TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City St. Francis girls track head coach Julie Duffing was named the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association Division 4 Women’s Track Coach of the Year at the recent MITCA coaches clinic.
Last season Duffing led the Gladiators to the Division 4 state championship, coaching Holly Bullough to state titles in the 800 and 1,600, and Lauren Buckel in a championship in the 400. St. Francis also won a Division 4 regional title. She is entering her third year as head coach at St. Francis.
“Julie has been fantastic,” said St. Francis athletic director Tom Hardy. “She’s so deserving of the award, not just because of the success, but because of her relationship with kids. Are track numbers continue to grow and this year they’re getting even bigger with the number of kids that are going out for the sport. When she got here a few years ago we had nine to 10 kids out for the girls track team and this year we’re going to have 25-30 girls out. Kids just want to be around her. She’s one of those coaches that teaches more than just a sport.”
Aside from the coaching award, Duffing also was awarded a 15-year certificate from MITCA for her years of coaching. Other local recipients were Tom Brown, 30 years, of Traverse City West; Richard Lessard, 30 years, of Bellaire; Jeffrey Tousley, 27 years, of Frankfort; Stephen Braem, 25 years, of Frankfort; and Johnny Ensing, 15 years, of Forest Area.
BATTLE CREEK JUNIOR OPEN: Fourteen junior tennis players from the Grand Traverse Resort Junior Tennis Academy traveled down to Battle Creek to compete in the Battle Creek Junior Open at the Minges Creek Racquet Club.
The Academy had champions in the Girls 18, Boys 16 and Boys 12 divisions along with consolation champions in the Girls 16 and Boys 16 division draws.
Notable results include: Kitty Mast (Traverse City) defeated Christi Druskovich (Traverse City) in the Girls 18 finals by a score of 6-3, 6-1; Natalie Burke (Traverse City) defeated Shannon McDowell (Jackson) in the Girls 16 consolation final by a score of 6-1, 6-1; Skyler Norgaard (Traverse City) was defeated by Andrew Klein (Augusta) by the score of 6-3, 4-6, 1-0; CJ Shoults (Traverse City) defeated Jack Seymour (Williamsburg) by the score of 6-1, 6-0; Austin Wieland (Traverse City) defeated Ben Brow (Traverse City) in the Boys 16 consolation finals by the score of 6-2, 6-7, 10; and Mace Shoults (Traverse City) defeated Shrey Patel (Okemos) in the Boys 12 final by the score of 5-7, 6-2, 1-0.
HORSE SHOWS BY THE BAY: The 2013 Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival was once again recognized for excellence.
For the fourth consecutive year, The North American Riders Group (NARG) named Horse Shows by the Bay among their coveted “Top 25 Shows in North America.”
“We are very pleased with the outcome of the survey and to be placed squarely on the list among so many other prestigious horse shows throughout North America,” said Alex Rheinheimer, owner and manager of Horse Shows by the Bay.
NARG is a group of high-performance equestrian athletes and owners whose goal is to improve the sport of show jumping. Their analysis has become a benchmark in the industry and is primarily centered around high-performance show jumping. They seek to recognize the “destination events that prepare, challenge and reward the best horse-and-rider combinations. The best shows attract the best riders, in turn offering the toughest competition and equestrian sport worth watching.”
HICKORY HILLS: An open house and community input session for the Hickory Hills master plan will be held Thursday, February 20 from 5-8 p.m. in the second floor training room of the Governmental Center at 400 Boardman Avenue.
Input us being sought from community members on their ideas and hopes for the future of Hickory Hills
A Master Plan for Hickory Hills is being developed as part of a joint effort with the City of Traverse City, Charter Township of Garfield, the Grand Traverse Ski Club, and Preserve Hickory to determine the long range future for the hill.
SEMINAR: The Grand Traverse Bay Sail & Power Squadron is offering a free seminar to support safe boating in the Grand Traverse area on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at West Marine in Traverse City.
The seminar explains basic VHF radio operation, which is essential for emergency communications. Digital Selective Calling (DSC) is rapidly becoming a reality as more Coast Guard Rescue 21 System operations go live. Currently, the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf Coasts, the Great Lakes and OCONUS islands (stations San Juan, Honolulu and Guam) are operational with DSC and all USCG vessels are DSC equipped. The western rivers will be active by 2014. Alaskan stations will come on line in 2017.
Go to www.gtbayboating.org for more information and registration.