Trojans roundup: Tennis, golf, softball teams contend

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The boys high school tennis meet in Worthington Thursday afternoon was abruptly abandoned before 5:30 p.m. as sirens sounded the alarm for a severe thunderstorm coming in from the east.

St. James Area held a 3-2 lead, but two matches were still undecided -- fourth singles and second doubles. It will be picked up from there, weather and schedule permitting, on another date.

And so it was in southwest Minnesota. Events begun, sometimes finished on time. Here’s a rundown on some Thursday-Friday events involving the Worthington Trojans.

Boys tennis

St. James at Worthington (susp.)


Alec Langerud looked very sharp for the Trojans at No. 1 singles, winning a 6-2, 6-2 decision over the Saints’ Preston Wagner. WHS also won at No. 3 doubles, where Matthew Becker and Evan Hansberger prevailed 7-5, 6-1 over Christian Pineda and Dylan Reid.

St. James put it in the books at No. 2 singles where Andrei Rivera outlasted Ian Barber 6-2, 7-6 (8), at No. 3 singles where Brennan Kern topped Ezra Bennett 6-0, 6-0, and at No. 1 doubles as Vince Brown and Payton Brown beat Quentin Burns and Tyson Henkels 6-4, 6-4.

Despite losing, Barber performed admirably, recovering from a 5-2 second-set deficit to pull into a 5-5 tie.

For Langerud, who had lost eight matches in a row, his win over Wagner -- his first since the spring season opener -- was a huge shot in the arm. The day was very windy, but Langerud handled the wind like a pro.

“I’ve been on a losing streak for a while, and I was starting to lose some confidence,” Langerud said. “Especially because it was so windy, everything kind of added up, ending the losing streak and battling through the conditions.”

Wagner, a left-hander, struggled throughout the match with his serving toss. Langerud, however, whose toss is not as high, had no trouble with his serve. He was also consistently sharp with his ground strokes, using touch and accuracy to maintain control.

“I noticed he had a real high toss. I noticed the high toss, that the wind was gonna push it,” said Langerud. “I shortened it up today, especially. I just went with it. I was hitting it as hard as I can, and it just went in.

“Mr. Marquardt (Worthington’s head coach) said I seem to do well in bad conditions,” Langerud remarked later.


His first match win this year, against a New Ulm opponent, was in cold weather that hovered around 18 degrees.


Worthington, PA at JCC

JACKSON -- Lilly Mahlberg carded a 51 for the Worthington girls on Thursday. Sam Brinkman of Jackson County Central was boys medalist with a 39, and Braxton Thompson of Pipestone Area had a 40.

Tyler Jaycox and Spenser Nickel both had 44s for the WHS boys. JCC won the team event with a 178 total, as Worthington had 185 and Pipestone Area 192.

Maci Farmer led the JCC girls with a 53. Worthington’s Tarren Spartz, Madison Beckmann, Kendall Nixon and Pipestone Area’s Vivian Brockberg all shot 55.

On Friday in the Trojans’ final home meet, the WHS boys defeated Windom Area 173-188. Jaycox fired his first medalist round of the season with a 39, scoring a near-ace on the 150-yard No. 8 hole using a 9-iron. Teammates Drew Dorcey had 49, Andrew Mulder 50 and Nickel 50.

Landon Pillatzki and Alex Cory hit 43s for Windom.


For the girls, Mahlberg shot a medalist round of 46, her best of the season. Kendall Nixon’s 48 was her best of the year. Nixon and Spartz both shot 51.

Ada Lund had a 50 for Windom.

The Trojans shot a 196 as a team, just one stroke off their season’s best. Windom Area did not have a complete team.


Worthington 14, Windom 1

WINDOM -- In five innings, Worthington pounded Windom Area as pitcher Haley Grimmius allowed just one unearned run in the first inning. The Eagles had just two hits in the game.

Grimmius opened the game with a home run and also doubled and tripled for three RBIs. Bailey Ponto was 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Marin Pederson had three hits and Hannah McNab had two with three runs and two stolen bases.

Worthington has three games to play today (Saturday, May 14) at the Jackson County Central Tournament.

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