MINNEAPOLIS—Willmar diver Erica Schramm sits in the seventh position following Class A diving preliminaries and semifinals at the Minnesota State Swimming and Diving Championships on Wednesday at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center on the University of Minnesota campus. Schramm had 151.05 points after prelims and is at 250.90 after the semifinals. Schramm placed second in the 2017 state meet to Breck's Saylor Hawkins, who is in third after Wednesday's dives.
HUTCHINSON — Willmar diver Erica Schramm defended her section championship, Amanda Mathiasen qualified for state in two events and the Cardinals' 200 Freestyle Relay team also earned a state spot at the Section 3A Championships on Saturday. Schramm won the section 1-meter diving competition with 423.60 points. Schramm was second at last year's Class A state meet. Mathiasen placed sixth in the 50 Freestyle and her 24.55 time qualified for the state meet. She also placed seventh in the 100 Freestyle in a state-qualifying time of 54.60.
ST. PAUL — The Medford Miracle lives on, at least for another day. The unseeded Tigers, playing in their first Minnesota State Volleyball Tournament, defeated No. 3-seed BBE in four sets on Friday at the Xcel Energy Center to advance to the Class A championship. The Tigers won 22-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-16. Their victory came a day after upsetting Class A No. 2-seed Mayer Lutheran in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
The talk in some football circles this fall held that the Section 5A final was the de facto Class A state championship game. Minneota, the defending state champion, entered the Nov. 2 game undefeated and ranked No. 1 in Class A. BOLD also was 10-0 and ranked No. 2. In the previous nine seasons, Minneota had played in six state tournaments, won four Class A state championships, and was the Class AA state runner-up in 2013.
MARSHALL — It wasn't an unexpected result, but even the Marshall Tigers may have been surprised by their dominance in the Section 3AA championship match on Saturday. Morris/Chokio-Alberta pushed back to make the first set close after falling behind early, but Marshall allowed just 19 points the rest of the way for a 25-21, 25-13, 25-6 victory at Southwest Minnesota State.
MARSHALL — BOLD head coach Steve Solem has been in the game long enough to know that, no matter how good your team, any win could be your last when the postseason commences. So if Friday's 49-7 win over Minneota in the Section 5A championship game is the last for Solem as he prepares for retirement, he'd be hard-pressed to recall a more satisfying one among the 289 he's compiled in a 33-year career.
The Willmar girls cross country team is in a different frame of mind heading into today's Minnesota State Cross Country Meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Typically running among the state's top teams this time of year, the Cardinals girls for the first time in years enter the meet not ranked among Class AA's top 12 teams. The Cardinals are racing in their seventh-straight state meet. They finished fourth last year after a second-place ending to their 2016 state meet. Willmar was third in 2014 and 2015 and fifth in 2013.
COLLEGEVILLE — Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity bottled up KMS back Dylan Rudningen—something no other Saints opponent was able to accomplish—and it helped the Bulldogs upend the Section 4A top seed 33-6 on Friday in the section title game at St. John's University. Rudningen, one of the area's top ground-gainers, was limited to 55 yards on 24 carries, and he scored the Saints' lone TD on an eight-yard run in the second quarter.
MOORHEAD — The Willmar volleyball team split four matches to place fourth at the Pumpkin Classic over the weekend. Willmar won its two pool play matches over Totino Grace and Wadena-Deer Creek, but the Cardinals lost to Moorhead in the semifinas, then fell to Roseville in three sets in the third-place match. Grace Marti led the Cardinal with 26 kills and four solo blocks in the four matches and Carly Wedel finished the tournament with 18 kills, 76 set assists, four ace serves, four blocks and 25 digs.
As professional baseball careers go, Joe Mauer and Mike Kingery lived markedly different existences. But they likely share a common emotion: contentment. Given Sunday's emotional farewell in the Minnesota Twins' 2018 finale, it's almost a given that Mauer will call it a career in the coming days. And what a career it has been. Mauer was a highly sought talent who passed up a shot in NCAA Division I football to become the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft.