Minnesota State University-Moorhead senior and Willmar High School alum Nadir Yusuf was named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men’s track athlete of the week, the conference announced on Tuesday.

Yusuf earned the nod after winning the 3,000-meter run at the Bison Cup Classic Saturday in Fargo, North Dakota. His time of 8 minutes, 28.80 seconds was over eight seconds better than the second-place runner, Jakob Hanna of North Dakota State.

When converted because of track size, Yusuf’s winning time ranked 10th best this season in Division II.

Yusuf and the Dragons return to action on Saturday at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Baseball

Stingers add pair

of outfielders

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The signings continue to roll in for the Willmar Stingers as the team announced Tuesday the signings of Carter Howell (Augustana University) and Brady Hill (Washington State University).

With the addition of Howell and Hill, the Stingers’ roster is up to 14 players for the 2021 season.

Howell, a Moorhead native, is a junior for the Vikings. In 13 games last year, he had a .440 batting average with five doubles, two home runs and a triple. He had a team-high 17 runs and was second with 10 RBIs. He is the second Augustana player to join the Stingers along with Willmar High School grad Drey Dirksen.

Hill, from Spokane, Washington, is a freshman for the Cougars. In 15 games last year, Hill hit for a .302 average with two doubles and two RBIs. Before the season ended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hill had a seven-game on-base streak and had three multi-hit games.

Willmar is scheduled to open the season for a two-game series beginning May 31 at Bismarck. The Stingers’ home-opener is set for 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, June 2 against the Eau Claire Express.

Wrestling

Carlson sitting

in top 25

South Dakota State sophomore wrestler and Willmar High School grad Clay Carlson is ranked in the top 25 of two national Division I polls.

Competing at 141 pounds for the Jackrabbits, Carlson is 20th in his weight class according to Trackwrestling, and 22nd according to Flowrestling.

This winter, Carlson has a 5-2 record, with three of his wins coming by major decision. Last weekend, Carlson went 3-0 with a trio of wins over wrestlers from the Air Force Academy: Leny Petersen (18-6 major decision); Bradley Bitting (16-7 major decision); and Garrett Bowers (15-2 major decision).

SDSU will compete next on Sunday, Jan. 31 against Little Rock, Stanford and Oklahoma.

Area basketball

teams ranked

Seven area high school basketball teams — four boys teams and three girls — made the top 20 in Minnesota Basketball News’ first polls of the 2021 season.

The highest ranked squad is the New London-Spicer girls, who start the year at No. 2 in Class AA behind only Fergus Falls. Then in Class A, a pair of girls teams made the top 20 cut in Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (No. 7) and Central Minnesota Christian (14th).

In boys basketball, BOLD begins the year at No. 5 in Class A, with Lac qui Parle Valley also in the mix at 14th. Minnewaska (12th) and Litchfield (17th) are in the top 20 in Class AA.