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Kimmes stars at Prep Nationals

Elizabeth Kimmes, a quiet sixth-grader at Hastings Middle School, just went for one heck of a ride in Denver.

She is part of the Courage Rolling Rowdies wheelchair basketball team, which competed in the Prep Junior Nationals in Colorado March 21-22.

The Rowdies entered the tournament as quite an underdog -- they were seeded 10th out of 11 teams. But the Rowdies beat the tournament's top three teams and captured the 2009 championship.

Kimmes was named to the all-tournament team, as were many of her teammates.

The big win came over a team from Nebraska, one that usually beats the Rowdies by double digits. This time around, the result was much different.

"We played really good as a team," Kimmes said.

Kimmes has spina bifida. The wheelchair basketball team gives her a competitive outlet and a way to stay active. She also competes in Courage Center's adapted softball and swimming.

Next year, when she enters seventh grade, she'll be able to compete on the Dakota United adapted teams through the high school.

Kimmes has played wheelchair basketball for four years, but she really started taking it seriously when she returned from a five-day basketball camp in Whitewater, Wis. Her parents, Dan and Patty, noticed a big change in her when she got home.

"She came back from there a different kid," Patty said.

It was a pleasure meeting Kimmes Monday afternoon. I wish her the best and plan to keep tabs on her for our readers.

More good stuff:

• Three former Hastings High School athletes placed in the top 1,000 at the Boston Marathon last week.

Nic Reichenbach, HHS class of 2000, finished 87th with a time of 2 hours, 34 minutes, 23 seconds.

Paul Sovik-Siemens, HHS class of 2001, finished 412th with a time of 2:49:39, and Steven Klein, HHS class of 1999, finished 758th with a time of 2:55:05.

• David Green, a member of the HHS class of 2008, has been elected president of the Badminton Club for 2009-10 at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

• Jenny Trapp, HHS class of 2008, is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She is playing softball for the Falcons.

The team has a 22-14 overall record and an 8-8 mark in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Trapp has played in five of those games and has two hits in four at-bats.

• Sinjin Wilkerson, a senior at Hastings High School, will swim collegiately at the University of South Dakota.

Wilkerson was a five-time all-conference pick here. USD is located in Vermillion, S.D.