Aarhus has been a sportswriter for the Jamestown Sun since May of 2012. Prior to that, he was the sports editor at the Minot Daily News and The Daily Republic in Mitchell, S.D. He also worked as a sports writer at The Dickinson Press. He was honored as North Dakota's Sportswriter of the Year for 2014.
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It's been seven years since Jamestown High School made a surprising run at the state girls soccer tournament. With some help from Bismarck Century, the Blue Jays are finally going back. The Patriots blanked Mandan 5-0 on Tuesday night, meaning Jamestown is assured one of the top four spots to represent the West Region at state, as there is no region tournament.
Even after his 300-meter hurdles time is adjusted for being handheld, Jamestown senior Dylan Koenig still sparkled at the Al Cassell Relays on Saturday at Taylor Stadium. Koenig didn't run a career-best in the event, but he came close by notching Class A's second-best time this season with a 40.64. His 40.54 leads the state. "It was my third race of the day so under the conditions, I think I did OK," said Koenig, a University of Jamestown commit. "Maybe if I had run it first, it could have been a better time."
Three decisions in a day doesn't happen often in baseball, but Jamestown ended up on the right side on Saturday. The Blue Jays hosted Minot at Jack Brown Stadium looking to finish an extra-inning game from earlier this season that had to be suspended due to darkness at Minot, and Jamestown came out victorious by winning with a run in the top of eighth for an 11-10 triumph. Jamestown then hosted the regularly scheduled doubleheader with Minot's Easton Bennett firing a no-hitter in the opening 5-0 win before the Blue Jays answered with an 8-5 win in the second game.
Austin Rene turned in another solid round on Saturday, and his teammates were right behind him. The Jamestown High School senior tied for third with a season-best 74 at the Turtle Mountain Invite, played at Dunseith's Garden Gate Golf Course. It also meant a good round for the Blue Jays as a whole, as they carded a 327 for fifth place. "We had an improved weekend," Jamestown coach John Samuelson said. "We worked really hard this week on being mentally prepared for the weekend." Rene was the medalist at the Links of North Dakota on Friday, shooting an 80.
Emily Reiten helped Jamestown get back on track and earn a tie. Now, the Blue Jays are one result away from ending a state-tournament drought. The Jamestown High School all-state striker scored a pair of goals with assists from Megan Gaffaney in the final 20 minutes of the first half on Saturday to tie Minot 2-2 in West Region play at Rotary Field.
Jamestown was no match for Minot on Saturday. The Majettes breezed through singles play without a loss en route to a 9-0 blanking in the final West Region tennis dual of the regular season at Bolinger Courts. The rematch in a 3-2 format is Thursday in the opening round of the West Region tournament in Bismarck. Minot and Jamestown are seeded fourth and fifth, respectively, meaning they face each other right away in the team tournament. Jamestown played Minot earlier this season in the regional format, losing 3-2.
Austin Rene's short game has let him down repeatedly this season. On a cold, blustery Friday with a tree nowhere to be found, the Jamestown High School senior made one putt that could be enough to turn his game around. Rene sank a 12-foot putt on a playoff hole to edge Turtle Mountain's Jackson Davis to win the Williston Invite at the Links of North Dakota course near Tioga. Rene and Davis both shot 80s, necessitating a playoff hole. Both players had par putts, with Rene's being from 12 feet out and Davis' 14. Rene converted, while Davis just missed.
With only one dual remaining in the regular season, Jamestown flexed its muscles on Friday in 40-degree weather. The Blue Jays rolled through singles play without losing a set and then swept doubles in a 9-0 blanking of Bismarck Legacy in West Region girls tennis at Bolinger Courts. Jamestown hosts Minot at 1 p.m., today to decide the Nos. 4-5 seeds for the West Region tournament, which starts next Thursday in Bismarck. Regardless of the outcome, the two teams will meet again in the opening round.
Jamestown fastpitch softball coach Mike Soulis took a good approach to playing in 41-degree weather on Friday. "It was a nice October day," Soulis said with a smile. Jamestown breezed to a pair of West Region wins, defeating Turtle Mountain 13-3 and 16-6 in five innings in a doubleheader at Trapper Field. The weather may have played a factor right away, but the Blue Jays' bats heated up in a hurry. They finished with 24 hits.
Bismarck Legacy managed to steal another one from Jamestown. The Sabers, in their first year of competition, again split a doubleheader by winning the opener 6-5, before the Blue Jays fired back with a 5-3 victory in West Region play on Thursday in Bismarck. The Blue Jays secured the nightcap thanks to a steady effort from junior Ben Friebel, who went kept Legacy off the board until the fourth inning. He surrendered three runs on four hits and three walks, striking out six in the complete-game effort.