Tribune notebook: CMCS's Coco Duininck is an All-Star selection

CMCS girls basketball standout is one of 10 Class A players

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CMCS senior Coco Duininck (25) races upcourt against NLS during a first-round game in the WildCard Tournament Monday, Dec. 27, 2021 at New London.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Central Minnesota Christian senior Coco Duininck will have one more chance to suit up representing the Bluejays.

Duininck was one of 10 Class A players selected for the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association’s All-Star Series on Saturday, April 9 at the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield.

A Class A All-State selection, Duininck averaged 20.8 points, 5.2 assists, 4.9 steals and 3.7 rebounds per game for the 20-9 Bluejays. Her 602 points is a new single-season high for CMCS. For the third year in a row, Duininck was named the Camden Conference North Division MVP. She holds the Bluejays’ all-time scoring record, boys or girls, with 2,170 career points.

Duininck is slated to continue her basketball career at Bethel University.

Carlsons compete at nationals

Former state wrestling champions at Willmar High School, cousins Clay and Cael Carlson both competed in the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships last week at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.


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Clay Carlson

Clay, a junior 141-pounder for South Dakota State University, was aiming to become a two-time All-American after placing eighth at nationals in 2021. He ended up one win short of All-American honors after going 3-2. Clay opened with a 4-3 loss to Northwestern’s Frankie Tal-Shahar. He would get three wins in the consolation bracket, including overtime decisions over Missouri’s Allan Hart (7-5) and North Carolina State’s Ryan Jack (2-1). Facing another All-American in Rutgers’ Sebastian Rivera, Clay’s tournament came to a close in a 6-2 loss. He finished the season 33-6.

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Cael Carlson

Cael, a redshirt sophomore at 165 for the University of Minnesota, finished nationals at 0-2. He lost his first match in an 18-2 tech fall to the defending national champion in Stanford’s Shane Griffith. In the consolation bracket, North Carolina State’s Thomas Bullard won a 15-0 tech fall over Carlson. Cael finished the season at 19-15.

Ashburn named Rookie of the Year

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Riley Ashburn

Former Renville County West standout Riley Ashburn was named the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference’s men’s basketball Rookie of the Year, the conference announced on March 1.

A freshman forward for Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Ashburn was 10th in the UMAC in rebounds per conference game (5.8), leading all first-year players. He scored double-digit points three times, including a 15-point, 10-rebound effort against Northland College on Feb. 4.

In 26 games, Ashburn averaged 5.1 points on 50.9% shooting along with 3.8 rebounds. The Vikings finished 14-12, including 9-5 in the UMAC.

Yusuf tabbed with preseason honor

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Yusuf Nadir

Willmar High School grad and Minnesota State-Moorhead senior Nadir Yusuf was named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preason Outdoor Track Ahtlete of the Year on Thursday.

Yusuf comes into this season after earning All-American honors with a fifth-place finish in the 10,000-meter run in 2021 with a time of 29 minutes, 17.64 seconds. He also won the NSIC championship in the 10,000 (29:53.73) and 5,000 (14:19.51). During the indoor season, Yusuf was the NSIC champ in the 5,000 (14:18.17). He holds the Dragons’ school record in the 10,000 with a time of 29:12.04.

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Joe Brown
Joe Brown is a sports reporter for the West Central Tribune. He can be reached via email at: or his office number: 320-214-4332.

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