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home : sports : sports Sunday, May 29, 2016

3/30/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
2008 Central graduate and Wartburg 174-pound wrestler Dylan Azinger finishes off a takedown during a match with Luther’s Jarid Groth in the Knights’ home dual with the Norse. Azinger won the match 10-6, one of 16 matches the senior won during his final year with the Knights. The season ended just as the previous two did — with Wartburg winning an NCAA Division III national championship. Contributed photo
Local college athletes shine in winter, spring seasons
The area's high school athletes were not the only ones to excel on the court and mat this winter as a group of collegiate athletes with local ties also put together fantastic seasons.

One such athlete - Wartburg senior Dylan Azinger - finished his season and career with another piece of hardware as he wrestled for a Knight squad that won the NCAA Division III wrestling title.

It was the third-straight championship for Wartburg, which sent co-head coach Jim Miller into retirement with the program's 10th title.

The 2008 Central graduate finished his collegiate career with over 100 victories (his career mark is 118-34), was a two-time All-American and a two-time Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) champion.

Wrestling at 174 pounds this season, Azinger went 16-6 and was named IIAC wrestler of the week in mid-February. He finished second at the Central Region Championships to qualify for his fourth national meet.

Also seeing varsity action this season was former Northeast standout Forrest Marx, who recently completed his sophomore season with the Northwestern College wrestling team.

Wrestling at 197 pounds, Marx finished sixth at the NAIA Northern Qualifier and also had a fifth-place finish at the Briar Cliff Open.

Marx played a big role in the Red Raiders' victory over Wayne State as the sophomore's pin of Rob Peter in 5:58 created the deciding margin in a 30-21 victory.

Making his collegiate debut on the mat this season was former Central grappler Creighton Fox, who wrestled for Coe College.

Fox spent most of his time with the Kohawk JV squad, but did see varsity action in a few tournaments and at the Iowa Conference duals against Simpson College. The freshman made the most of his opportunity by pinning Tony Saucedo in 3:50.

Leading the way among the area's basketball players is former Central standout Jennifer Keitel, who recently wrapped up her redshirt freshman season with the University of Northern Iowa.

Keitel played in all 34 games for the Panthers, who were selected to take part in the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT), and was fourth on the team in scoring with a 6.8 average.

The forward also finished second on the team in both rebounds with 194 and blocks with 20, while dishing out 46 assists - good for third on the team.

Next season, Keitel will have the opportunity to player her former Saber teammate, Lindsay Smith, when the Panthers take on fellow Missouri Valley foe Illinois State.

Smith decided to transfer from Wisconsin to Illinois State early this season and will be available for the team when the fall semester ends next year. Smith appeared in six games for the Badgers early this season.

Another Saber graduate, Patrick Burmester, took part in his sophomore season for the Truman State basketball team.

Battling some injuries, Burmester still appeared in 11 games this season for the Bulldogs, who finished the year 10-17.

The center scored 31 points, including a three-pointer, and grabbed 27 rebounds, while also blocking eight shots and dishing out seven assists.

Former Cal-Wheat standout Drew Jacobi also played basketball this winter as he finished up his second season with the St. Ambrose basketball team.

The season is still ongoing for the St. Ambrose mens tennis team, which includes Northeast graduate Mitch Schumacher.

The collegiate track seasons also began this winter with the indoor season and the area is represented there as well.

Competing in his senior season for the University of Northern Iowa is 2009 Northeast graduate Ryan Krogmann.

Krogmann set a PR during the indoor season with a time of 4:19.59 in the 1,600-meter run, while also setting personal marks in both the 600- and 1,000-meter runs.

The former Rebel took sixth in the Missouri Valley Conference indoor meet in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:56.09.

Joining Krogmann on the Panthers' squad is former Saber Adam McDonnell, who is in his junior season.

McDonnell set a pair of PRs during the indoor season as he finished first in the shot put at the Dome Open with a toss of 14.6 meters.

The former Central standout added a career-best throw of 19.3 meters in the weight throw at the Wisconsin Elite Invitational.

McDonnell has already impressed in the outdoor season as well, as he set career marks in the discus and hammer throw during the John Mitchell Alabama Relays.

Another runner enjoying his senior year is former Cal-Wheat athlete Jay Whitmore, who runs distance events for St. Ambrose.

Whitmore had the Bees' third-best time in the 3,000-meter run during the indoor season with a time of 9:35.52, while also having the fifth-best mile time and seventh-best 800-meter clocking.

Three former area athletes are part of the Wartburg mens track team as freshmen Anthony Green and Nick Green from Central and sophomore Seth Mommsen, formerly of Northeast, run middle distance for the Knights.

Nick Green was fourth in the 800-meter run at the IIAC indoor meet with a time of 1:56.52 and clocked in at 1:55.14 at the Iowa State Classic, while also being part of the Knights' IIAC champion 4X400 team.

Anthony Green and Mommsen, meanwhile, have run everything from 400 meters up to 1,000 meters.

Also competing at the IIAC meet was former Central runner Jordan Murray, who is a freshman with the University of Dubuque track team.

Murray ran on the Spartans' 4X800 team as well as their distance medley squad and will run middle and long distance.

Competing on the other side of the state is former Rebel standout Morgan Casey, who is in her redshirt-sophomore season with Iowa State.

Casey set a personal-best in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:34.67 at the Iowa State Classic and finished the mile run in a time of 4:55.90 at the same event.

Casey also placed fifth in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 3:01.01 at the ISU Open.

Another former Rebel, Matt Bowman, is competing in his freshman season with the North Iowa Area Community College track team.

Bowman ran a leg on the Trojans' distance medley team which broke a school record and finished sixth at the NJCAA national meet and was also part of the 4X800 team which finished 11th at the national meet.

Of course, spring is also when the collegiate baseball and softball seasons get rolling and already a number of former high school athletes have impressed.

No player more so than Wartburg junior and former Warrior Ryan Powers, who got off to a fast start for the Knights.

In fact, Powers led all of Division III in batting average in the early going and is still batting .532 for Wartburg, while leading the team in runs (20), hits (25), doubles (5), total bases (32), slugging percentage (.681) and on-base percentage (.600).

Just as important, Powers leads the Knights with 31 defensive assists and has not committed a single error.

Powers' former Cal-Wheat teammate, Alex Matzen, has made a pair of pitching appearances for the Knights and has allowed just two hits and no runs in two innings of relief.

Another former Warrior, J.J. Schwennen, is back for his sophomore season with the Mount Mercy baseball team.

Schwennen has made three pitching appearances so far this year and has yet to allow a hit. He has struck out three batters and walked two.

Taking part in his senior season with Truman State is former Northeast shortstop Jordan Howe.

Howe has played in 23 of the Bulldogs' 24 games in the early season and has 16 hits, including a double, 10 runs and four RBIs, while tying for the team-lead with 11 walks.

Former Central standout Brandon Jasper is back for his sophomore season with the Augustana baseball team, while 2012 Northeast graduate Mitch Haferbier is ready for his first season with the University of Dubuque.

Two former area softball standouts - Karlee Rock of Cal-Wheat and Niki Green of Central - are preparing for their sophomore seasons at Central College and St. Ambrose respectively.

Rock has appeared in 17 of the Dutch's first 18 games and has six hits and a double with three runs and five RBIs. The sophomore has drawn five walks and has a sacrifice fly.

Green, meanwhile, has played in all 21 of the Bees' games and is tied for fourth on the team with a .429 batting average.

The former Saber has smacked three doubles and two triples and leads the team with three home runs, while driving in 15 runs.

Rounding things out on the collegiate front is 2012 Central graduate Lynn Dohrmann, who was omitted from the review of the area's fall athletes.

Dohrmann played in 18 games for the Northland College (Wis.) womens soccer team and tied for fifth on the team with two goals.

The freshman added two assists as well and put eight shots on goal for the LumberJills, who won five games this season.

If there are any athletes that took part in winter sports or are currently taking part in spring sports, please let me know, so they also can be recognized.

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