Loeffler competed in the men’s championship, finishing in a stellar 1 hour, 6 minutes, while Lisa Dyer of Moorhead ran 1:19:19 in the women’s championship.

Notable marathon performances were turned in by Fargo’s Jamie Steidl and Brian Zastoupil and Moorhead’s Kent Orvik. In the open half marathon, Claire Kazmierczak of Moorhead and Nathan Lodermeier of Dilworth both logged impressive times.

Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer Editor Steve Wagner writes a running blog, which can be found online at runningspud.areavoices.com. He can be reached via email at swagner@bemidjipioneer.com.