BLAST FROM THE PAST: 1984, which once seemed far into the future, now provides distant memoriesWORTHINGTON — When I was a junior at Windom High School during the winter of ‘67-68, I read George Orwell’s scary book about the future, simply titled, “1984.”
By: Les Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — When I was a junior at Windom High School during the winter of ‘67-68, I read George Orwell’s scary book about the future, simply titled, “1984.”
Reading that book, which depicted a horrible future — with surveillance cameras everywhere — left a fearful impression on me. But, 1984 seemed like a long ways into the future — nothing to worry about yet.
A few years later, in the fall of 1972, when I was a senior at Dakota State College in Madison, S.D., Danny O’Keefe had a hit on the rock charts called “Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues.”
In that song is a line, “You know you’re not a kid at 33.” Well, I had just turned 21 a few months earlier and I sure thought that line was true. Thirty-three seemed old to me — certainly not a “kid” anymore!
There is a parallel here.
Monday was my birthday (June 29, same as Harmon Killebrew). I am now 58.
It’s been 25 years since I was 33 — and it’s been 25 years since it was 1984.
As I mentioned earlier, 1984 once seemed to be far into the future, as did becoming 33 years old.
Now both of those happenings are far into the past.
So while my last “Blast from the Past” (June 10) covered some of the highlight area sporting events from 50 years ago (1959), I thought that I would focus this feature on events from half as long ago.
So here then is a look at some of the national and area sports highlights from May and June of 1984, when Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” was climbing the rock charts and making the “Boss” an American idol.
Daily Globe Sports Editor Bill Brower’s column on Saturday, May 19, 1984, was interesting.
Bill lauded the fast start of the Detroit Tigers, who were already leading the American League East by eight games, having fashioned an incredible 29-5 record, which is a winning percentage of .853.
Bill’s column mentioned how the Tigers had acquired free agent Darrell Evans from the San Francisco Giants in the off-season and had picked up first baseman Dave Bergman and reliever Willie Hernandez from the Philadelphia Phillies.
These three newcomers were joining with Detroit veterans Lance Parrish (catcher), Lou Whitaker (second base), Alan Trammel (shortstop) and pitching aces Jack Morris, Dan Petry and Milt Wilcox to build the Tigers into an all-around powerhouse.
Howard Johnson, Kirk Gibson, Aurelia Lopez and Rusty Kuntz were among the other key Tigers whom Brower mentioned in his column, which referred to Whitaker and Trammel as the most talented “up the middle” duo in all of baseball.
Parrish was called the best catcher in the majors, and the trio of Morris (7-1), Petry (5-1) and Wilcox (5-0) had a combined win-loss record of 17-2 as of May 17.
That was a great start for those ‘84 Tigers, who on June 29 (when I became 33) were still an impressive 53-20 (.726) and leading the division by nine and a half games.
There was talk of Tiger manager Sparky Anderson building a dynasty in Detroit the way he had a decade earlier in Cincinnati.
Trojans win SWC track titles; Districts 7 and 8 hold competitive meets
The feature story on the Globe sports page on the day of Brower’s column about Detroit’s remarkable, quick start in ‘84 was titled:
“Trojans win SW Conference track and field titles.”
Yes, on Friday, May 18, 1984, at Pipestone, Worthington — for the first time — had won both the girls’ and boys’ team championships at the conference meet.
Favored to win, the Trojan girls scored 98 points and finished first in the standings, eight points ahead of Jackson and Windom, who tied for second with 90 points each.
The boys’ meet was very close, but Worthington ended up on top in those standings too.
The Trojans scored 94.3 points, just edging Redwood Falls (92.6) and Jackson (90).
“I feel ecstatic,” declared WHS head coach Larry Petersen after hearing the final totals. “This is the first time in 16 years for the boys to win it, and I think the first time we ever doubled.”
Leading the Trojan boys were key first-place performances from Don Caffee in the triple jump (43-7, meet record) and Keith Newman in the 800 (2:04.8).
Newman also anchored Worthington’s winning 1,600-meter sprint medley relay (3:41.1) with a strong 800 leg. Caffee, who also ran on the winning medley relay team, finished second in the 200.
Mark Hayenga scored a pair of seconds for the Trojans (300-meter intermediate hurdles and the long jump), while Kevin Newman finished second in the 1,600.
German foreign exchange student Birget Otte set a new record with a sizzling 2:23.9 to win the girls’ 800-meter race. She also won the 1,600 (5:39.6) and teamed with Darla Briggs, June Newman and Angie Koster to win the 1,600-meter relay in a meet record time of 4:13.0.
Trojan teammate Katy Suman won the high jump (5-1), placed second in the long jump and fourth in the 200, helping Worthington win the meet.
Worthington’s girls added relay victories in both the 800 (Anne Koppy, Koster, Karrie Jurgensen, Suman) and the 3,200 (Briggs, Terri Puhl, Paula Munns, Newman).
Five days later, Slayton’s boys won the District 8 meet, dethroning rival Fulda by 25 points, 113-88.
Fulda had won five consecutive District 8 boys’ titles and had claimed 11 championships in the past 13 years.
The Raiders, however, won the girls’ team title — for a third straight year — tallying 101 points. Southwest Christian was second with 88.5 points, while Luverne was third with 72.
Slayton sophomore Rick Leebens won the long jump (19-4) and the 100-meter dash (11.2), while placing third in the 200. Wildcat teammate Mark Hafner, also a sophomore, finished second in the 110-meter high hurdles and scored thirds in both the high jump and triple jump.
Slayton’s Casey McCormick (12-9) and Jim Davidson (12-6) soared a foot higher than the rest of the field to claim a one-two finish in the pole vault.
Leading the Fulda girls was the quartet of Diane Oolman, Janet Halbur, Karmel Honius and Julie Kramer.
Oolman won both the 400 (1:00.4) and the 200 (26.2), Halbur set a new meet record while winning the high jump (5-4), Honius won the 1,600 (5:29.2) and Kramer claimed the gold medal in the 800 (2:29.5).
Honius, Kramer and Oolman teamed with Marti Sturm to win the 3,200-meter relay (10:13.8).
A week later, Mountain Lake swept to both team titles at the District 7 track and field meet at Mountain Lake. The Lakers had won 10 straight boys’ championships before Westbrook ended that streak by winning District 7 in 1983.
In ‘84, however, Mountain Lake’s boys racked up 160 points to win by nearly 31 points over runner-up Jackson (129.3) while the girls also claimed the first-place trophy, nipping Jackson by a single point, 112-111.
Myron Friesen clocked times of 11.6 and 23.8 to win both the 100 and 200 for the Laker boys, who also received individual firsts from Matt Tewes (300 hurdles, 41.9), Darrin Jass (800, 2:05.7) and Gregg Falk (3,200, 10:17.8).
Mountain Lake won both the medley and mile relays, adding to its winning total.
Jenny Sneer paced the Laker girls, winning both the 1,600 (5:33.9) and 3,200 (11:38.4), while Susie Hildebrandt raced to victory in the 200-meter low hurdles (30.4) and Karla Gohr placed first in the shot put (38-10).
Windom eighth-grader Heather Van Norman won all three dashes, running times of 12.9, 26.9 and 1:00.0 in the 100, 200 and 400, respectively.
Van Norman would later win 12 individual state championships in those three events.
Wynia runs well at Olympic marathon trials
The same day that the 1984 District 7 track and field meet was being run, Worthington’s ace distance runner Jerrold Wynia was seeking a marathon berth on the U.S. Olympic team.
Wynia, who still holds the Turkey Day 10-K course record of 29:37 set in 1983, finished 28th — among a field of 179 entrants — at the U.S. Olympic trials marathon at Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Wynia was in 73rd place at the 13.1 mile mark, but passed 45 runners over the second half of the long race, clocking a fine time of 2 hours, 19 minutes and 27 seconds.
Wynia missed his goal of running the 26.2 mile distance under 2 hours and 17 minutes, but his performance was the best of all the Minnesota runners entered, including world-class runner Garry Bjorklund, who finished 69th.
Balster, Iverson top Trojan baseball stats
While the Los Angeles Lakers (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, James Worthy, Kurt Rambis, Michael Cooper and Swen Nater) were challenging the Boston Celtics (Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Larry Bird, Cedric Maxwell, Danny Ainge, Dennis Johnson and Gerald Henderson) in the 1984 NBA finals, the season-ending Trojan baseball statistics were released.
Second-baseman Keith Balster had a team-leading batting average of .333 (17-for-51) and also led the Trojans with 15 stolen bases.
Pitcher Brian Iverson was a perfect 5-0 with a 3.23 ERA, while recording 36 strikeouts in 30 innings.
Jim Berger (.292, 13 RBI) and John Rickers (.309) each hit two home runs for the Trojans, while Brian Ross (.277) had a team-leading 15 RBI.
Ross (3-4) also had a team-best ERA of 1.67.
The ’84 Trojans finished with a 12-5 overall record, while going 8-4 in the Southwest Conference.
It took seven hotly-contested games, but the Celtics — coached by K.C. Jones — defeated the Lakers, coached by Pat Riley.
Bass, Gohr, Adrian Medley win state titles
On Saturday, June 9, 1984, Windom’s Tim Bass, Mountain Lake’s Karla Gohr and the Adrian boys’ sprint medley relay team (Tom Reisdorfer, Jim Ruppert, Jim Groenewold and John Lutmer) won state Class A track and field championships at Bloomington.
Bass, a junior, capped a stellar season by winning state gold in the 110-meter high hurdles.
After finishing second to Rich Feist of Wells in both the Region 2 finals and the state meet preliminaries, Bass found a little extra in the state finals, winning the event in an excellent time of 14.74.
An all-around athlete at Windom High School, Bass would repeat his state championship performance as a senior in 1985.
Gohr, a senior, repeated as girls’ state champion in the shot put in ’84, tossing a distance of 40 feet, five-and-three-quarter inches. She had set a state record in ’83, winning with a remarkable distance of 42-7¾.
Lutmer, who finished second in the 800-meter run at the 1983 state meet, was primed for a state championship in the event as a senior in ’84.
But, after running a sensational anchor leg on the state championship Dragon medley (200-200-400-800), Lutmer had to settle for fourth in the open 800 (1:57.66).
Lutmer’s anchor performance in the medley had moved Adrian from sixth to first, as he brought the Dragons across the finish line in an excellent time of 3:35.99, just ahead of Rochester Lourdes (3:36.67).
Jasper’s Michal Raak leaped 5-5 to place second in the high jump, and Van Norman clocked times of 58.72 (400) and 25.52 (200) to capture a pair of third-place finishes, highlighting other top performances by area girls at the ’84 state meet.
Jackson’s Julie Hansen was fourth in both the 200-meter low hurdles (29.97) and the long jump (17-2¾), while placing seventh in the 100-meter high hurdles (15.39).
Southwest Christian placed in a pair of relays, as the 4x100 team of Maria Vis, Tammy Van Dyke, Sandy Walhof and Lisa Van Dyke finished third (50.48) and the foursome of Vonda VanderPol, Vonda VanderBroek, Walhof and Lisa Van Dyke placed sixth in the 4x400 (4:06.96).
Tews finished third in the 300 intermediates (39.44), Fulda’s Leigh Wehking was fifth in the pole vault (12-4) and Adrian’s mile relay team (3:29.4) finished seventh to highlight other placings by area boys.
Suman, Otte, Koster place high in Class AA; Trojans win Region
Competing in Class AA, Suman sailed 17-5½ to place third in the long jump, Otte finished sixth in the 800 (2:22.91) and Koster sprinted home seventh in the 400 (59.24), giving Worthington a trio of girls’ state-meet placers.
Those three, along with state-qualifiers Tracee Woitaszewski (shot put and discus) and the region champion 800-meter relay team (Koppy, Jurgensen, Koster and Suman), had helped Worthington win the Region 2AA team championship at Fairmont June 2.
The Trojans won the regional title by winning six events and scoring 68 points. Chaska was second with 61 points, followed by Eden Prairie in third with 49.
Suman won two events — the 200 and the long jump — at the regional meet, Otte won the 800 (school record, 2:21.0), Koster won the 400 (school record, 58.9) and the 800-meter relay team finished first with a school-record time of 1:46.4.
Woitaszewski claimed the sixth Trojan gold medal with a winning throw of 113-11 in the discus.
Windom wins state baseball championship
Being dubbed as the “musical double feature of the summer,” the movies “Footloose” and “Flashdance” were being shown at the Gay Drive In in Worthington, as the Windom Eagles were playing through soaking rain and rain delays in St. Cloud to win the 1984 Class A state baseball championship.
The Eagles had finished as state runner-up in 1983 and returned a solid nucleus — led by seniors Timm Gronseth, Jeff Schwalbach, Tim Hayenga and Jeff Olson — for the ’84 campaign.
After repeating as Region 2 champions with a 7-2 victory over rival St. James, Windom won the state title with wins over Roseau (7-4), Springfield (6-5) and Winona Cotter (2-0).
Finishing with a 21-3 record, the Eagle lineup featured lots of underclassmen, and Windom repeated its state championship in 1985.
Wasmund makes U.S. Olympic wrestling team as an alternate
Another interesting item was the remarkable success of Worthington wrestler Dalen Wasmund, who made it all the way to the finals of the U.S. Olympic trials as a Greco-Roman wrestler.
Wasmund, who was a two-time state champion for the Trojans and sported an amazing high school career record of 117-4, was wrestling for the University of Minnesota and advanced through several rounds of the trials in the 136.5 pound weight class before being defeated in the final round, which would have put him on the Olympic team that competed in Los Angeles later that summer.
Wasmund did go to LA as an alternate on the team — just one of many highlights for one of the state’s all-time premier wrestlers.
There is a look at some of the many events that happened in the late spring and early summer — 25 years ago — when the local country rock band “Split Image” was gearing up for its July 4th dance at the Sioux Valley Log Cabin.