The boys’ high school tennis meet in Worthington on Thursday afternoon was abruptly scrapped before 5.30pm as sirens sounded the alarm for a severe thunderstorm coming from the east.
The St. James area held a 3-2 lead, but two games were still up in the air – the fourth in singles and the second in doubles. It will be picked up from there, weather and schedule permitting, on another date.
And so it was in southwestern Minnesota. Events started, sometimes finished on time. Here’s a look at some Thursday-Friday events involving the Worthington Trojans.
St. James at Worthington (susp.)
Alec Langerud looked very sharp for the Trojans in singles No. 1, winning a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Preston Wagner of the Saints. WHS also won the No. 3 doubles, where Matthew Becker and Evan Hansberger won 7-5, 6-1 over Christian Pineda and Dylan Reid.
St. James put him in the books at No. 2 in singles where Andrei Rivera outlasted Ian Barber 6-2, 7-6(8), at No. 3 in singles where Brennan Kern edged Ezra Bennett 6- 0, 6-0 and at No. 1 double as Vince Brown and Payton Brown beat Quentin Burns and Tyson Henkels 6-4, 6-4.
Despite the loss, Barber performed admirably, recovering from a 5-2 deficit in the second set to find themselves tied at 5-5.
For Langerud, who had lost eight games in a row, his victory over Wagner – his first since the spring season opener – was a huge blow in the arm. It was a very windy day, but Langerud handled the wind like a pro.
“I was on a losing streak for a while and I was starting to lose confidence,” Langerud said. “Especially because it was so windy, it all kind of added together, ending the losing streak and battling the conditions.”
Wagner, a southpaw, struggled throughout the game with his service throw. Langerud, however, whose throw is not as high, had no problem with his serve. He was also always precise with his groundstrokes, using touch and precision to maintain control.
“I noticed he had a real high throw. I noticed the high throw, that the wind was going to push him,” Langerud said. I was hitting him as hard as I could, and he just walked in.
“Mr. Marquardt (Worthington’s head coach) said I seemed to be doing well in poor conditions,” Langerud remarked later.
His first match victory this year, against an opponent from New Ulm, came in cold weather that hovered around 18 degrees.
Worthington, Pennsylvania at JCC
JACKSON — Lilly Mahlberg recorded a 51 for the Worthington Girls on Thursday. Jackson County Central’s Sam Brinkman was the boys’ medalist with a 39, and Pipestone Area’s Braxton Thompson had a 40.
Tyler Jaycox and Spenser Nickel both had 44 for the WHS boys. JCC won the team event with a total of 178, while Worthington had 185 and Pipestone Area 192.
Maci Farmer led the JCC girls with a 53. Tarren Spartz of Worthington, Madison Beckmann, Kendall Nixon and Vivian Brockberg of Pipestone Area all shot 55.
In the Trojans’ last home game on Friday, the WHS boys beat Windom Area 173-188. Jaycox shot his first medal-winning 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 43 seconds for Windom.
On the girls’ side, Mahlberg shot a medal-winning round of 46, her best of the season. Kendall Nixon’s 48 was her best of the year. Nixon and Sparta both shot 51.
Ada Lund had a 50 for Windom.
The Trojans shot a 196 as a team, just one shot off their season best. Windom Area did not have a full team.
Worthington 14, Windom 1
WINDOM – In five innings, Worthington beat 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.