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58th Annual Hengstler-Ranweiler Awards - Day Two

The Hengstler-Ranweiler Awards are presented annually to the Tribune-area's outstanding senior male and female three-sport athletes.

The awards are named for Herb Hengstler and Lefty Ranweiler, two long-time Tribune Sports Editors.

Nominees must have competed in three sports through their senior years and earned all-conference honors in at least two of their sports at some point in their careers.

Athletes who have had a Minnesota State High School League violation are not eligible for the award.

On Page B2 are profiles of 15 male and female athletes. The 16 other nominees were featured in Thursday's paper. The winners will be announced in Saturday's Tribune.

Cayle Hovland


TENNIS: Hovland lettered and started six years and earned all-conference honors five times, finishing her career as the Cardinals' No. 1 singles player. Hovland was 21-5 as a senior and earned a trip to the state tournament, where she placed fifth. Hovland compiled a career record of 105-39.

BASKETBALL: Hovland lettered and started four years and was an all-conference selection all four years playing guard and forward. As a senior, she averaged 11.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 1.5 assists and 1.0 block. Hovland finished her career with 892 points 716 rebounds, 139 steals, 200 assists and 79 blocks. Hovland helped lead the Cardinals to two state tournament appearances. Was a Miss Basketball semifinalist and earned all-state honors her senior year.

TRACK & FIELD: Hovland lettered six years and earned all-conference honors all six season throwing the shot and discus. She qualified for the Minnesota State Track & Field Meet two times and placed third in the Class AA discus this spring with a throw of 132-1. Her personal best 42-9 in the shot put is a school record and her personal best of 139-8 in the discus is second all-time.

Noah Slagter


BASKETBALL: Slagter lettered, started and was named all-conference in all four of his varsity seasons at guard. His 2,045 career points are the most in Willmar school history and he also finished his career with 574 rebounds and 249 assists. He shot 47.1 percent from the field, 38.5 percent from 3-point range and 85.6 from the foul line. As a senior, Slagter averaged 22.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.3 steals.

FOOTBALL: Slagter lettered and started three years and was all-conference twice as a wide receiver and cornerback. As a senior, Slagter made 52 catches for 568 yards and 8 touchdowns, and in his career he made 124 receptions for 1,386 yards and 17 TDs. On defense, he had 75 career tackles with 4 interceptions.

TRACK & FIELD: Slagter lettered four years competing in the long jump, triple jump, high jump, the sprints and relays. He earned all-conference honors four times, had three top-three conference finishes and finished in the top-10 twice in sections. His 41-11 personal best in the triple jump and 21-3 in the long jump are both No. 4 on Willmar's all-time list.

Grant Ludwig


FOOTBALL: Ludwig lettered three years and started three years as a block tight end and defensive player. He was all-conference as a senior and all-section as a junior. Last fall, he made 24 catches for 346 yards and 2 touchdowns to help lead the Bulldogs to the Class AA state tournament semifinals. As a junior, he caught 19 passes for 398 yards and 5 TDs, and he had 44 tackles with 3 sacks and 5 fumble recoveries the last three years.

WRESTLING: Ludwig lettered four years and was all-conference twice, wrestling at 220 pounds the last two seasons. He earned state tournament trips as a senior and junior, placing fifth in 2018 and sixth in 2017. Ludwig won a section championship as a senior, one of four tournaments wins he had during the year. He was second in two other tourneys. Ludwig had a career mark of 103-60 and had 71 pins.

BASEBALL: Ludwig started and lettered three seasons, and he helped led the Bulldogs to the Class AA state tournament this spring. As a senior, Ludwig hit .352 with 13 RBIs, and he won four games and had a 1.96 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 46-1/3 innings. In three varsity seasons, Ludwig won 12 games and posted a combined ERA of about 2.00.

Tristan Thompson

New London-Spicer

CROSS COUNTRY: Thompson lettered and started five years for the Wildcats, twice earning all-conference honors. He earned a spot in the Minnesota state meet once on a 2016 Wildcats team that was the Section 6AA runner-up and ran in the team's first state meet in 21 years.

BASKETBALL: Thompson lettered three years and he was an all-conference honorable mention his one season as a starter. He averaged 7.9 points and 3.9 rebounds as a senior, and he finished his career with 268 points, 138 rebounds and 29 steals. "Tristan is a smart player who continued to improve each week," said head coach Chad Schmiesing.

TRACK & FIELD: Thompson earned six letters in the 800, the 3,200, the 1,600 and triple jump. He was the Section 5A Sub-Section 20 3,200 champ in 1017, he ran on the Wildcats' 2018 sub-section champion 4x800 team, and helped the relay to two second-place finishes in Wright County Conference meets. He has personal-bests of 2:04.0 in the 800, 10:47.8 in the 3,200, 4:59.4 in the 1,600 and 37-5 in the triple jump.

Blake Peterson

New London-Spicer

FOOTBALL: Peterson lettered three years, started two seasons and earned all-conference honors once as a fullback, linebacker and kick returner. He ran for 605 yards and 10 touchdowns on 77 carries as a senior, and he caught 15 passes for 92 yards. He averaged 25.8 yards and scored a TD as a kick returner. On defense, he had 107 careers solo tackles. He helped the Wildcats post a 7-4 record and a section runner-up.

TRAP SHOOTING: Peterson competed in the sport in four seasons and lettered in all four. He competed in three state tournaments and was the Wildcats' top shooter in 2017.

TRACK & FIELD: Peterson lettered one season and helped NLS place first in the 4x100 relay in the Wright County Conference meet. He placed fifth in the 100 and won the dash in sub-sections.

HOCKEY: Peterson lettered four years and started three seasons for River Lakes. He had 11 goals and 13 assists as a senior and finished his career with 22 goals and 19 assists. He was an honorable mention in both the conference and in Section 6A. "Blake was a big energy guy on the bench and in the locker room," said head coach Jack Freeman.

Shea Oman

New London-Spicer

TENNIS: Oman lettered and started four seasons and was all-conference once. She won 24 career matches and also was a team captain.

BASKETBALL: Oman lettered five years, was a four-year starter and all-conference twice. She finished her career with 1,416 points, fifth all-time at NLS, her 460 assists are sixth all-time and he 401 steals are third all-time. She averaged 16.3 points, 5.1 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 3.7 steals as a senior, she helped lead the Wildcats to a 97-24 record in her career, Section 3AA championships in 2016 and 2017, she was all-state twice and a Miss Basketball semifinalist. "Shea is one of the most honored players in NLS girls basketball history," said head coach Mike Dreier. "She made so many contributions to our team and is a highly talented player."

SOFTBALL: Oman lettered and started four years as a center fielder. In her career, she had 40 hits, scored 40 runs, hit 2 home runs, drove in 20 and stole 30 bases. "Whether she is chasing down fly balls, beating out bunts or swiping second, she can flat-out fly," said head coach Melissa Bergeson.

TRACK & FIELD: Oman lettered two years as a seventh-grader and as an eighth-grader.

Tate Nelson


BASKETBALL: Nelson lettered two years, starting one year and earning all-conference honors as a junior guard. He finished his career with 455 points, 190 rebounds and 151 assists, with averages of 8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. "Tate was our best defender as a junior and senior," said head coach Mark Torgerson.

TRACK & FIELD: Nelson lettered three seasons in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays and the triple jump. He had three top-three conference finishes as a junior and a second-place finish in sections to earn a state tournament spot. He entered his senior season with personal best of 39-6.5 in the triple jump, a 3:39.0 in the 4x400 and an 8:29.0 in the 4x800.

CROSS COUNTRY: Nelson lettered three years, was fourth in the conference as a sophomore and returned from injury as a junior to capture third place as a senior. He also placed in sections as a senior and competed in the state meet. "He helped the new runners figure out what cross country was about," said head coach Dale Henrich. "He led by example, working hard in practice and running like a winner in meets."

Gage Wevley


FOOTBALL: Wevley lettered three years, started two and was all-conference and all-section once as a center and defensive lineman. Wevley blocked for a 1,900-yard back as a junior and a 1,400-yard back as a senior. As a senior, Wevley made 15 solo tackles, had 36 assists, 3 sacks and recovered two fumbles. In his career, Wevley made 28 solo tackles, assisted on 42 and six stops were for lost yards. "As a center, he was the pivot on our offensive line and had to communicate with both the left and right sides," said head coach Kevin Pope.

TRACK & FIELD: Wevley had lettered four seasons for the Tigers in the shot put and discus. Wevley helped lead the team to sub-section team championships as a sophomore and junior, and he entered this season with personal bests of 39-0 in the shot and 130-11 in the discus.

WRESTLING: Wevley has lettered three seasons. He was 32-14 with 17 pins as a senior. He lost in the Section 3AA championship match but rebounded to win a True Second match and earn a state tournament spot out. As a junior, he posted a 21-9 record.

Joshua Tastad


CROSS COUNTRY: Tastad lettered five years and had four top-four finishes in conference meets. He also had a fourth-place finish in sections last fall and he competed in the state meet three times. Tastad helped the Thunder Hawks win conference championships in 2013 and 2014 and to a section runner-up finish in 2014, a third place finish in 2013 and a fourth-place spot in 2017.

TRACK & FIELD: Tastad earned six letters and numerous all-conference finishes competing in the 4x800 relay, the 4x400 relay, the 3,200, 1,600 and 800. In True Team, Tastad helped Montevideo win the state championship in 2016, to a runner-up finish in 2013 and a fourth-place finish in 2015. In individual and relay events, he has 11 top-five conference finishes and he has eight top-fives in sections. He has personal-bests of 4:39.24 in the 1,600, a 2:03.12 in the 800 and a 10:45.63 in the 3,200.

BASKETBALL: Tastad lettered two years and started one season at forward. "Josh was a very encouraging teammate and always tried to uplift others when they needed it most," said head coach Derek Webb.

Molly Reeves


VOLLEYBALL: Reeves lettered and started two years and earned all-conference honors both seasons as an outside hitter and team captain as a senior. She finished her career with 284 kills, 343 digs, 31 blocks and 33 ace serves. "Molly was a excellent leader and teammate," said head coach Stephanie Hennen. "She came to practice with a positive attitude and strong work ethic each and every day."

BASKETBALL: Reeves lettered three years, started two seasons and earned one all-conference honor playing both guard positions. She finished her career with 490 points, 234 rebounds, 95 assists and 64 steals. She shot 70 percent from the free throw line.

TRACK & FIELD: Reeves lettered six years and was the Thunder Hawks' track MVP five seasons, along with numerous all-conference performances. She competed in the 300 hurdles, long jump and 4x100 relays, with podium finishes five times at state. Reeves competed in the 100, 200, 400, 300 hurdles, long jump, triple jump and three relays. She won nine conference championships and was runner-up or third six times. "Molly is one of the best track and field athletes in Montevideo school history," said head coach Allison Hutchens.

Jackson Johnsrud


BASKETBALL: Johnsrud lettered three years, started two years and was all-conference two years at the point and as a shooting guard. As a senior, Johnsrud averaged 14.4 points and had 146 rebounds, 77 assists and 42 steals. He finished his career with 722 points, 250 rebounds, 151 assists and 55 steals. "Jackson is a dedicated, hard-working and talented basketball player and teammate," said head coach Phil Johnsrud. "His play was a major reason for our run to the (2017-18) state tournament."

FOOTBALL: Johnsrud lettered four years and started two seasons as a wide receiver and defensive back, earning all-conference honorable mentions in 2017. As a senior, he caught 18 passes for 224 yards and 3 touchdowns, and he had 22 career receptions for 273 yards and the 3 scores. In his career on defense, Johnsrud made 18 solo tackles, assisted on 56 stops, intercepted for passes and forced a fumble.

TRACK & FIELD: Johnsrud lettered five years as a high jumper. He won the West Central Conference championship in 2017 and also had third and second-place finishes. In May 2018, Johnsrud set the school high jump record of 6-5 at the conference meet in Benson.

Garrett Jensen


BASKETBALL: Jensen lettered three years, started two years and twice received all-conference honors as a forward. He averaged 12 points per game (356 total points) and gathered in 166 rebounds for an average of 4.5 per game. He finished his career with 632 points, 326 rebounds and shot 55 percent from the floor. "Garrett was an excellent rebounder and defender," said head coach Phil Johnsrud. "He had an incredible will to win."

FOOTBALL: Jensen lettered three years, started two seasons and was all-conference once as a running back, linebacker and defensive end. As a senior, Jensen carried 95 times for 718 yards and 7 touchdowns and he finished his career with 1,104 yards and 8 scores. He also caught 12 passes for 160 yards and 2 TDs. On defense, he finished his career with 33 solo tackles, 97 assists, 2.5 sacks and an interception.

TRACK & FIELD: Jensen lettered two years and was all-conference as a junior in the long jump. He placed fifth as a junior in sections and he entered this season with a 20-4 personal best. "Garrett is a very talented athlete," said head coach Gordy Moeller. "He's intense."

Matthew Gruber


BASEBALL: Gruber lettered and started four years and earned three all-conference selection as a pitcher and shortstop. In his senior season, he hit .317 with a .476 OBP and a 1.063 OPS. On the mound, Gruber was 7-1 with a 1.12 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 49.2 innings. "Matthew is a true leader and a tremendous athlete," said head coach Brian Gruber.

BASKETBALL: Gruber earned three letters, started two years and earned all-conference once as a guard. As a senior, Gruber averaged 12.7 points, 2.8 assists, 3.8 rebounds and shot 50.3 percent from the floor. He finished his career with 733 points, 229 rebounds, 157 assists and shot 50 percent.

FOOTBALL: Gruber started and lettered three years and was all-conference once as a quarterback and cornerback. He ran for 633 yards and 13 touchdowns and he threw for 839 yards and 12 TDs as a senior. In his career, he threw for 1,279 yards and 16 scores and ran for 875 yards and 15 TDs. In his career, he made 35 solo tackles, had 61 assists, intercepted 6 passes, broke up 17 passes and recovered 4 fumbles.

Braden Hoekstra


BASEBALL: Hoekstra lettered and started two season as an outfielder for the Wolverines. In addition to solid offensive output, Hoekstra's defense has saved his team numerous hits and runs. "Braden comes to the ballpark with the attitude of getting better each day," said head coach Nate Hebrink. "His work ethic and leadership are second-to-none. His range steals many base hits away from opposing teams.

BASKETBALL: Hoekstra started two years and earned three letters as a guard/forward, earning all-conference honorable mention as a senior. This winter, he averaged 8 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists per game, and he was 5.6 ppg, 3 rpg and 1.5 apg in his career. "Braden was versatile for us in his senior year," said head coach Tyler Anderson. "He was able to guard positions 1 through 5 if we needed him to."

FOOTBALL: Hoekstra started two seasons and lettered in three as a wide receiver, running back, defensive back and kick returner. As a senior, he ran 54 times for 314 yards and 6 touchdowns and he caught 29 passes for 601 yards and 8 TDs. He also returned 30 kicks for 478 yards and 2 scores. On defense, Hoekstra was in on 36 tackles and intercepted 2 passes.

Ellie Thein


BASKETBALL: Thein started three years and earned four letters, and she was all-conference honorable mention as a senior. She averaged 6.5 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals her senior season. In her career, Thein scored 516 points, had 316 rebounds, 158 assists and 125 steals. "Ellie was a phenomenal leader," said head coach Shaun Condon. She was a great defender - one of the best I saw all year."

TRACK & FIELD: Thein lettered five years in the 400, 800, 4x100, 4x400 and long jump. She placed first in the conference 400 three years and was second in sections two years, competing in the Minnesota state meet two years. She had personal-bests of 1:01.2 in the 400, 2:30.3 in the 800 and 16-feet-2 in the long jump. "Ellie has a commitment to excellence that is second to none," said head coach Rick Shackelford.

VOLLEYBALL: Thein lettered and started four years for the Wolverines, earning all-conference honors twice as a outside hitter. In her career, Thein totaled 783 kills, 1,353 digs and 125 ace serves. "Ellie is a player who loves to compete," said head coach Terese Bourne. "She has shown tremendous leadership skills."