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Sports briefs: What's happened, what's next

swimming

Stingrays preparing for state
WORTHINGTON -- State beckons for the Worthington Stingrays swim team.

After 44 swimmers competed last weekend in Austin sectionals where nine local competitors logged seasonal best times, the Rays now begin practicing for the 2022 state meet set for Sunday, Feb. 20, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

At state, two pools operate simultaneously, one for girls and one for boys. There are two heats of each event with a total of 16 swimmers or relays in each one.

Here are the names of Stingray swimmers who qualified for state (some others may yet qualify to fill open spots):

Girls: Hope Almodovar, Olivia Almodovar, Lello Balda, Nahili Butuje, Zoie Chanthorath, Emily Clerk, Emily Dahlquist, Marah Darling, Elliot Espenson, Holly Fick, Brooklyn Flaherty, Grace Gaalswyk, Martha Garcia-Fonseca, Anna Gordon, Roselynn Hartshorn, Annabelle Kremer, Aria Larson, Lily McGraw, Hannah McNab, Kamea Obermoller, Claire Schultz, Quinn Steve, Aracely Valle, Lilyana Valle, Maria Valle, Sophia Winters.

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Boys: Lello Balda, Josue Berumen, Gatlin Bos, Lance Gordon, Liam Gordon, Luke Gordon, Evan Hansberger, Wyatt Kirchner, Preston Kumi, Aiden Lichter, Liam McGraw, Keagan Spittle.

Section wrestling next week
Area Minnesota high school wrestling teams are positioning themselves for their upcoming section team tournaments. In Section 3AA, the fourth-seeded Worthington Trojans will compete in first-round action Thursday against fifth-seeded Redwood Valley in Fairmont, with the winner taking on top-seeded Fairmont/Martin County West later Thursday in the quarterfinals. The Section 3A team tournament also begins on Thursday.

The Jackson County Central Huskies seem more than ready for the 3A competition. They are the No. 2-ranked team in the state and on Thursday dominated three opponents while hosting a triangular. Opponents will steadily improve over the course of tournament-play, but on Thursday JCC rocked Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove 57-9, Madelia-Truman 83-0 and Red Rock Central 71-0.

Worthington is still trying to get in a groove. After what Coach Kirk Feit called an underwhelming performance Tuesday in Worthington against St. James Area and Adrian/Ellsworth, the Trojans lost twice on Thursday, 66-9 to New Ulm and 61-12 to state-ranked Fairmont/Martin County West in Fairmont.

Trojans exit Section 3A girls hockey
MARSHALL -- Although the Marshall Tigers had the higher seed (3) to Worthington’s six, going into Thursday’s Section 3A girls hockey opener, it was anyone’s guess who would win. The teams split during the regular season, with Marshall winning 6-0 in Marshall in early January and Worthington winning 3-0 in Worthington on Feb. 4.

This time, the Tigers scored once in every period to prevail by a single goal.

Aubrey Metheny scored the first and the third goal, and Leah Schaefer scored the second. Metheny’s second goal broke a 2-2 tie and was scored at the 10:03 mark of the third period.

Both of Worthington’s goals were scored in the second period, the first by senior defenseman MaKenna Nickel and the second by senior forward Kessey Aljets. Aljets and Peyton Nickel were credited with assists.

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Marshall out-shot Worthington 33-13 in the game.

The Trojans’ season ends with a 5-20 record. Marshall, 13-13-1, moves on to play second-seeded Luverne Saturday in Luverne at 1 p.m.

Lady Jays stumble in Fergus Falls
FERGUS FALLS -- The red-hot Minnesota West Community and Technical College women’s basketball team was thrown under a bucket of cold water Wednesday night, losing to host MState-Fergus Falls 87-68.

The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak and dropped the Lady Jays out of first place in the MCAC Southern Division. Rochester, which defeated Riverland 68-56 Wednesday, moved to 10-1 in divisional play with its victory while Minnesota West, now 13-11 overall, falls to 9-2.

Tia Murray scored 22 points for West, and also pulled down nine rebounds. Macie Werdel had nine points, Madisyn Huisman had eight, and Jayden Zebe and Hunter Garcia both had seven. Mackensie Post contributed three assists.

More sports action
On Monday, Windom Area and the Worthington Trojans boys hockey teams go head-to-head in a pre-Section 3A tournament showdown in Worthington, beginning at 7 p.m.

The Section 3A girls hockey tournament continues on Tuesday as top-ranked New Ulm and second-ranked Luverne get off their byes and compete in the semifinals. Luverne will host Marshall at 1 p.m.

Also Tuesday, the Worthington High School boys basketball team is at Jackson County Central.

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On Wednesday, the Minnesota West women’s and men’s basketball teams return to the courts, with games at Worthington against Ridgewater (the women at 5:30 p.m. and the men at 7:30 p.m.)

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