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Record turnout set for Schweizer Fest road runs Saturday

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By Larry Goffinet

TELL CITY—Schweizer Fest organizers are getting ready for a bigger than usual slate of sports events this weekend.

The old-timers baseball game, which was rained out Tuesday, will still be the festival’s first sports event, as it has been rescheduled for tonight at 6:30 at Frank Clemens Field.

Registration will start at 5 p.m. and batting practice at 5:30 p.m.

There will be no charge for admission or participation. Each participant will receive an official Schweizer Fest hat. 

For more information call Kelly Malone at 812-483-3381.

The biggest sports event in number of participants will be the road runs Saturday morning.

Race organizer Chris Hollinden said Tuesday afternoon he already had 304 runners registered for the races. Last year’s turnout of 301 had been the most ever, “and we always get about 100 registering on race day,” said Hollinden. “We’re looking at 375 to 400 runners.”

They are avid runners too, as the registrations are about evenly split between the six-mile and two-mile races.

For several years more runners chose the shorter, flatter two-mile race and thus avoided having to run up Mozart Street’s long hill.

But “last year we had more in the six-mile race,” said Hollinden.  He said being able to tackle the tough hill “has become almost like a badge of honor.”

He said 135 of the registered runners have Tell City addresses and several more are from other parts of Perry County.

But there are also several out-of-county runners coming. “There’ll probably be four or five U of E runners coming (Hollinden is a former University of Evansville cross country star). And Katie (Chinn, another race organizer) has a few friends from Belmont (a Tennessee university where she ran cross country) coming up.”

The runs will start 8 a.m. at the corner of Seventh and Fulton streets.

Runners can register until 7:30 a.m. race day. Walkers are also encouraged to participate.

Entry fee is now $18. Entry forms may be picked up at Hollinden Realty in Tell City.

For more information, call 719-3644 or visit www.runperrycounty.com.

About 25 people had entered the Schweizer Fest tennis tourney as of Tuesday afternoon.

“The largest age group is by far men’s doubles, with eight teams entered,” said tourney director Nick Weyer.

The tourney will start at 4 p.m. Friday with the juniors (ages 12-and-under and 14-U) competing then.

The Schweizer Fest horseshoe tourneys return this weekend after a 15-year absence, though they will now be held at Zoercher-Bettinger Park instead of pits set up in City Hall Park.

A draw-for-partners doubles tourney will be held 7 p.m. Friday and a six-person team tourney Saturday at 1 p.m. Registration will start an hour before each tourney.

The Schweizer Fest used to have separate men’s and women’s tourneys, but both sexes will pitch together this year, with women pitching from 30 feet from the peg and men 40 feet from it.

“We used to have 30 teams and pitch until 3 o’clock in the morning,” said tourney organizer Bill Schroeder. “I don’t think we’ll get that many teams this year since it’s the first year back, but I think it’ll build up again.”

The six-person team tourney will still feature a traveling trophy for the champions.

Guillaume’s Bulldozing team of Neal, Bruce and Bill Guillaume, Kevin LaMar, Herman Etienne and Carl Jones won that trophy in the last tourney in 1993.

Some of them “are going to get a team up and bring the trophy,” said Schroeder.

The Schweizer Fest Golf Open will be held Saturday and Sunday at Hoosier Heights Country Club.

Most of the champions from the last 20 years, including defending champion Erik Lassaline and five-time winner John Stiles, are expected to participate.

The other Schweizer Fest sports event is the bench-press competition at EverBody’s Fun & Fitness Center Saturday at 10 a.m.