Shots win area man Twins tickets

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 1, 2000

Randy Zellmer, Blooming Prairie, won the third annual KAUS FM 100 March Madness Free Throw contest Saturday.

Saturday, April 01, 2000

Randy Zellmer, Blooming Prairie, won the third annual KAUS FM 100 March Madness Free Throw contest Saturday.

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Dan Wilson of Austin finished second and Mike Conway of Austin finished third.

Sixty people qualified for the contest held Saturday at OakPark Mall in Austin. By answering on-the-air questions about college basketball, they became eligible for the contest. Thirty-three showed-up Saturday to compete, which Jim Rudd, one of the KAUS FM 100 organizers of the contest, said is a typical turnout in the three-year history of the event.

Zellmer won 4 tickets to a Minnesota Twins baseball game and a stay at Eddie’s Resort at Mille Lacs Lake for being the contest’s champion.

Wilson won an outdoor basketball setup and Conway won two tickets to the Chanhassen Dinner Theater at Chaska.

All also claimed trophies and the right to brag about their accomplishments, during the NCAA Final Four weekend of basketball.

Zellmer, a production supervisor at Hormel Foods Corporation, sank 31 of 35 free throw attempts and his last 20 attempts to win to win the title.

He played high school basketball at Waterville-Elysian High School, where he was a guard and said he also enjoys drive-way basketball outside his Blooming Prairie home.

Zellmer and his wife, Kay, have three sons, Marc, 11, Matt, 9, and Luc, 6.

Wilson, who with his brothers, are "regulars" in the annual March Madness Free Throw contest, made 29 in a row in the "shoot-off" that was required after Zellmer won the championship.

Using his familiar "bank-it-off-the-backboard" method, Wilson pushed Conway to the limit Saturday or vice-versa. Conway, like Zellmer, used the traditional "over-the-top-of-the-rim" method of shooting to drop the ball in the net.

Wilson, a used car dealer in Austin, was missing one brother, Ed, who accompanied his son, Curt, 13, to the National Elks Free Throw Shooting Contest at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Saturday.

Third-place finisher Conway is an electronics technician at Hormel Institute, where he also works with the SMIG computer consortium. He is also an Austin Fire Department volunteer firefighter.

He said he played basketball until his sophomore year at Austin High School and confining his hoops to drive-way basketball.

Last year’s contest champion, Sharon Monson made it through two rounds Saturday before the ball bounced off the basket rim.

On the night before Saturday’s contest, she practiced in the Southland Rebels high school gymnasium at Adams, making 56 of 60 attempts.

She took solace Saturday in the fact, Monson said, "I was the last woman in the competition."

Her husband, Ray, also lasted through two rounds Saturday before failing to drop the ball in the net.

A cousin of Sharon Monson’s, Shelley Berndt, also competed, but lasted only one round.

In addition to KAUS FM 100, the contest and radio station promotion was co-sponsored by Pepsi Cola Bottling Company.

In all, 27 prizes were awarded Saturday, both in drawings held during the competition and going to the winners.