John's Journal
Another Honor For Shakopee's Maria Hauger11/6/2012
Maria Hauger, the Shakopee cross-country star who became only the second four-time state champion in Minnesota history on Saturday, has received another honor. She has been named the Old Dutch High School Athlete of the Week.

The senior runner capped a record-setting high school cross-country career in dominating fashion Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Hauger won her fourth consecutive Class 2A state championship, joining legendary Dawson-Boyd runner Carrie Tollefson as the only Minnesota athletes to win four titles. Hauger also set an all-time course record of 13 minutes, 42 seconds in winning with a 15-second margin over the rest of the field.

Hauger finished ninth at the state meet as an eighth-grader before beginning her four-year championship reign. She has narrowed her list of college choices to five, and the University of Minnesota is among the five.

Congratulation to Maria as the first two-time winner of the Old Dutch High School Athlete of the Week Award as she also won on Oct. 2 after winning the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational cross-country meet in course-record time.
Volleyball’s Best, With A State Berth On The Line11/5/2012
When the top two teams in the Class 3A volleyball rankings squared off to determine which one would go to the state tournament, the atmosphere matched the action. Read Brian Jerzak's story by clicking here
Shakopee’s Hauger Wins Fourth State Title, Joins Elite Company11/3/2012
NORTHFIELD -- Maria Hauger turned back the clock Saturday. And she didn’t wait until bedtime like the rest of us. She did it in the middle of the afternoon and turned it all the way back to 1994. That’s when Dawson-Boyd’s Carrie Tollefson became the only athlete in Minnesota history to win five cross-country state championships.

Hauger won the Class 2A state title for the fourth year in a row Saturday at St. Olaf College. She joined Tollefson – who went on to become an NCAA cross-country and track champion at Villanova University and run the 1,500 meters at the 2004 Olympics – as the only four-time champions. Tollefson won three Class 1A titles and two in Class 2A between 1990 and 1994. (Hauger and Tollefson are pictured here in a photo from earlier this season.)

Haugen’s other goal in her final high school race in Minnesota was to set a girls course record. And she did that, too, finishing in 13 minutes, 42 seconds. That shattered the record of 13:54.7 set in 2005 by Bria Wetsch of Holy Family.

The second-place finisher was Anna French, a sophomore from Wayzata. Placing third was Alexandria ninth-grader Bethany Hasz, followed by Eagan senior Danielle Anderson and Bemidji sophomore Jenna Truedson.

Any time anyone mentions to Hauger that she is in the same hemisphere as Tollefson, she brushes the comparisons aside: “She’s an Olympian, I’m just a high schooler.”

Hauger says that another athlete she also looks up to is swimmer Michael Phelps, “even though he’s not a runner. He’s just amazing.”

That word fits Hauger pretty well, too. Her running career began when she was in seventh grade and she broke the Shakopee school record in the mile in her very first race. She placed ninth at the state cross-country race in her first appearance, as an eighth-grader, and won every championship race since. The only race in Minnesota she didn’t win in the last four years came earlier this season at the Montgomery Invitational, when Blake junior Clare Flanagan – who captured her second Class 1A title Saturday – reached the finish line 18 seconds ahead of Hauger.

Hauger responded with a dominating victory at the Roy Griak Invitational two weeks later, and put a gold-medal cherry on her prep cross-country career Saturday.

“I’m pretty exhausted,” she said after the race. “Probably the most exhausting race, though, was the Griak. I felt like I was going to pass out. This one was good.”

She said her list of possible colleges has been narrowed to five. She wouldn’t name them, other than saying that the University of Minnesota is among the five.


Wayde Hall of Stillwater captured the title with a four-second margin of victory over runner-up Obsa Ali of Richfield. Third place went to Joe Klecker of Hopkins, followed by Will Burke of Edina and Connor Olson of Wayzata. Hall placed seventh last year at state.

The 2A boys team title went to top-ranked Stillwater. The Ponies had a score of 46, followed by Edina (80), Wayzata (90), Owatonna (125) and Rosemount (152).


The rankings held true to form as Proctor senior Matt Welch (pictured), the No. 1 runner in the 1A coaches poll, won his first state title after finishing 14th, 13th and 61st in the previous three years. The runner-up was Foley senior Charlie Lawrence, who is ranked second. Lawrence placed third a year ago. Shane Streich of Waseca, who finished fifth a year ago, placed third this year.

Perham cruised to the 1A boys team title with a score of 37 points. St. Cloud Cathedral was second with 72, followed by Waseca (164) and Martin County West and Winona Cotter, both with 200. Perham was third in 2009, first in 2010 and second last year.


Blake junior Clare Flanagan easily won her second consecutive state title, finishing 12 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. The runner-up was Cannon Falls’ Emi Trost, followed by McKenzie Holt of St. Cloud Christian, Emily Mantor of United South Central and Marisa Shady of Esko.

Esko, which had been a top five team for the last three years, broke through to win the team crown. The Eskomos had 115 points, followed by Annandale (150), Minnehaha Academy (151), Waseca (157) and Dover-Eyota (184). Esko was eighth in 2009, fifth in 2010 and third last year.

--Photo galleries from state cross-country are posted on the MSHSL Facebook page.

*Schools/teams John has visited: 288
*Miles John has driven: 3,819
(*During the 2012-13 school year)

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of John Millea is on Twitter @MSHSLjohn
Class 6A Football Playoffs: Lakeville North 42, Roseville 011/3/2012
Lakeville North is playing its best football of the season, qualifying for the Class 6A state tournament with a big win over Roseville. Read Luke Sleeper's story by clicking here
Remembering Our Friend Ron Sellnow11/2/2012
Before each of Thursday’s four state championship soccer games at the Metrodome, a moment of silence was held in honor of former teacher, coach and Hopkins athletic director Ron Sellnow, who died last week.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Lindbergh Center at Hopkins High School, Saturday, Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. Here are Ron’s obituary as well as his MSHSL 2009 Hall of Fame biography:

--Ron’s obituary…

Ronald Sellnow, age 70, of St. Louis Park, passed away in his home on Wednesday Oct. 24th after a noble battle with Lymphoma. Ron was preceded in death by his father, Edward, and two infant brothers. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Judi, and their three children, Gretchen (Joe) Randall, Derek (Melissa) Sellnow, and Jennifer (Patrick) Dame, grandchildren Gabrielle, Susanna, Madison, Claire, Nicolette, Nicholas, Delanee and Olivia and his mother Ruth, brother Gerald, sisters Sandie, Janell and Karen, and many loving nieces and nephews.

Ron spent 35 years in the Hopkins School District teaching at Eisenhower, Lindbergh and Hopkins High School. In his role as a math teacher and coach, he inspired countless numbers of students and athletes, eventually leading hockey teams to the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament and leading a team to a State Soccer Championship.

After retiring as the Hopkins High School Athletic Director in 1999, Ron continued working with young athletes in his role as Select 17 Camp Director for USA Hockey, and Secretary of the Minnesota State High School League Sections 5 and 6AA. Among many other awards, some of his most treasured were his inductions into The Minnesota State High School Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2011, and The Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame in 2009.

Far and beyond Ron's professional accomplishments was the influence and happiness he gave to his family. He loved traveling with Judi, whether to Europe or to visit their children around the country, or just to their cabin which was a centerpiece in their lives. His legacy lies with those grandchildren, whom over the years, like his student athletes, he has taught to work their hardest, try their best, and above all else, be positive influences to others.

Ron spent his life dedicated to youth athletics, so in lieu of flowers, the family requests that those interested in honoring Ron's legacy donate to a student-athlete scholarship fund that the family is establishing in Ron's name. If you would like to donate to the fund, please make checks payable to Judi Sellnow with "scholarship" in the memo. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Lindbergh Center at Hopkins High School, Saturday, Nov. 3rd at 11:00 a.m.

--Ron’s MSHSL Hall of Fame biography…

Ron Sellnow left a legacy at Hopkins High School, where he was a teacher, coach and athletic director for 35 years.

A graduate of Staples High School, Ron obtained his BS degree from St. Cloud State University and a master’s degree from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
Hopkins High School first hired Ron as a math teacher in 1964. Soon thereafter he began to coach cross country running, hockey and soccer.

As an assistant hockey coach for 27 years the Hopkins junior varsity hockey teams never had a losing season. The varsity teams won two section titles and made two state tournament appearances in 1975 and 1980.

When Ron took over as head soccer coach he led the Royals to two conference championships, five region championships, and five consecutive state tournament appearances capturing the state title in 1983 and runners-up in 1980.

Eric Tuck, a senior on the ’83 championship team who scored the game winning goal says, “Coach Sellnow had such an even keel personality. He was always very calm during practice and games, which I believed transcended to his players. We came back from many deficits as Coach Sellnow’s calm demeanor always gave us the confidence to battle back and not give up.”

Ron was named ‘Soccer Coach of the Year’ twice by the Minnesota Soccer coaches Association, and was a nominee for the National Soccer Coach of the Year in 1985.
In 1988, Ron had to make a decision to give up coaching to be the district director of athletics. The position included 26 sports programs at Hopkins High School, 22 sports at two area middle schools, and 195 salaried and volunteer coaches.

With a determination to give high school students the best experience possible, Ron enthusiastically took on his new responsibilities and his leadership was known at every level—from the Classic Lake Conference to the Minnesota State High School League. He managed the Classic Lake Conference soccer and golf competitions, the Section hockey and soccer tournaments, and the State Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer Tournaments. He also serves as an event assistant at the State Boys’ Hockey Tournament.

Ron served on numerous League committees including the Strategic Planning Committee, the Soccer Advisory Committee, the Soccer Officials Selection Committee, and the Athletic Advisory Committee, which he chaired in 1998. He has also held posts on the Region 6AA Executive Committee and was the committee chair from 1994 to 1999. For his service, the Region honored him with a service award and his peers voted him the Region 6AA Athletic Director of the Year in 1999. Now in retirement, Ron is the Administrative Region 5AA Secretary, a position he’s held since 1999.

Ron’s contributions to the professional organizations that represent athletic directors and coaches are far too numerous to list. He is a founding member and past secretary of the Minnesota Soccer Coaches Association. He held roles as president and region representative for the Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association which in 1999 named Ron Athletic Director of the Year.

Ron’s entrance in the League’s Hall of Fame is the fourth hall that bears his name. The others include Hopkins High School, the Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, and Minnesota Soccer Coaches Association.

Those who work closely with Ron will comment about the respect they have for the job he’s done and his high standard of ethics. One such comment comes from a longtime colleague who says: “Ron has made serving the people of Minnesota his career and has done it in a way that sets him apart from his peers. His integrity, professionalism, personal warmth, and sense of fairness are unequal.”

This quote sums up beautifully all that Ron represents as a teacher, a coach, and athletic director. No doubt many athletes have taken with them the character-enhancing qualities Ron Sellnow brought to their high school experience, making it for each of them, what he always hoped it would be---rich in values to build their lives on.