PJ's Perspective: Woodbury grad Benedict plays in NCAA softball tourney
Woodbury High School graduate Casey Dittel just completed his senior year at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. The infielder was selected to the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) All-Sportsmanship Team. "We had a good season and were right in it until the last day of the season, and that is a testament to the leadership that all of these players, as well as the other upperclassmen provided during the year," head coach Eddy Morgan said. "You will only be successful if you have good leadership and they did a great job of guiding the team this year. We wouldn't have been in it until the last day without them doing the job the way they did it."
Park sophomore lacrosse player Bailey Aasen is currently seventh in the state in goals scored with 36. She has also recently moved up to third place on Park's all time goals scored list with 64 career goals. She is currently just four goals behind Karisa Land at 68, and 100 goals behind the all-time leader Allie Thalhuber.
The Box Out Breast Cancer Basketball Tournament held Mother's Day Weekend raised nearly $5,000. Minnesota Youth Athletic Services (MYAS), a non-profit company, administers many tournaments throughout the metro area during the spring basketball season. On May 11 and 12, the Box Out Breast Cancer Tournament was held at nine different high schools throughout the metro area including Park, Rosemount and Woodbury High Schools. Over 300 youth teams participated in the first-annual tournament which benefited the Minnesota Breast Cancer Coalition (MNBCC). MNBCC is a non-profit company where all money donated goes directly to funding its legislative and educational advocacies in Minnesota. MNBCC was founded by Christine Norton of Cottage Grove. Funds were raised through the sale of Box Out Breast Cancer T-shirts, donation boxes at each site and a portion of each team's registration fee was donated as well. Together, the teams raised $4975.51 for the MNBCC to help in the fight to end Breast Cancer. Teams were encouraged to wear pink to show their support and many teams made an extra effort to wear pink socks, headbands, and even jerseys.
Park High School senior Mitch Zurn will be attending and playing football at the University of Wisconsin-Stout next fall.
Woodbury 2012 grad Alex Benedict is playing softball for the University of Northern Iowa Panthers. The Panthers recently won the Missouri Valley Conference Championship at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and advanced to the NCAA Regional Tournament. Benedict, a freshman catcher, played well in the fall season but was injured in practice after the holiday break and hasn't been available to play this spring. Northern Iowa's season ended with a 4-1 loss to Stanford in the NCAA tournament. The Panthers earned victory over Tulsa and also fell 4-0 to Nebraska in the NCAA tournament. UNI was 27-26 overall. At Woodbury, Benedict a two-time letter recipient in volleyball and a three-year recipient in softball. She was All-Conference twice and All-Conference honorable mention one time.
Four girls hockey players from inside District 833 were invited to the Reebok Minnesota Hockey High Performance 15 Girls summer camp. Park freshmen defender Danielle Perry and goalie Jordan Scollick, East Ridge forward Anya Hafiz and Woodbury forward Livia Twohig each made the initial cut (from 200 players to 102).
A record-breaking 4,696 participants took part in this year's Minnesota Ironman Bicycle Ride, which ran through Washington County recently.
The cyclists ranged in age from 2 to 84.
"The beauty of cycling in this part of the Cities is that there are relatively flat areas that you can take your kids, as we saw today, and there are some really difficult challenges for trained athletes," said Woodbury's Bob McEnaney, the official coach of the ride. "With almost no time to train outdoors so far this year, I think today's Ironman brought the best out of many of us. It was challenging, but fun. And hey, this is the Minnesota Ironman after all."
As the original Ironman®, this Minnesota bike ride has hosted over 100,000 cyclists in their 46 year history for an exhilarating start to their Spring cycling season. The Minnesota Ironman® Bicycle Ride is a ride for all cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts. They offer short routes for new riders and families, as well as the traditional and more challenging 100-mile option for true Minnesota Ironmen and Ironwomen. This year was the first time the ride went was based in Washington County.