Hulne: Area athletes are thriving in the pool, mat and the court this winter

Published 9:09 am Thursday, March 11, 2021

In a year where the winter sports season wasn’t guaranteed, some area athletes have made the best of their time and a lot of great things have happened.

Here are the highlights of a workhorse swimmer, a wrestling co-op turned contender, a pair of really Awesome Blossoms and a community college basketball team that continues to rise.

He hasn’t always been in the pool against other swimmers, but Austin senior Logan Kelly is having a dynamic send-off season.

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Kelly set the AHS record in the 500-yard freestyle, an event he has swam less than 10 times in his career, and the 200-yard freestyle this season. He already had AHS records in the 200-yard individual medley, the 100-yard breaststroke, and was on the record setting 200-medley and 400-freestyle relays in 2020.

Kelly will have his sights set on scoring his first ever state title if he is able to get to the Minnesota Class A State Swimming and Diving meet next week.

GMLOS Wrestling

After having their best season in 15 years last year, the Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland wrestling team has been equally impressive this year.

The Bulldogs knocked off No. 10 ranked Dover-Eyota in the Section 1A semifinals and are now one win away from getting back into the Minnesota State Wrestling State Team Tournament.

GMLOS also has plenty of contenders for the individual state meet as senior Anthony Romero is ranked at No. 1 at 106-pounds, sophomore Cohen Wiste is ranked No. 5 at 126, junior Donovan Felten is ranked No. 6 at 145, senior Rece Voigt is ranked No. 4 at 152, senior Daniel Smith is ranked No. 2 at 160, senior Christian Jacobsen is ranked No. 5 at 170, senior Noah Sayles is ranked No. 5 at 182 and senior Cameron Sneed is ranked No. 7 at 195.

Blooming Prairie Girls Basketball

The Blooming Prairie girls basketball team suffered a heartbreak when it was denied its first trip to state in two decades after a loss in the Section 1A title game in 2020.

But the Awesome Blossoms are back and they are making a lot of school history on the court.

Blooming Prairie senior Megan Oswald has set two BP career records with over 1,000 rebounds and over 300 steals, and junior Bobbie Bruns has broken the school record for career assists as she recently passed the 300-mark. 

Former University of Northern Iowa player Taylor Hagen was the former rebound record holder and former Winona State player Madison Worke, who was once Bruns’s babysitter, previously held the steals and assist records.

Riverland men’s basketball

In a year when a season wasn’t guaranteed and some players walked away from the program, Riverland Community College head coach Derek Hahn has the Blue Devil men’s basketball team in prime position.

Ever since dropping a 73-71 decision to Mount Marty University, the Blue Devils have rattled off 11 straight wins — including a rare season sweep of Rochester Community and Technical College. RCC has one player with balance as Cleveland Bedgood, who is averaging 17.3 points per game, is the lone player averaging double figures. The team has 10 players averaging over five points per game.

RCC’s regular season will run until the end of the month and the team will play in a Regional Tournament at the end of the season.

Hahn also coaches the RCC baseball team, making him an extremely busy guy after having nothing but time on his hands during the COVID-19 shutdown last March.