May 20—Troy Haglund was one of the best wrestlers in Willmar High School history, being a three-time state entrant and having a 143-20-4 career record.
He won the state championship his senior year in 1990 at 135 pounds after taking third as a junior at 125.
He also was a highly successful coach. But his story is tragic. He died in 2002.
His uncle, Mike Haglund, noted that Haglund was recently honored by being inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame.
Haglund was one of the top wrestlers in Ridgewater College history, a two-time national qualifier who earned All-American honors in 1992.
He then went on to wrestle at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he became an NCAA Division II All-American.
Next came a successful career in coaching, first as a student assistant at St. Cloud state, then at Mound-Westonka High School. He became a graduate assistant coach at Minnesota State-Mankato, then was Ridgewater's head coach from 1999-2002.
His 2002 team placed second in the nation. He was named NJCAA Region XIII Coach of the Year.
The future in wrestling looked bright. His Ridgewater team returned virtually intact and would have been a favorite to win a national championship.
Then it all ended with his sudden death.
Haglund's wrestling career was honored as part of the hall of fame banquet and induction ceremony April 24 in Benson.
"He was a class act," former Buffalo wrestler Jason Birr wrote in nominating Haglund. "But the rest of the story lies in the impact he had on those whom he inspired: fellow wrestlers, competitors, coaches and students.
"Troy's impact on the sport and the individuals he came in contact with, no doubt, lives on today."
Mike Haglund, Troy's uncle, was his presenter at the ceremony.
Also inducted were Jeff Becker of St. Michael-Albertville, Bob Mueller of Monticello and Chris Steele of Hayfield.
Willmar athletes honored
Willmar track and field athlete Madelyn Gregory won the shot put with a season-best effort and the discus with personal-best to be named a Central Lakes Conference athlete of the week for May 10.
Willmar baseball player Andrew Baumgart was then honored as CLC performer of the week on Monday after going seven innings on the mound to beat state-ranked Bemidji and improving his record to 7-0.
Also honored Monday was Cardinal boys golfer Joey Wisocki, who shot a 74 to place third at a large invitational in Bemidji.
* Former Willmar Cardinal Leah Hansen won two outdoor Summit League titles running for South Dakota State. Hansen took first in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 16 minutes, 54.06 seconds. That was a record at the facility at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. She also won the 10k with a 35:37.00. The Summit League championships were May 13-15 in Vermillion.
* Concordia-Moorhead's Cayle Hovland won the discus (146-10) at the MIAC championships. That enabled the junior from Willmar to set a personal record and the 14th best throw in the nation in NCAA Division III this year and the fifth best throw in school history. She also took all-conference honors after taking third in the shot put (43-9.25) and was an honorable-mention in the hammer throw (sixth place 144-7). The MIAC championships were May 14-15 at Hamline University in St. Paul.
Ex-Stinger makes MLB
Former Willmar Stinger Ty Tice became the 253rd former Northwoods League player to make Major League Baseball when he made his debut April 9 with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Tice, from the University of Central Arkansas, played for the Willmar Stingers in 2016, going 3-4 with a 2.91 ERA. He struck out 47 and walked 20 in 55 2/3 innings. He was a 16th round draft pick of Toronto's in 2017.