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Fischer wins Boom Run
By Sam Eifling
Great Outdoor Games staff

The problem with racing Jamie Fischer in the Boom Run — and everyone says this — is that he's too fast across the logs to outrun.

You need the guy to fall. Which, normally, shouldn't be a problem on the pitching, heaving timbers.

"All it takes is one misstep by J.R. (Salzman) or Jamie — they're in, you advance," boom runner Tony Bush said.

Jamie Fischer
J. R. Salzman (left) and Jamie Fischer, the Games only Boom Run gold medalists, met for the second straight year in the finals.
It didn't happen Sunday, to either Salzman or Fischer. The only Boom Run gold medalists the ESPN Great Outdoor Games have ever crowned met for the second straight year in the finals, and again, Fischer sprinted past Salzman for the gold, 13.132 seconds to 13.327 seconds.

Fischer's balance matches his speed, and it affected the way his opponents had to run. In the first round, Fischer's cousin John Wells drew the tough assignment, and decided ahead of time that he would have to run without regard to staying upright, if he was to have any chance.

Sure enough, he stumbled, then tumbled, and Fischer cruised.

"It happens," Wells said. "Maybe not to Jamie, but it happens to me quite often."

"Maybe next year, or maybe at Hayward this year (at the world championships) I'll seed a little better so I don't have to go against Jamie. I think I've got a chance at beating anybody, but it's a much easier chance going up against someone else besides Jamie."

Despite his loss in the finals, Salzman was clear of the tempest that settled over him a day earlier, when he lost the Log Rolling gold to Fischer by faulting on the deciding point. His skinned knuckles were testament to the frustration of that defeat.

"There's a chain link fence that's not real happy with me right now," he said. "I'm all about having fun today. I didn't have any fun yesterday."

Jamie Fischer
Jamie Fischer sprinted to his second gold medal of the 2003 Games by besting J.R. Salzman for the second time in two days.
Salzman hammed for the cameras and in the post-match handshake picked Fischer up, hung the gold medalist over his shoulder and hopped into the pond, after what had been a perfectly dry event for both of them.

"He just did something for fun," Fischer said. "I didn't know he was going to do it, personally."

In a rematch of the 2002 bronze medal round, Fred Scheer beat his son, Cassidy Scheer, to avenge last year's loss.

On his first run down the boom, Cassidy Scheer stepped on the front end of a log, sending it rocking. By the time he hit it on the return trip, it was a trap, and he slipped. Then he watched his 45-year-old dad scamper down and claim a medal.

"It makes a good story," Cassidy Scheer said of the matchup. "It makes good television and gives our sponsor good publicity."

Fred Scheer ran his best race of the last two or three years, he said, largely because he has come to understand the requirements of growing old. Not only does he have to train more than at any other point of his three-decade career, he has to jog nearly right up until each match to avoid straining a muscle.

It was either redouble his physical and emotional preparation, or quit.

"Do I want to sit on the side and watch it, or do I want to get out there and have at it?" Fred Scheer said. "It would kill me to be on the side knowing I could be out there. So I'm going to keep on going and I'm going to be the guy who works hardest."

"I feel bad for Cassidy, but I wanted to win, too. And I worked harder than he did."

Scheer ran well throughout, beating a potential dark horse, Jeff Heineman, in the first round. Heineman fell, because he overcompensated for a flaw he saw in the practice runs, leaning too far right while running.

"Automatically you've got to throw yourself back to the left, and I did it too much," Heineman said. "It's like driving rear-wheel drive on ice. You compensate and it's all over."

Final Standings — Men's Boom Run

1. Jamie Fischer, Stillwater, Minn.
2. J.R. Salzman, Hayward, Wis.
3. Fred Scheer, Hayward, Wis.
4. Cassidy Scheer, Hayward, Wis.
5. John Wells, Blaine, Minn.
5. Doug Goodmundson, Wyzata, Minn.
5. Tony Bush, Kalispell, Mont.
5. Jeff Heineman Winnepeg, Canada