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Local Sports Notebook: Longest annual charity bicycle ride stopping in Rochester

Aney tennis JMS0001.JPG
Jessica Aney has a shot at qualifying for the 2014 US Open tennis tournament.
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The longest annual charity bicycle ride in the world, the Texas 4000 team, will be rolling through Rochester on Saturday, 29 days after departing from Austin, Texas on the way to their final destination of Anchorage, Alaska.

While in Rochester, the 2014 Texas 4000 team says it "will celebrate and share hope, knowledge and charity with friends and family" before continuing on their 70-day journey. Riders will be at RochesterFest at the Mayo Civic Center on Saturday, beginning around 6 p.m. Public is invited to attend.

Seventy-nine undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Texas at Austin are braving the rain, sleet, wind, snow and heat and will pedal more than 4,500 miles in support of the fight against cancer.

Along their journey, riders will volunteer at community events that contribute in the fight against cancer and visit with cancer survivors, patients, caregivers, and family members to make educational presentations about cancer prevention and early detection.

They also use this time to offer hope, encouragement and share their personal stories to cancer fighters of all ages and to those who have been affected by the disease.

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On a more solitary journey is Brad Ryan,a 2006 graduate of Byron High School. He flew to Norfolk, Va., and began a 4,586-mile cross-country trek that will end in Anacortes, Wash.

Ryan attended college in Platteville, Wis., and worked as an engineer at Hamilton and Sunstrand in Rockford, Ill., until April to begin his tour.

He expects to be in Mantorville for the July Fourth holiday. He's putting on extra miles to see family members in northern Minnesota.

Ryan is blogging about his trek at bradgoesbiking.com .

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The 41st annual MFCA Tackle Cancer All-Star Football Game will be held on Saturday at Clemens Stadium on the campus of St. John's University on Saturday, with kickoff slated for 1 p.m.

Among members of the South team are Pine Island DB Ben Warneke, Grand Meadow DB Trenton Bleifus, Chatfield TE Jayme LaPlante, Byron DE Dustin Davis, John Marshall OL Isaiah Minnich, Kasson-Mantorville OL Sam Stoll, Cannon Falls OL Austin Noble, and Rushford-Peterson DL Cale Stensgard.

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On the South coaching staff are Chatfield's Jeff Johnsonand Lanesboro's James Semmen. Retired Southland head coach Dick Strandis honorary coach.

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Rochester teen Jessica Aneyhas cleared the first step toward playing in tennis' US Open later this summer.

The 16-year-old Aney, who will play tennis at the University of North Carolina in the fall of 2015, defeated good friend and USTA Northern rival 15-year-old Alexis Nelsonof St. Paul 6-3, 7-5 Sunday to win the women's championship at the 2014 US Open Northern Qualifying Championships at Baseline Tennis Center at the University of Minnesota.

Aney advances to the US Open National Qualifying Championships in New Haven, Conn., in August. The winner of that tournament then receives a wild card into the 2014 US Open.

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