John's Journal
My Favorite Athlete of the Year6/17/2010
As another year of high school athletics and activities draws to a close, I know this: Trisha Kienitz is my favorite athlete in the class of 2010.

She is a senior at MACRAY High School in western Minnesota. She was born without a right leg, she wears a prosthetic leg and she left the Class 1A state tournament Thursday in Becker wearing an eighth-place medal and the biggest smile you could ever imagine.

A few weeks ago I visited Trisha at her school in Clara City. Among the topics we discussed was her goal of returning to state for the third time. She tied for 39th at state as a sophomore and tied for 17th last year.

“I just want to make it,” she told me then. “I’ve seen kids go to state before and then they don’t make it back their senior year. I’m just working on getting there and hopefully finishing in the top eight.”

She was tied for fifth after shooting an 85 in Wednesday’s first round. She shot a 91 Thursday, which was just good enough for that eighth-place medal. Before the results were final, she was hopeful of placing eighth. Some of the tournament officials, knowing about Trisha, kept an eye open as the results came in. One of them whispered to me that she had indeed finished eighth, and I was very happy to tell her the news.

She had thought about taking home a medal, sometimes late at night when things got quiet, “But I was like, ‘I’ve got to go to sleep,’” she said, laughing.

“It feels good,” she said. “Senior year is done and I did what I wanted to do.”

The key to her tournament was Wednesday’s first nine holes. She shot a 39, breaking 40 for the first time anywhere outside her home course in Raymond.

“I started off great. My putts fell, my chipping was amazing,” she said.

Trisha was a little downcast after Thursday’s round, but she was not alone. A strong, hot wind played havoc for most of the golfers in the second round. The 1A champion was Kelsey Ross of Osakis, who opened with a 75 and finished with an 84.

Providence Academy won the 1A girls’ team title. Stormy weather halted the boys’ tournament in 1A at Becker as well as in 2A at Jordan. Since not everyone finished 36 holes, Wednesday’s 18-hole scores were used to determine the boys’ standings.

The Minnewaska girls won their fifth straight title with a 15-shot win over Red Wing. Minnewaska seniors Allie Ostrander and Sarah Roering shared the individual title at 150, four shots ahead of Breck's Anna Laorr.

(For video of the Minnewaska team jumping in a pond and the Providence Academy girls celebrating with their championship trophy, go to the MSHSL Facebook page.)

Using the 18-hole scores, Orono repeated as the team champ and Jake Erickson of Holy Angels was the medalist.

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of John Millea is on Twitter at
It's a Tough Job, But Somebody Has to be at State Golf6/16/2010
I'm on the scene at the Class 2A state golf tournament at Ridges at Sand Creek near Jordan. The course is in fabulous shape and the weather is absolutely unbeatable.

The Minnewaska girls are the four-time defending champs of this tournament, and the team van carries a message on the rear window: "One For The Thumb!"

As usual, I'm posting updates and photos on Facebook and Twitter. Take a look at the Facebook photos and you'll get a sense of this spectacular day.

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of John Millea is on Twitter at

Today’s State Girls’ Golf Results6/16/2010
We’re awaiting results from the boys’ half of the three state tourneys (the boys began play after the girls), but here’s the wrap-up from the girls’ action today. The Class 3A tourney has finished and 2A and 1A are at the halfway point.

Alexandria senior Maggie Leland shot a second-day 69 at the 3A state golf tourney Wednesday, winning the individual title with a state-record total of 143. New Prague wins the girls' team title with a seven-shot margin over Edina.

The four-time defending champion Minnewaska girls have a 305 total, 14 shots ahead of Red Wing at the halfway point. Individual leaders are Minnewaska's Sarah Roering at 71 and Allie Ostrander at 73, followed by Red Wing's Katie Kesti 76.

Providence Academy has the team lead after day one with a 348 total. Next are Lewiston-Altura at 363 and Osakis at 365. The individual leader is Kelsey Ross of Osakis at 75, followed by Kathryn Kennedy of Providence at 80 and Amy Mireault of Fosston at 83.
Boys' Results From Wednesday’s Golf Tourneys6/16/2010
We have champions in Class 3A, while 2A and 1A are at the halfway point. Your boys’ 3A team champion is Wayzata, which repeated as the winner. The Trojans had a team score of 595, followed by Elk River/Zimmerman at 611 and Rogers at 612.

The 3A medalist is St. Cloud Tech junior Charlie Braniff, who had an 18-hole total of 142. He was followed by Wayzata teammates Kyle Beversdorf and Tyler Lowenstein at 144.

Defending champ Orono leads the team race with a 292 score, followed by Rochester Lourdes at 304 and Virginia at 305. The individual leader is Holy Angels’ Jake Erickson at 69. Next are Nic Jensen of Lourdes at 70 and three players at 71: Luke Magnuson of Litchfield, Patrick Johnston of Orono and Zach Israelson of Staples-Motley.

Ortonville leads the team race with a score of 311, followed by Southwest Christian at 321 and Springfield at 328. Frazee’s Beau Hanson is the individual leader at 71, with Jesse Roscoe of Ortonville and Dillon Schultz of Springfield two shots back.
Minnewaska Seeks One For the Thumb6/16/2010
Red Wing girls’ golf coach Mark Herzog smiled as he talked about being in second place behind Minnewaska at the Class 2A state golf tournament. That’s about all you can do when you – and everyone else who is paying attention – knows Minnewaska is far and away the dominant team in Minnesota golf.

Minnewaska held a 14-stroke lead over the Wingers after Wednesday’s first 18 holes. The tournament will end Thursday, and it will be a shocking result if the Lakers do not win their fifth consecutive state championship.

Their team van, parked at Ridges at Sand Creek near Jordan, told the story: on the rear window was written “One For The Thumb.”

“That’s our motto this year,” said senior Allie Ostrander, who shot a 1-over par 73 Wednesday and trails teammate and classmate Sarah Roering by two shots in the individual standings. “Words can’t describe how cool (winning five in a row) would be.”

Red Wing’s top individual Wednesday was sophomore Katie Kesti with a 76. Kesti and Roering will be in the final foursome to tee off Thursday at 9 a.m.

“Obviously they want to beat Minnewaska, but in golf you’re never playing against somebody else, you’re playing the course,” Herzog said. “We’ve got some really good players, but we’re just a little bit short of where they’re at.”

Red Wing and Minnewaska met several times during the regular season. In an event at Alexandria, the Lakers beat Red Wing by 14 shots. They met again at the TPC Twin Cities course and Minnewaska finished 20 shots ahead. And when they met on Red Wing’s home course, Minnewaska won by two shots.

The Wingers had played Ridges at Sand Creek several times this spring and never had a team total below 325. Their 319 Wednesday was a phenomenal score, but then again Minnewaska is a little more phenomenal than the rest of the teams.

“There is a little pressure and we knew Red Wing was a good team,” Ostrander said. “They have a solid six girls. We knew we couldn’t just relax out here. We know we have to play hard and make a good run the first day. I’d say there is a little pressure just because everyone expects you to win all the time. But in reality, someone’s going to lose at some point. We just don’t want it to end this year. I’d just love to keep going.”

IT’S HARD TO FIND a younger high school golf team than the girls’ squad from Detroit Lakes. Seventh-grader Sydney Busker is the rookie and sophomore Courtney Hedstrom is the veteran. The rest are eighth-graders: Trisa Hutchinson, Natalie Roth, Emma Thompson and Matty Tschider.

MY THURSDAY IS pretty well booked. I’ll be attending a meeting of newspaper sports editors from around Minnesota in the morning at Target Field and then driving to Becker for the final day of the Class 1A golf tournament. I’ll spend Thursday night at Breezy Point, where I will speak Friday morning during the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals summer workshop.

The biggest day of the week will be Saturday, when Target Field will be the site of the three baseball championship games. And after that … we rest.

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of John Millea is on Twitter at