banner.gif (15051 bytes)

Sports from the week of June 11, 2003

Two Panther relays earn sixth-place state medals

The Panther girls 4x800 meter relay team was not able to repeat as state champs Class A champions in the state track meet held in Blaine Saturday.

Last year, the team won the race with a time of 9:40.27. The squad this year posted a 9:55.52, which was good enough for a sixth place finish.

The team members were the same as last year. Seniors Kristin Sweetman and Laura Zwach ran the first two legs, followed by Rebecca Gervais and Jillian Tholen.

Gervais, however, missed most of the first part of the season.

"I would say the big difference between this year and last was that we did not get to work together as much because Rebecca (Gervais) missed most of the first part of the season," said Jillian Tholen.

Tholen placed 14th in the 1600 meter race and was disappointed in her performance.

"I did not have a particularly good day," said Tholen.

Bobbi Jo Buyck placed 12th in pole vault competition.

The Panthers 4x100 meter relay team of Tina McIntire, Jenna Schaar, Melissa Luckhardt and Sarah Fritz earned sixth-place medals with a time of 51.72.

"They just weren't as lucky this year," said Assistant Track Coach Gale Otto. "The hand-offs were not as crisp as they were in the Section 3A Meet at Montevideo. Plus they were running against the best in the state."

The Panthers' 4x400 meter relay team of Jenna Schaar, Rebecca Gervais, Jillian Tholen and Melissa Luckhardt ran to an eighth place finish with a time of 4:16.41. Their race, delayed 15 minutes by heavy rains, was run during a steady drizzle.

Concentration, practice make archery fun

Josh Lubben, son of Keith and Val Lubben of Tracy, has compiled an amazing record of successes as an archer at the tender age of eleven. As members of the Saratoga Archery Club, Joshua and his father started practicing archery in their garage in 1999.

Josh entered his first state tournament 4 years ago with very limited success but he had caught the bug and wanted more. On the way home he said, "I want to win that tournament some day. I want to walk up and stand on that podium right above the number one."

Practice time increased but success lagged. Lubben participated in the National Tournament in Kansas City in 2000 but was not doing well. As Josh struggled a man approached his father and said, "I have been watching. He is not having any fun and neither are you."

"Can you help us?" asked Keith.

"Yes", answered the stranger. "You must teach your son to shoot with absolutely no fear. He must learn to shoot so that he puts 100% of his mind on aiming. He must learn to shoot in such a way that he doesn't know when the arrow is going off, so that he just aims. It will take at least a year of dedicated hard practice to learn to shoot this way but you can then have fun again." The stranger's name was Bart Larson, a professional archer.

Josh worked hard at his new method, "Have fun and aim hard" and on April 16, 2002 he shot his first perfect score of 300 at ten years of age. A perfect score is achieved by putting 60 arrows in the bulls-eye at 5 points apiece.

In the summer of 2002 the Lubbens intensified their practice routine and added things to improve concentration such as loud noises and strong competition between father and son. When Josh would question why they were working so hard he was reminded of his own stated desire to win the championship.

During the 16 week 2003 tournament season Josh shot in 13 tournaments and won 11 of them. In one stretch he shot 10 weekend tournaments in a row and traveled over 7,000 miles.

In the Seven State Sectional tournament at Hutchinson, MN there were state champions from the surrounding states plus the national champion. In Josh's division three contestants (including Josh) shot perfect scores of 300 on the first day. Josh was the only one to shoot back to back 300's to win.

Josh is pictured with his South Dakota State Championship Trophy, Minnesota State Championship Plaque, Seven State Sectional Trophy, South Dakota Shooter of the Year Plaque, Minnesota Grand Championship Plaque and Minnesota State Record Certificate.

Baseball awards presented

The Panther baseball team concluded its 2003 season with a record of 6 wins and 16 losses and graduates four seniors. The graduating seniors are Tim Byrne, Matt Schreier, Greg Carlson and Austin Skoblik.

The team selected Donald Strand as the winner of the Golden Glove award (best defensive player). Greg Carlson won the Golden Arm award as the most valuable pitcher plus winning the "Mr. offense award" (most valuable offensive player). The "Mr. Team" award (the player with a great attitude and did whatever was asked for the good of the team) went to Anders Davidson. The "Rookie of the Year" award went to Derek Radke and the "Most improved player" award went to Brett Jackson. Team captains for the 2004 season will be Matt Person, Anders Davidson and Pat Spielman.