Minnesota prep athletes wrap up 2022-2023 adapted sports seasons

Summer ends the 2022-2023 adapted sports season for Minnesota prep athletes in track and field, bowling and softball.  Track and […]

Participant bowling in the MSHSL State adapted bowling.

Summer ends the 2022-2023 adapted sports season for Minnesota prep athletes in track and field, bowling and softball. 

Track and field athletes compete in wheelchair events. Softball has tournaments for athletes with physical (PI) and cognitive (CI) disabilities. Bowling adds a third category for athletes on the autism spectrum (ASD). 

Athletes roll to several titles 

In the track and field state meet at St. Michael-Albertville, the state meet meant triple titles for several athletes and four titles for one competitor. 

In Class AAA boys’ competition, Wayzata’s Michael Allen won the 100, 800 and 1,600 meter races and shot put. 

Wayzata teammate Macalister Hedtke won 200 meters and discus crowns, and placed second in shot put. Hedtke and Logan Hovanetz, Elk River, finished second and third in 100 meters. Hovanetz placed second in 200 meters and discus. 

Mankato East eighth grader Adaylia Borgmeier won three races in Class AA girls’ competition, breaking her own class record set last year in the girls AA 100-meter race. Borgmeier also won 800 and 200 meters. 

Placing second and third in the 100 meter race were Madison Harbath, Mankato East, and Tayla Gassman, Big Lake. Gassman finished second in 200 meters. Gassman and Harbath finished one-two in shot put and discus. 

Fairmont sophomore Nelson Remington won 100, 200 and 800 meters in boys’ AA competition,. Devin Filzen, Winona, was second. Filzen won the boys’ AA shot put. 

Familiar names appeared in Class A boys’ competition. Sophomore Tyler Gunnarson, St. Charles won 100 and 200 meter races, with Toby Hagen and James Hagen of River Valley finishing second and third. Gunnarson also won 800 meters. 

Gunnarson and his older brother Peyton hold many state wheelchair race records. 
In Class A boys’ field events, Lakeview took the top two spots in shot put behind the arms of Lucas Taylor and Terrek Jenniges. Toby Hagen placed third and James Hagen placed fourth. 

Discus was won by Taylor, with Gunnarson second, Jenniges third and Toby Hagen fourth. 

Softball champs crowned 

At the beginning of the adapted softball season, Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville coach David Diehl had questions as the Blazing Cats set to defend their CI Division crown. The team got a slow start but came through in the end. 

“This was our magic moment,” he said. “This is when we found out what we were all about.” 

The Blazing Cats, second seed in their bracket, went to great lengths to prove that to their coach, outlasting top seed Dakota United for a 7-5 victory in 11 innings in the championship. After tension-packed bonus softball produced no runs but plenty of frayed nerves, Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville scored two runs in the top of the 11th inning to break the deadlock on the scoreboard. 

JT Koczur snapped the tie with a double to the gap that scored Drayden Fox, who had led off the inning with a single. Two batters later, Caden Roseth sent Koczur home. The Blazing Cats’ defense stepped up to shut down the previously unbeaten Hawks. The title game lasted nearly two hours. 

“The defense on both sides was great,” Diehl said. “Balls were hit in the right places and kids made plays. It made for an entertaining game. Our kids showed they had plenty of endurance to stay in it.” 

Dakota United used a two-run single from senior Thomas Christopherson in the bottom of the sixth inning to forge a 5-all tie. 

In the third place game, New Prague defeated St. Cloud, 8-4 victory.

Chaska/Chanhassen/Prior Lake/Shakopee topped Osseo 13-7 victory in the consolationfinal. Other teams in the tournament were South Washington County and White Bear Lake. 

CI All-Tournament team members are Cayleigh Sorenson, J.T. Koczur and Caden Roseth, Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville; Drew Hennen, Chaska/Chanhassen/Prior Lake/Shakopee; Mark Manwarren, Colin Price and Thomas Christopherson, Dakota United; Trystan Seger and John Lafurie, New Prague; Alec Singh, Osseo; and Jeremiah McGee and Isaoiah Jancik, St. Cloud Area 

In the PI title game, it seemed somewhat poetic and just that Dakota United senior shortstop Fiona Sitzmann ended her adapted athletics career with a nifty fielding play. Her range on a throw that drew her to the right side of second base allowed her to apply a tag to secure Dakota United’s 13-6 victory over Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka. 

It was Dakota United’s second consecutive PI Division title and third since 2019. Overall, it was Dakota United’s sixth PI Division state crown in softball since 2006. In that span, the Hawks had finished runner-up three times. 

The game drew a close to another stellar career of a student-participant affiliated with the Dakota United program. Sitzmann, a student at Eagan High School, began her career with Dakota United as a seventh grader. 

“We were a really good program before she started playing with us,” Hawks head coach Brett Kosidowski said. “When she arrived, though, she took us to another level.” 

Sitzmann finished her prep career with 11 state championships in soccer, floor hockey and softball. Throughout her career, she was the type of player that was able to pick spots to lead, both through her play and calm demeanor. During the 2022 soccer season , she scored three goals in the championship game. 

“I don’t know if I will ever be able to experience anything more amazing than being a part of this team and program,” Sitzmann said. “I am very grateful that I have had the opportunities to be a part of this. It will be a time in my life that I will cherish forever.” 
Eagan High School had its commencement ceremony at the same time as the tournament. Sitzmann said the decision to stay with her teammates was an easy one, a choice that a leader would make. 

“It was important for me to stay and be with this team,” she said. “They are a big part of my life. I wanted to do my part to help. I am so excited to celebrate with them again.” 
Anoka-Hennepin defeated Rochester, 13-5, in the third-place game. Osseo topped Minneapolis South. 11-5 in the consolation final. St. Paul Humboldt was also in the tournament. 

PI All-Tournament Team members are Maci Mauch and Nick Reither, Anoka-Hennepin; Jordan Johnson, Cayden Needham and Fiona Sitzmann, Dakota United; Jazmyn Mendez, Minneapolis South; Abhi Prasad, Osseo’ Darius Larson, Grady Lease and Jayda Johnson, Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka; and Joseph Hanson and Andrew Westerman, Rochester. 

The tournament was at Chanhassen High School. 

Bowlers roll to titles 

The state adapted bowling tournament was held at Bowlero, Brooklyn Park. Singles, doubles and team championships were awarded in ASD, CI and PI divisions. 

Zimmerman won the ASD team championship with 1,638 pins. Team members included Jacob Arola, Chris Maller, Cayleb Merten and Kamren Hamilton. Tartan was the team runner-up with 1,610 and Goodhue County was third. 

Alexandria Area earned championship and runner-up honors in girls’ singles. Shayla Nelson placed first with 474 pins and Montana Hinnenkamp placed second. Anoka-Hennepin’s Isabelle Sturgeon was third. 

St. Michael-Albertville’s Waseem Ezzaid captured the boys’ singles crown with 490 pins. Alex McCullough, Houston, was runner-up and Dylan Ongaga, Anoka-Hennepin was third. 

The Fergus Falls duo of Zade Carlson and Nathan Graham rolled to a state championship with a score of 890. The Mankato West team Emma Christenson and Ilhan Gabri were runners-up. Anoka-Hennepin was third behind Cayden Gilbert and Dylan Ongaga. 

It was close for the CI team title. Lake City recorded a narrow four-pin victory over Tartan. The Tigers compiled 1,663 pins to 1,659 for the Titans. Scoring for Lake City were Michael Koontz, Brooklyn Barton, Andrew Hawn and Sydnee Stolzenberg. A second Tartan team placed third. 

St. Michael-Albertville’s Jasmine Brutskiy rolled to the girls’ singles championship with a score of 492. Grace French-Miller, Hopkins and Molly Landsteiner, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, tied for runner-up honors. 

Nate Fischer, Zimmerman, won the boys singles competition with a score of 464, 17 pins better than St. Michael-Albertville’s Seth Wright. St. Michael-Albertville’s Amari Salkey, placed third. 

Hopkins’ Clayton Carlson and Nolan Hilson, cruised to the doubles championship with a score of 906. St. Michael-Albertville’s Carter Patyk and Seth Wright were second. Anoka-Hennepin’s Gabriel Mueller and Austin Williams placed third. 

In the PI Division, North High School-North St. Paul won the team championship with a total of 1,844 pins. Champion Polars are Tashayanna Collins, Lucas Eide, Nardin Izaola and Victoria Kulstad. Wayzata/Minnetonka was runner-up with 1,639. Minneapolis South placed third. 

Bella Angell, Monticello, emerged as state champion in singles competition with a score of 469. St. Paul Humboldt’s Mckenzie Green was second. Lupita Carrion, Austin, and Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton/Waseca’s Destiny Woitas tied for third. 

New London-Spicer’s McGwire Hatlestad captured the boys singles title with 516 pins. Andrew De Armond, Simley, and Cooper Johnston, St. Peter/LeSueur-Henderson, placed second and third, respectively. 

North St. Paul grabbed the top two spots in doubles as Tashayanna Collins and Victoria Kulstad scored 987 to win the title. Lucas Eide and Nardin Izaola teamed for a runner-up total of 963. Moorhead’s Addie Loerzel and Alex Cannizzaro placed third with.

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