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College basketball: Wendorff Meyer still draws raves

Laura Wendorff Meyer

SAINT JOSEPH -- Having completed a stellar women's basketball career at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., 13 years ago in March of 2000, Fulda native Laura Wendorff Meyer was inducted into the Blazer Hall of Fame in a special ceremony at the college June 28.

The eldest daughter of Rick and Lenore (Freking) Wendorff of Fulda, Laura excelled in high school for the Raiders in the mid-1990s before embarking on a memorable four-year career at CSB.

Holding a master's degree in nursing --- earned from Minnesota State-Mankato in 2003 --- Laura is a family nurse practitioner and multiple sclerosis nurse in New Prague where she lives with her husband Nick Meyer and their three young sons.

As a Blazer, Wendorff was a four-time all-conference selection in the prestigious Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) and was chosen as St. Benedict's team MVP three times. She is still the all-time scoring and rebounding leader in St. Benedict women's basketball history, racking up totals of 1,775 points and 1,053 rebounds during her four seasons as a Blazer, from 1996-97 - '99-2000.

She blocked 208 shots during her career, made 745 field goals, finished with a career-scoring average of 16.6 points per game and averaged 9.8 rebounds per game over her four seasons at CSB --each still at the top of the women's basketball all-time lists at St. Benedict's.

Her best season was her junior campaign in '98-99 when she sparked the Blazers to a 28-2 win-loss record and a repeat MIAC championship, advancing all the way to the NCAA Division III national finals.

Wendorff earned All-American honors that season and was picked as MIAC's Player of the Year.

She claimed honorable mention All-American accolades following both her sophomore ('97-98) and senior seasons ('99-00), becoming the only three-time All-American in St. Benedict's storied history.

The Blazers, coached by Mike Durbin, were 94-15 in Wendorff's four seasons and won 77 of 87 MIAC games, claiming two conference titles and finishing second in the 12-team league the other two years.

Prior to starring for St. Benedict, Wendorff was an exceptional all-around high school post player for the Fulda Raiders, graduating from FHS in 1996.

A versatile inside scorer and a tremendous rebounder, Wendorff paced the Raiders to multiple 20-win seasons, a pair of Red Rock Conference championships, the 1996 Sub-Section 10 title and a Section 3A semifinal victory over perennial power Red Rock Central.

Fulda's fine playoff run ended in a dramatic overtime loss to eventual Class A state champion Tracy-Milroy in the 1996 Section 3A championship game in Worthington.

"What really stands out about Laura is her blue-collar mentality and how hard she worked in practice every day," summed up Heron Lake native Rick Haberman, who coached Wendorff during her junior and senior seasons at Fulda. "She was a relentless player who went 100 percent in every practice drill and carried that hard work into each game. Laura never took a play off. She was so relentless and so coachable, doing anything she was asked to do to help the team."

Among Wendorff's high school highlights was a state record 34-rebound performance against Sioux Valley-Round Lake-Brewster in a Red Rock Conference game at Round Lake on a Saturday night in late January of 1996.

"That extraordinary effort was typical of how relentless Laura was, working so hard for each rebound," recalled Haberman. "She was a phenomenal player for us at Fulda High School, who was a great leader by example and kept getting better and better as her college career progressed, improving so much through her hard work and blue-collar approach."

Laura's younger sisters Sarah (1999) and Jenna (2002) were also key players for top-notch Fulda girls' basketball teams while Laura was leading St. Benedict's to victories in the MIAC.

"The most successful team in CSB basketball history was led by its most successful player," sums up the Hall of Fame induction program booklet about Wendorff Meyer's fabulous career for the Blazers.