Tribune Notebook: River Lakes PeeWee A team heads to state tourney

Mar. 10—The River Lakes Stars PeeWee A boys hockey team won its regional tournament last weekend and qualified for the state tournament.

The regional took place in Faribault. River Lakes beat Rochester 5-3, Albert Lea 6-2 and Mankato 4-3 in triple overtime to win the title.

River Lakes is headed to state for the first time in the history of its PeeWee A program. The Stars play at state beginning March 17 in New Ulm.

Team members are: Jack Bayer, Henry Eckerman, Hudson Fleischhacker, Jack Heying, Nolan Hoekstra, Jonny Martinka, Easton Munsterman, Cru Ruegemer, Soren Selander, Kellan Scheierl, Breck Schultz, Kaleb Weber, Kaleb Wolefel, Davis Wuertz and Dane Zeiher.

Coaches are Scott Martinka, Dan Selander and Brent Ruegemer.

The Willmar Aquatic Racing Stingrays advanced 14 swimmers to the Minnesota regional championship last weekend in New Prague.

The Stringrays had two swimmers, Marin Wallestad and Manny Heinen, become first-time state qualifiers. Samuel Sheets, meanwhile, qualified in four events and five qualifying times for the season.

"Our athletes have kept improving all year," said Stephanie Jensen, the Stingrays' head coach, in a statement. "They have the best attitudes and work ethic and it's so fun to see it all pay off."

Overall, the Willmar team placed fifth iin Class A behind Neptune Athletics, the Mantas Swim Club, the Barracuda Aquatics Club and the River Falls Swim Club. The Stingrays were well ahead of sixth-place Detroit Lakes, the seventh-place Lakes Area Penguin Swimmers and the eighth-place Renville County Aquatic Club.

Heinen, age 10, had a time of 41.02 seconds in the boys' 9-10 50-yard butterfly. Wallestad's state qualifying time came in the girls' 11-12 50 backstroke preliminaries. The 12-year-old had a time of 32.28.

Sheets, 14, has times of 1:02.24 in the boys' 13-14 100 individual medley, 1:09.63 in the 100 breaststroke, 2:34.10 in the 200 breaststroke, 23.98 in the 50 free and 53.62 in the 100 free.

Competing for Willmar in the state championships will be Heinen, Wallestad, Sheets and Aubrey Schueler, Hannah Javaherian and Kinley Newberg. Schueler qualified in the 50 freestyle and is part of the women's 400 medley relay team that includes Wallestad, Javaherian and Newberg.

* South Dakota State's Clay Carlson, a senior from Willmar, is headed to the NCAA Division I national tournament again. Carlson, a 141-pounder, makes his third consecutive NCAA appearance this weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Carlson is seeded 11th and wrestles No. 22 Malyke Hines of Lehigh in the first round. Carlson has a 22-8 record after finishing third at the Big 12 Conference Championship. He has a 94-39 career record.

* Also heading to a national wrestling tournament is Concordia-Moorhead's Ty Bisek. Bisek, a sophomore 133-pounder from New London-Spicer, placed third in the Upper Midwest Regional Meet and is headed to the NCAA Division III national tournament this weekend in Roanoke, Virginia.

Bisek went 5-1 at the Upper Midwest Regional and has a 25-1 record this season. He has a 52-7 career record for the Cobbers.