Locals active on the winter college sports scene
Former Forest Lake High School state champion Lucas Munkelwitz enjoyed a great senior season for the St. Cloud State University wrestling team. The 197-pounder gained All-America status with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA championships and went 29-7 overall. Munkelwitz also was among four Huskies named to the Division II All-Academic Team.
He earned Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference wrestler of the week honors in January following his performance at the NWCA Division II Duals in Springfield, IL on Jan. 7-8. Munkelwitz went undefeated in three matches to help St. Cloud State take first place.
Overall, the Huskies went 21-0 in dual meets. They won the title at the Super 3 Regional Tournament and were runners-up at the NCAA Championships.
• Andy Grzesiak-Grimm of Wyoming had a big senior season for Augsburg College. He averaged 15.2 points and 9.7 rebounds as the Auggies went 16-10 overall and 13-7 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Grzesiak-Grimm, a post player who attended St. Francis High School, was named to the D3hoops.com All-West Region Team as a third-team selection and was also an all-conference selection for the fourth straight year. He become one of only four players in school history to record 1,000 career points and 700 career rebounds.
• Jake Kogler played in 24 games for the Bethel University hockey team, which went 8-15-2 (6-9-2 in the MIAC). The senior forward from Forest Lake led the Royals with 14 goals and also notched nine assists. In December, he was named the MIAC men’s hockey athlete of the week following his scoring of four goals over two wins against the defending conference champs from Hamline.
• Sophomore Charise Kendrick played in 26 games for the Bethel women’s hockey team. The sophomore forward from Scandia scored six goals and assisted on five goals. The Royals went 12-11-4 (10-8-2 in the MIAC).
• Junior Sam Opsahl was among three Gustavus Adolphus gymnasts to earn the right to compete this month at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association National Championships in New York. The Forest Lake native was also honored as the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Gymnastics Specialist-of-the-Week after a meet at UW-Stout in January. Opsahl recorded three finishes inside the top-10 at the meet, including a career-best score of 9.550 to take first place on the balance beam and a season-high score of 9.4 on the floor exercise.
• Linwood native Ashley Grell played in all 24 games as the St. Catherine University hockey team went 12-10-2 (8-8-2 in the MIAC). The junior forward notched a goal and a pair of assists.
• St. Catherine’s swim team captain Mary Walters took 15th place in the 100 breaststroke at the MIAC Championships. The senior from Forest Lake swam the event in 1:11.98 and also was part of the team’s fifth-place 400 medley relay and sixth-place 200 medley relay. Teammate Laura Oberg-Hauser, a junior from Forest Lake, finished 21st in the conference in the 1650-yard freestyle. The Wildcats placed sixth at the 11-team meet.
• Sophomore forward Zach Riedeman was third on the St. Thomas University basketball team in scoring (9.7) and rebounding (3.2). The Wyoming native played in all 29 games, starting one, as the Tommies went 22-7 (16-4 in the MIAC). St. Thomas, the defending national champion, fell to UW-Whitewater in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
• Audrey Hanmer saw action in all 36 games as the St. Cloud State hockey team went 5-29-2 (4-26-0 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association). The freshman defender from Wyoming scored one goal and assisted on four.
• Sophomore Amber Anderson was a key member of the St. Cloud State nordic skiing team. The sophomore from Wyoming took part in all seven events and finished a team-best 34th (38:14) in the freestyle portion of the NCAA Central Regional Championships. She placed 47th (18:28) in the classical race.
• Charlie Janssen, a freshman from Forest Lake, went 1-4 while competing at 174 pounds for the St. Cloud State wrestling team.
• Junior guard Ben Hoidal averaged 6.1 points and 2.3 rebounds for the University of Minnesota-Morris basketball team. The Forest Lake native played in all 26 games, starting 23, as the Cougars went 11-15 overall and 7-7 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. Hoidal led the team in three-point (40.8) and free-throw (83.3) percentage.
• Sophomore Ryan Wright from Forest Lake raced in two meets for St. Scholastica College’s nordic skiing team. The Saints took third place at the Central Collegiate Ski Association Championships.
• Freshman Liz Peterson helped the St. Scholastica women’s team place fourth at the CCSA Championships. The Forest Lake native raced her leg of the 3x5K freestyle relay in 16:05 as the relay placed 11th of 17 at the meet. In the 15K individual classical portion, Peterson took 38th of 52 with a time of 1:07:25.
• Forest Lake native Connor Florand, a diver for South Dakota State University, qualified for the NCAA Zone D Championships in Bloomington, IN this month. The sophomore punched his ticket with a school-record mark of 300.60 points in a November meet. Florand became the first Jackrabbit diver during the Division I era to qualify for the prestigious competition. At the Summit League Championships, Florand helped the team to second place by finishing second in the 1-meter competition (280.40) and fifth in the three-meter event (262.50). He made the all-league team. Florand transferred to SDSU after Minnesota State-Mankato dropped its men’s swimming and diving program.
• Fellow Jackrabbit diver Erin Eagen, a junior from Forest Lake, competed in seven events this season.
• Gina Lange, a junior from Wyoming, started all 31 games for the Valparaiso University basketball team. The Crusaders went 10-21 (5-13 in the Division I Horizon League). Lange averaged 8.7 points and 5.3 rebounds.
• Griffin Lentsch earned a host of honors for his performance as a junior on the Grinnell College basketball team. The Linwood native made the D3hoops.com All-Midwest Region Third Team and the All-Midwest Conference team after averaging 26.2 points. The Pioneers finished with their best winning percentage in 50 years, going 18-5 (14-4 in the MWC). Lentsch also was named the Central Iowa College Sports Male Athlete of the Year. He earned national attention when he set a NCAA Division III record with 89 points in a 145-97 win over Principia College in November.
• Harvard University defenseman Danny Fick, a sophomore from Marine on St. Croix, played in 18 games as the Crimson hockey team went 13-10-11 overall and finished third in the Eastern College Athletic Conference with a record of 8-5-9. Fick tallied three assists.
• Freshman forward Isaac Kohls scored eight goals and had 14 assists to tie for third on the Niagara University hockey team with 22 points. The Purple Eagles went 17-11-9 overall and 14-6-7 in the Division I Atlantic Hockey Association. The Forest Lake native was named AHA Rookie of the Week this month after producing two goals and an assist during the AHA quarterfinals.