Sports


TYLER PELLAND, SHOWN here in a Division II championship game appearance at Centennial Field, compiled eye-popping statistics in his Mount Abe high school career. Among them were 40 straight scoreless playoff innings in his junior and senior years as the Eagles won two titles.
CRAFTSBURY — For six years Monkton native and former Mount Abraham Union High School and Addison County American Legion standout pitcher Tyler Pelland played professional baseball. Although the Boston Red Sox drafted the left-hander in 2002, he spent most of his baseball career in the Cincinnati Reds organization. He reached the highest rung of the minor leagues in 2007 — excelling that year — and 2008 before serious shoulder problems derailed his chance of playing Major League Baseball. But Pelland, 37, rarely thinks about baseball these days. He and his partner of seven years, Anners...
BURLINGTON — The Vergennes Champs swim team on Thursday, July 22, swamped host Burlington Country Club, 334-131, to finish their regular Champlain Valley Swim League season at a perfect 6-0. The record is the teams’ best in at least two decades, and possibly ever. The Champs’ July 20 meet against the Middlebury Marlins, originally scheduled to be made up on July 29, has been called off after a Marlin swimmer tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Champs officials said they had already been concerned the rescheduled Middlebury meet was to take place the day before the three-day St. Albans...

THIRD-PLACE FINISHER Tim LaDuc (left), Sportsman Modified “Legends Night” winner Justin Stone, and runner-up Todd Stone — the winner’s father — in victory lane at Devil’s Bowl Speedway this past Saturday. Photo credit: Barry Snelling
WEST HAVEN — “Legends Night” lived up to the hype at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Saturday as an event that was created to bring back old memories ended up creating some new moments that will forever stand the test of time. A group of local superstars were saluted by the crowd, a legend-in-the-making defeated his three-time champion father, and an all-time favorite added an incredible chapter to the track’s history book. Third-generation driver Justin Stone of Middlebury emerged as a force in the special 67-lap, $2,500-to-win race for the headline Sportsman Modified division, beating his...
This is a sidebar to this feature story on former Red Sox draftee Tyler Pelland. CRAFTSBURY — Tyler Pelland, now 37 and a happy family man in Craftsbury, compiled eye-popping numbers as a left-handed pitcher at Mount Abraham Union High School before being drafted into Major League Baseball. His minor league numbers, particularly late in his career for Triple A Louisville, also reveal potential for a Major League career, if significant shoulder problems had not cropped up. Here are some milestones and highlights from Pelland’s baseball career: •  In the 2002 D-II Final struck out 19 in a three...
3rd in a series; read the previous installments here. Morning light creeps into Hell’s Canyon, carving the hillsides with light and shadow in just a few minutes as neatly as the water has been carving it for millennia. I look up the slopes for a glimpse of one of the wild goats, bighorn sheep, or mule deer that we have seen several times along the trip down the Snake River on the Idaho/Oregon border. There are none to be seen this morning. I take my mug over to the table where the guides are just setting out a thermos of coffee. The excursion has been billed as a float trip through the...

THE ADDISON COUNTY 10-and-12-year-old Little League all-star team cruised through the District 1 tournament and began its quest for a state title in a four-team double-elimination tournament held in Bennington on Saturday.
BURLINGTON — The Addison County 10- and 12-year-old all-stars won the District I tournament on Wednesday, defeating Shelburne, 6-1, in the final in Burlington’s Schifilliti Park The game had been suspended from Tuesday with AC leading, 3-0. AC advanced to the four-team double-elimination state tournament in Bennington which began on Saturday. AC fell to Essex Town, and Bennington faced Central Vermont in Saturday’s first round. The local boys have one more chance to win the championship tonight. AC completed a 7-0 run through the District 1 tournament with Wednesday’s win. The county all-...

TWO DIFFERENT TRIATHLONS sponsored by Vermont Sun Fitness drew a July record of 280 competitors to Branbury State Park on this past Sunday despite steady rain. One of the two triathlons, above, included a paddling leg, replacing the more traditional opening swim. Photo by Pat Hendrick
SALIBURY — After winning the June Vermont Sun Triathlon, Tim Russel, 32, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., returned on Sunday to make it two for two in 1:02.08. His closest rival in Sunday’s men’s sprint triathlon was Burlington’s Sean McLoughlin, 50, who finished second in 1:06.34. Shannon Sweeney, 25, of Tampa, Fla., won for the women by just 48 seconds over South Burlington’s Katie Dolbec, 1:15.35 to 1:16.08. The 600-yard swim, 14-mile bike, 3.1-mile sprint triathlon was held in steady rain that made the bike ride treacherous, especially on the turns onto and off Route 7, as the riders circled...

FATHER-SON DUO BRYAN Waters, 46, and Emmett Waters, 6, of Ripton, enjoyed a rousing finish to a 5K run at the Goshen Gallop this past Saturday that drew 150 runners. Photo by Josh Hummel
GOSHEN — Around 150 runners turned out on a rainy Saturday afternoon to compete in the 43rd annual Goshen Gallop trail race at the Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center. In the 10-kilometer women's race, Reilly Kiernan blistered the course in a time of 45:49, breaking the women's course record by 6 seconds. She was followed by Anne Falcone, 43, of Madison, N.J, 49.46; and in third, Emma Crum, 17, of Bristol, Vt., in 50:15. The men's 10km race was dominated by Ryan Collins, who tackled the muddy trails in a time of 41:55. Rounding out the top three were Nathan Lalonde, 24, of Middlebury, 44:03, and...

DESPITE TUESDAY’S POSTPONEMENT in Vergennes, the Middlebury Marlins Swim Team coaching staff puts on a happy face. The coaches said the team had a good turnout of younger swimmers this summer and is enjoying the season. Pictured, left to right, in the rear are Ellie Ross, Head Coach Colleen Rueppel and Oliver Poduschnick; front, Lucy Townend and Maddie McKean. Independent photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Marlins picked up their second summer win on Thursday, July 15, by edging visiting Winooski, 206-185, in a Champlain Valley Swim League meet. The outcome remained in doubt as the meet was nip and tuck throughout, and the score was tied entering the meet-ending freestyle relays. There, the Marlins clinched the victory by winning five of seven relay races, a 21-point swing. Ava Schneider and Oliver Poduschnick paced the Marlins with three wins apiece, and Cassandra Bellman, Sadie Chance and Holly Staats each won two races. Team officials noted many Marlins posted...

THE VERGENNES CHAMPS are having a fun summer, not only dropping time and enjoying each other’s company, but compiling an undefeated record with two meets to go. Pictured are, L to R, Coach Pat Foley, Coach Jeremy Ouimette, Swimmer Anna Rakowski, Coach Bill Clark, Coach Mitch Howell, and Coach Addie Brooks. Independent photo/Steve James
ESSEX — The Vergennes Champs on Thursday, July 15, remained unbeaten in Champlain Valley Swim League action by topping host Essex, 278-172. The 5-0 Champs were scheduled to host Middlebury on Tuesday, but persistent thunder and lightning forced postponement of that meet with their friendly local rivals to Thursday, July 27. Swimmers from both teams had just completed their warm-ups when they had to clear the Vergennes pool’s deck after the first thunderclap. But the postponement did little to dampen the Champs’ enthusiasm about their summer. They are probably one meet away from meeting the...

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Addison County Independent