It was a near-perfect day for Lance Blumhage.
Blumhage came into the day as the defending Prairie Rose State 8-Ball Pool youth champion, and he left the Rack Pool Hall Saturday with the distinction of being the two-time, back-to-back champion in the 21-under division.
"It went pretty good," Blumhage said of the day. "(My overall game) was on and it was off at times, it wasn't as good as it should be, but it was enough to win."
Blumhage blazed through the preliminary rounds and earned a spot in the championship with an unblemished record. The competitors played a race to three format, with the winner of best of three advancing to the next round.
"It went well, I didn't lose a match, which paid off in the championship," he said.
The 15-year old Blumhage, who will enter his first year at Bismarck Century High School this fall, played another Bismarck native, Levi Boehm, for the gold medal. Blumhage beat Boehm in the early rounds, so he had the advantage of having to best twice for the title.
Boehm won the first series, and took a one game advantage in the final set, but Blumhage won three straight to win his second gold in three tries at the Prairie Rose Games.
"It helped out a lot (to have the advantage)," Blumhage said.
Blumhage got into the sport in the second or third grade. His early influences came from his father, and now his uncle Steve Roehrich has been a vital part of his progression. Roehrich took home the silver medal in the 21-over portion of the tournament.
"My got me into it when we got a pool table and my uncle really sparked my interest in it," Blumhage said. "He's been helping me out a lot."
The Prairie Rose Games are the perfect venue for Blumhage to showcase his skills, mostly due to the lack of tournaments for his age group. Thus was the case Saturday, as all competitors under the age of 21 were put into one big group instead of being split up.
"We usually play 15-under, but there wasn't that many people here today, so we had to play 21-under which was a little different," he said. "This is one of the only tournaments we have, but hopefully we can get a few more going. We've been talking to the guy that runs the Bismarck Pool Hall, so were hoping to start having them on a regular basis."
At just 12 years of age, Bismarck's Levi Boehm was the youngest competitor at the Prairie Rose 8-ball Pool tournament.
He came to the tournament expecting to compete against people in his own age group, but he ended playing in the 21-under group instead. He was the only one close to the younger age group.
Despite the age disadvantage, Boehm fought his way through the loser's bracket to find a spot in the gold medal match.
"It was a pretty good day, I got to play a lot of pool, so it was fun," Boehm said.
The Bismarck native ended up falling in the championship match to place second, but he won the first series against eventual champion Lance Blumhage. The silver medal is the highest finish for Boehm, who was competing in his third Prairie Rose Games.
Porcupine 4-Hers finish strong
The 4-H Archery Club from Standing Rock Sioux Reservation represented their heritage well Saturday.
The team consisting of two girls and two boys all took home either gold or silver metals, which was a tremendous feat considering that three out of the four were competing in just their first tournaments.
Thomas Ridley was the only one out of the group was the only one that has competition experience.
"I've been doing it for two, maybe three years now and it's fun," said the 14-year old Ridley. "We compete for the fun of the sport and there is plenty of it."
At just 14, Ridley placed second in the 17-under division, while his teammates Shantelle and Andrew Cruz took home the gold in their divisions. The final competitor of the four, Jarissa Cruz placed second behind sister Shantelle.
Keep it low
The high winds around the area affected every outside sport at the Prairie Rose Games, but probably none more than than the Disc Golf event, which was held at Polaris Park.
Disc, or frisbee golf, is exactly what it name entails - golf played with flying discs. The discs or frisbees weigh on average anywhere from 145-175 grams, so any substantial, or extreme winds like the ones Saturday, will easily affect their flight.
"I've been playing for about 10 years and I have never experienced winds like this," said Daric Aldrich of the Minot Air Force Base.
While it can be a competitive sport, Aldrich said that most people play the game for the enjoyment.
"It's easy way to get out and get some exercise and fun while doing it," he said. "Plus it's free, so that's a plus and anybody can do it."
Pederson competes through pain
A sore leg wasn't enough to keep Minot's Harold Pederson from competing in his favorite sport Saturday morning at the Prairie Rose Games.
Pederson, who is a solid marathon runner that finished third at this year's Trestle Valley Marathon, has a love for physical endurance tests that stem from his affection of triathlon.
"I run the marathons, but I consider myself a triathloner more than a marathon runner," he said.
The triathlon tests an athlete's endurance with three events - swimming, bicycling and running. Due to high winds across the area, the swim portion of the triathlon at Rice Lake was cut out. To make up for it, the officials decide to go with a run/bike/run format, which really tested Pederson's injured leg.
"It went well for me, but I have an injury that I have been nursing, so the double run was tough," he said. "I think it's a strained muscle in my leg, but I'm not sure. It still hurts, that's for sure."
Despite the sore limb, Pederson still took home the gold medal in the men's 41-45 age group with a total time of 1 hour, 12 minutes and eight seconds.
Falling with grace
A fall at the end of a flawless figure skating routine wasn't enough to erase the smile off of Alisha Fettig's face.
Fettig, who is a member of the Bismarck Figure Skating team, figured the fall wouldn't hurt her routine because it came right at the end of it, and she said that falling is part of the sport.
"I don't think they'll count it, but if they do that's fine," she said. "Other than that it was good."
When asked how many times she's fell in practicing the sport and competing for the past eight years, she didn't have an exact number - but said it's been more than a few.
"It's been a lot," she said with a laugh. "Some days are good, and some aren't so good. You just have to let go and go on with your program and not let it get to you."