Albert Lea to induct 6 new members into athletic Hall of Fame

Published 3:59 am Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Editor’s note: Information used for the biographies below was provided by the Albert Lea High School Athletic Hall of Fame committee

The Albert Lea high School’s annual athletic Hall of Fame banquet will be at Wedgewood Golf Club Friday evening.

Social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. A dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by inductions and words from guest speaker Jerry Nelson.

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Also included in the festivities will be a four-person best-shot golf tournament hosted by Wedgewood at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The dinner is free and the golf outing is $75. This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are Mike Petersen, Clay Cameron, Gary Neist, Jon Breuer, Ben Berhow and Adam Elseth.


Jon Breuer

Jon Breuer is the all-time leading scorer in the history of Albert Lea boys’ hockey with 79 goals and 107 assists for a total of 186 total points. As a senior in 2005, he was in the top five for scoring in Minnesota, was the leading scorer in the state tournament, made the all-state team, was the top scorer in the Big Nine Conference and was awarded the Herb Brooks Award for excellence in hockey and character. He was the captain of the hockey team in 2005 and was chosen as Most Valuable Player in 2004 and 2005. He also lettered three times in golf. Breuer lives in Albert Lea and is employed by the Motor Inn Company.


Clay Cameron

Clay Cameron’s life was cut short due to a tragic car accident while he was a freshman at Southwest Sate University in 1971. He left behind a tremendous list of accomplishments. As a senior in 1971, he was all-state in track and field, finishing fourth place in the two-mile event at the state meet while establishing a new school record. He was also the district and Big Nine champion in the one mile. In cross country, he was the district and Big Nine champion as well as being an individual participant in the state meet. As a junior in 1970, he was the district cross country champion as well as a team participant in the state meet. In track and field, he was the district and Big Nine champion in the one mile. At the time, he also held the sophomore, junior and senior record for the one mile as well as the senior record for the two mile. He also held the cross country record for the three mile and the Hammer Field record for the one and two mile in track.


Mike Petersen

Mike Petersen graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1987, leaving behind many accomplishments as a member of the Albert Lea Tigers boys’ basketball team. His junior season he averaged 20.15 points per game, and in his senior season he averaged 20.27. Both numbers led the Big Nine Conference. His career total of 970 points was the individual scoring record at the time, without benefiting from the three-point shot you see today. His 446 points scored in his senior season is sixth all-time and 403 points his junior year is 10th all-time. Petersen is second all-time in field goals with 399, tied for second in field goals in a game with 15/20 and first all-time in field goal percentage for a career with 61.4 percent. He has the first and third highest field goal percentage for a year, set in his junior and senior seasons. His 74 percent free throw percentage for his career is also the highest for the Tigers. He was a co-captain for the Tigers in 1987 and was First Team All-Conference in his junior and senior seasons. He made the WCCO Radio Prep Parade All-State team and was a USA Today All-American Honorable Mention in 1987. He also played in the Minnesota State All-Star game where he was the leading scorer in one of the games and was a top 10 finalist for Mr. Basketball in 1987. He also lettered in tennis four times for the Tigers. He is a co-owner of Security Insurance in Albert Lea.


Adam Elseth

Adam Elseth graduated from Albert Lea High School in 2004. He wrestled for the Tigers from 1999 to 2004. He was an undefeated state champion in his senior season, state runner-up his junior season and third place his sophomore year. He had a career record of 160-26, including a 46-0 senior season and had a stretch of winning 120 of 124 matches. He was a high school honorable mention All-American in 2004. He was three time all-state, four time all-conference and holds the school record for most takedowns in school history. The two-time captain, five time letter winner was also Academic All-State, being the top recipient in the state his senior year. In golf, he was a two-time captain, five-time letter winner and three-time All-Conference selection. He is employed as a financial analyst with Honeywell in Golden Valley.


Gary Neist 

Gary Neist graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1965, where he participated in football, wrestling and track. He participated in the state wrestling championships three years where, as a sophomore, he finished third at 95 pounds and as a junior, he was crowned champion at 112 pounds. He was a district wrestling champion all three years and twice was section champion to go along with a section runner-up his senior year. He participated in the state track and field championships as a senior. He later wrestled at Luther College where he was a NCAA Division II All-American in 1968, placing fifth in the small college nationals. In 1971 he was a member of the United States World Team and was a member of the All-Army team. Neist represented the United States at the 1972 Olympic Games held in Munich, placing 15th at 163 pounds in Greco-Roman wrestling. In 1973 he was a member of the World University team that participated in Moscow. Neist is the only wrestler to occupy a spot on an Olympic team from Minnesota’s Region 1 Wrestling and was honored recently with an induction into its Hall of Fame. Neist taught for many years in Albert Lea and in Pennsylvania. He was the boys’ and girls’ gymnastics coach in Albert Lea for 10 years. After returning to college and earning a doctorate degree at age 57, he finished his career as a professor at Minnesota State-Mankato. Neist is retired and living in Albert Lea.


Ben Berhow

Ben Berhow graduated from Albert Lea High School in 2006 where he lettered in football, wrestling and baseball. While a member of the Albert Lea Tigers wrestling team he finished second in the state as an individual at 215 pounds as a junior and capped off his senior year with a heavyweight state championship. He made Big Nine All-Conference teams in football and baseball. Berhow went on to the University of Minnesota where he was a member of the wrestling team for four years including being the Gophers’ starting heavyweight for three years. Berhow also won a bronze medal in the Pan American Games and was a member of the University of Minnesota’s national championship team in 2007. Berhow  is persuing a master’s degree at the University of Minnesota, where he is a graduate assistant wrestling coach.