Commentary: High school spring sports on hold, colleges under way
While glaring out my office window at snow banks about 4 feet high, and wondering if high school spring sports will ever get outside in 2018, the seasons of many college teams are underway.
Many college teams are able to play or compete indoors or travel to neutral sites where it's warm to get in a few contests in preparation for when our nuclear winter finally ends.
Following is an update on a few lakes area athletes competing in college. It is by no means a comprehensive list.
• Matt Neururer, senior decathlete from Pillager, was named Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week March 27. Competing for North Dakota State University, Neururer earned the weekly honor for his performance at the UC Riverside Spring Track Classic March 22-23. He tallied 6,753 points in the decathlon to finish third. He's the Summit League leader in the decathlon this season and ranks sixth in the NCAA in the decathlon this year.
• Brooke Mimmack, sophomore from Brainerd, is 9-1 in singles, 6-5 in doubles, for the Bemidji State University women's tennis team. The Beavers (7-4 overall) are scheduled to play Southwest Minnesota State at Lakeville at 6 p.m. Friday, April 6.
• Sara Wennerstrand, senior infielder from Baxter, is hitting .349 for the College of St. Benedict softball team. Through 15 games, Wennerstrand has five doubles, a triple, two home runs and 13 RBIs for the Blazers (14-3) who are scheduled to open the MIAC season against St. Catherine University in St. Paul Wednesday, April 4.
• Madi Veith, junior infielder from Baxter, is hitting .303 for the Concordia College softball team. Veith has three doubles for the Cobbers (4-10) who are scheduled to host Gustavus Adolphus Wednesday, April 4.
• Jaelyn Beachy, senior from Staples, finished fourth in the heptathlon for NDSU at the UC Riverside Spring Track Classic March 23. Beachy scored 4,541 points, an improvement of 212 points over her previous best heptathlon score. Beachy posted the second-best long jump of her career (17-3.25) and the top javelin throw of her career (126-3).
• Kylee Heurung, freshman forward from Brainerd, played in 27 games for the Mayville State University women's basketball team, averaging 16.2 minutes per game, 5.9 points and 3.3 rebounds. She made 33 of 41 free throws (.805) for the Comets who finished 20-9 overall.
• Michael Russell, freshman guard from Brainerd, played in 27 games for the Tabor College Bluejays men's basketball team this season averaging 8.9 minutes and 2.1 points.
• Maggie Heggerston, junior from Pequot Lakes, has played in four tournaments and 11 rounds for the Minnesota Gophers women's golf team with an average score of 78. Her low round is a 72 and her best finish is a tie for 41st.
• Andrew Israelson, sophomore from Staples, has played 24 rounds for the NDSU men's golf team this season. After eight rounds, his 72.50 average leads the Bison as does his low round of 64.
• Emily Israelson, senior from Staples, has played 14 rounds for the Augustana University women's golf team with a low round of 71. Her 76.3 average is third on the team.
• Alex Stone, freshman from Pequot Lakes, has also played in 14 rounds for the Augustana women's team with a 78.14 average and a low round of 73.
• Drew Sannes, junior infielder from Nisswa, leads the Concordia St. Paul baseball team with a .433 average. Through 18 games, Sannes is also tied for the team lead in RBIs (13). The Golden Bears (13-5) were scheduled to play four games against Southwest Minnesota State at Wakefield, Neb., this past weekend.
• Matt Tautges, freshman pitcher from Pierz, is 1-1 with a 7.88 ERA for the College of St. Scholastica baseball team. He has appeared in four games, with two starts, encompassing eight innings for the Saints. Opponents are batting just .242 against him.
• Josh Wenzel, senior outfielder from Little Falls, leads Minnesota State Mankato's baseball team with a .400 average and has started all 22 games for the Mavericks. His three triples and 15 RBIs are team highs.
• Tory Miller, sophomore infielder from Baxter, is batting .273 for Minnesota State Mankato's baseball team. He has started 19 of 23 games and has driven in six runs for the Mavericks.