Syracuse Crunch loses opener; WCHA meeting in Bemidji; Grandma’s Marathon official numbers

J.T. Brown and the Syracuse (N.Y.) Crunch opened the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup championship series at home Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd losing 3-1 to Grand Rapids (Mich.). The Syracuse Post-Standard has a game story here.

Presidents and athletic directors from the 10 schools of the revamped WCHA are meeting in Bemidji, Minn., on Sunday and Monday. Jack Hittinger of the Bemidji Pioneer has the details here.

The official entry numbers are out for Grandma’s Marathon weekend of June 21-22.

The figures are slightly ahead of last year, race officials announced Saturday.

A field of 17,402 has registered: 7,338 in the 37th Grandma’s Marathon, a record 7,835 in the 23rd Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, 231 in the USA Half Marathon Championships and a record 1,998 in the 20th William A. Irvin 5-Kilometer run.

In 2012, there were 17,208 entrants.

The numbers reveal that the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon has overtaken Grandma’s Marathon in participants for the first time.

The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon has approximately 200 more entrants than in 2012 and 600 more than in 2011.

Grandma’s Marathon continues to face dwindling figures, about 300 fewer entrants than in 2012 and nearly 1,000 fewer than in 2011.

The half marathon distance remains the most popular in the United States with an estimated 1.85 million timed finishers in 2012, a record high. There were 487,000 marathon finishers in the United States in 2012, down slightly from a record 518,000 in 2011.

The William A. Irvin 5K is June 21, while the other three races are June 22.