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File photo In a 1974 game, Willmar's first girls team in 42 years. Nancy Groen of Central Christian of Prinsburg stretches for the ball watched by Willmar's only senior and team MVP Mary Wild (51) and junior Chris Otto (25).

Willmar Notebook: 40 years ago, female athletes caught a break

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Occasionally, it is well to remember that the playing field was not always level and give thanks that it got righted -- one free-throw at a time.


Carol Gilbertson would have been a heckuva athlete in high school but she never got the chance. She graduated from Milan High School in 1965.

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334