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Willmar Notebook: Lentz, Welker set to join Card Pride Hall of Fame

The Cardinal Pride Hall of Fame committee has selected Jeff Welker (WHS 1976) and Andrea Lentz (WHS '94) for inclusion at the 2012 induction.

The banquet is set for Sept. 28 at the American Legion Post 167. Lentz and Welker will also be introduced at halftime of the Cardinal football game that evening.

Welker competed in football, basketball and track and was the school's Male Athlete of the Year and Hengstler-Ranweiler nominee as a senior.

Lentz excelled in cross country and track; she was the first Cardinal in cross country to medal at state (seventh in 1990). She went on to run four years for the Minnesota Gophers. Her 5:08 time in the 1,600-meter run still stands at Willmar.

The committee sorted through 30 nominations, including the holdovers from previous years.

Fair Demo Derby fills grandstand

It is not an exaggeration to state that the fair grandstand was packed for Saturday night's Demolition Derby. Literally, it was standing-room only, plus a crowd in the infield. Individuals paid $20 or $25 dollars for a pit wristband, depending on which gate they entered.

The huge crowd made viewing difficult for some, we're told. The fairgrounds could use an updated grandstand.

The fair board office listed paid grandstand attendance at 1,100 adults and 446 children. The 38 cars battered one another over a sizeable purse of $6,800.

The Tractor/Pick-up Pull on Friday drew 830 to the grandstand. Fair officials said they were also pleased with attendance for the stock car and go-kart races, both free with a fairground's admission.

Girls soccer sale

Cardinal girls soccer will hold its annual Garage Sale/Car Wash on Saturday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on the north parking lot of the fire hall at First Street and Trott Avenue.

The booster club is hosting this event to help raise money for equipment and team leadership retreat.

The Team Leadership Retreat at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center is Monday 12:30-3:30 p.m. The entire team (all 50 girls) will be venturing out to rural Spicer for the outdoor experience.

Head coach Chelsea Brown also reports that throughout the month of September, all three Cardinal teams (JV I, II and varsity) will be wearing teal shoe laces to promote ovarian cancer awareness. The Tie It Teal Campaign has donated all laces to the team.

XC numbers high

The Cardinals cross country team works out each morning starting 7:30 a.m. from the high school east parking lot. Coach Jerry Popp is working with 85 students, including some sixth-graders. He expects another dozen or so by the start of school.

Many of the young athletes turned their running odometers over the summer attending the twice-weekly fun runs. Thirty Cardinals made the traditional trip to Wyoming for conditioning in the Bighorn Mountains. The Cardinals open at the Moorhead Invite on Aug. 27.

Activities director

We're still waiting for the administration to nail down that activities director position and the openings in girls basketball and hockey to follow.

But here's a list of the high school's athletic/activities directors over the decades: Al Lucas, Russ Adamson, Bob Glaesman, Mike Malmberg, Paul Schmitz and Jamie Thompson.

If there was someone in charge of the athletic program before Al please let me know.

On the fly

n Brothers Ryan and Tyler Horning are both in the Class C state amateur baseball tournament beginning Friday in St. Cloud and running over the next three weekends. Ryan plays for Belle Plaine and Tyler for the New London-Spicer Twins.

n This is not official but I've been told there will be a Willmar High School Eighties All-Decade Reunion this Saturday at O'Neills in Spicer. It's worth mentioning because the Cardinals won more conference and section titles in the 1980s than any other decade in the school's sports history. Partly that's due to girls sports, which didn't launch until the mid-1970s, ignited by Title IX which is 40 years old.

n A couple of Cardinal coaches had impressive results at the Green Lake Tri. Strength coach Ken Heitzman, also an assistant football coach at the college, finished ninth of 18 in the 45-49 age group in the Sprint. Sarah Jagow, assistant swim coach, posted the top female time in the ¾-mile Olympic swim (17:23). She competed on a relay with her husband Will and sister Emily Schueler. Those three also ran the Hawaii Marathon in December.

n Also at Green Lake, Willmar grad Eddie Kaiser, 31, now of Minneapolis, was seventh of 267 finishers in the Sprint. Mick Quinn, 38, of Willmar, another ex-Cardinal, placed 21st of 78 in the long course. He was second in his age group, trailing only repeat overall champion Marcus Stromberg of Buffalo.

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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