Sports Memories: Track team members rescue boy

Published 8:50 pm Friday, April 5, 2024

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Sports Memories by Tom Jones

10 years

Tom Jones

  • Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor signed a letter of intent to purchase the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper.
  • The Albert Lea High School girls’ bowling team captured the South Central Conference title which earned them an automatic state tournament bid. Team members included Rachel Reichl, Angela Riekens, Bree Tlamka, Brianna Oftedahl, Makenna Hall, Hannah Senne and Tiffany Hallisy.
  • Albert Lea Tigers girls’ basketball players Bryn Woodside and Megan Kortan were named to the first team on the Albert Lea Tribune’s All-Area Team.

20 years

  • The Albert Lea girls’ softball team opened their season with a 9-2 loss to Owatonna. Kelly Royce hit a two-run home run to start the scoring in the game for the Tigers.
  • Albert Lea wrestling coach Larry Goodnature was named Big Nine Coach of the Year in a vote by other coaches in the conference.
  • Zac Tracy and Jacey Reese of the NRHEG boys’ basketball team were named to the Midwest Basketball Coaches Association Academic All-State Team for Class A and AA.
  • Albert Lea Dance team members Mariah McGill, Anne Trebil and Carly Habana were named to the Big Nine All-Conference Dance team.

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50 years

  • Albert Lea High School fullback Mike Curry was one of 23 players named to the WCCO Radio Offensive Team of the Year at the 18th annual Prep Parade Awards banquet held at the Hilton Hotel in St. Paul.
  • Minnesota Gov. Wendell Anderson announced a Golden Gopher hockey day was going to be held in the state to honor the University of Minnesota hockey team that won the school’s first NCAA hockey championship.
  • Greg Jensen was the highest bidder on a commemorative issue Remington shotgun at the annual Ducks Unlimited banquet held at the American Legion. The gun was one of 500 specially made for Ducks Unlimited banquets nationwide.
  • Albert Lea High School graduates Greg and Bill Nelson were expected to be key contributors to the Augsburg baseball team that was trying to repeat as the MIAC Champions.
  • Miami Dolphins stars Paul Warfield, Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick agreed to jump to the Toronto Northmen of the World Football League for an estimated $3.5 million.
  • Minnesota Twins owner Calvin Griffith was upset about the maximum players were getting paid when he said, “only in sports do the employees make more than the employers.”
  • Coach Nancy Droen’s Albert Lea High School girls’ swimming season was underway with 30 girls in the program.
  • Five members of the Albert Lea track team were on an eight-mile practice run near the bottom of Grace Street when they noticed a boy had fallen through thin ice and was chest high in freezing water. Terry Walker held Jim Johnson who reached out from a rock on the shoreline to pull the five-year-old to safety.
  • Kent Finanger, head basketball coach at Luther College was the guest speaker at the Albert Lea Cager Booster Club banquet at the American Legion. It was the first banquet for coach Orrie Jirele, who had led the Tigers to a 14-6 record in his first season with the Tigers.

National champion

Joey Batt, a senior First Team All-American guard for the Minnesota State Mankato women’s basketball team was part of the Mavericks team that was crowned Division 2 National Champions after their 89-73 win over Texas Woman’s College in a game played in St. Joseph, Missouri. In the championship game she scored 10 points and added seven steals and six assists. The 2019 graduate of New Ulm High School was also named to the All-Tournament Team. She is the daughter of 1988 New Richland-Hartland High School graduate Brian Batt and his wife, Laura, and granddaughter of Al and Gail Batt of Hartland.