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Holcomb, Gorman named Male, Female Athletes of Year at Rochester Sports Banquet

Awards were handed out on Monday at the Rochester Sports Banquet

Cayden Holcomb and Corey Koskie.jpg
Rochester Mayo senior Cayden Holcomb, right, poses with former Minnesota Twins player Corey Koskie at the Rochester Sports Banquet on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022 at Rochester International Event Center. Holmcomb was named the Male Athlete of the Year while Koskie was the guest speaker at the event.
Guy N. Limbeck / Post Bulletin
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The awards were announced on Monday at the Rochester Sports Banquet.

Here is a list of this year's winners and others nominated for awards.

RELATED:
Hayfield's perfect baseball squad named Team of the Year

Team of the Year

Winner: Hayfield baseball.

The Vikings won the Class A state title with a perfect 26-0 record. After winning the Section 1A title, they outscored two foes by a combined 32-1 en route to victories in the Class A state quarterfinal and semifinal round. Hayfield then rallied past Minneota 7-4 to win the state title game at Target Field.

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Other finalists:

• Hayfield boys basketball. The Vikings team won the Class A state crown and finished with a 21-4 record.

• Chatfield football. The Gophers were without standout Sam Backer for most of the second half of the state semifinals and for the state finals, but persevered to win the Class AA state champion. The Gophers finished with a 13-1 record.

• Lake City girls golf. The Tigers won the Class AA state championship, the team's first ever in girls golf.

• St. Charles softball team. The underdog Saints navigated through a tough Section 1AA field to win a section title. They went on to finish second in the state in Class AA. The Saints finished 24-5, fall to LeSueur-Henderson 7-4 in the title game.

Coach of the Year

Winner: Jeff Johnson, Chatfield football.

Johnson led the Gophers to the Class AA football state title with a 13-1 record. The Gophers had to overcome the setback of standout Sam Backer, who was ejected in the state semifinals and had to miss much of the semifinal game and all of the championship game.

Other finalists:

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• Kasey Krekling, Hayfield baseball. Krekling guided the Vikings to a perfect 26-0 record and to a Class A baseball state title.

• Chris Pack, Hayfield boys basketball. Pack guided the Vikings to the Class A boys basketball state title.

• Steve Randgaard, Lake City girls golf. Randgaard led the Tigers to the Class AA girls golf state title.

• Matt Northrup, Pine Island track and field. Northrup guided the Panthers to the Class A True Team boys track and field state title.

Female Athlete of the Year

Winner: Sawyer Gorman, Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa gymnast.

Gorman was the Class A state champion in the floor exercise as a senior. She was also third on the vault, ninth on bars and fourth in the all-around competition.

Other finalists:

• Avery Steffen, Zumbrota-Mazeppa softball. Steffen was Class AA first-team All-State in 2021 as she batting .540 with 11 home runs and was also 15-3 with a 1.03 ERA as a pitcher.

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• Lindsey Root, St. Charles track and field. Root was a state qualifier in four track and field events. She placed third in the state in the long jump and sixth in the 200-meter dash.

• Maggie Hanzel, Lourdes hockey. Hanzel wrapped up her stellar Lourdes hockey career as one of the top scoring defenseman in the state. She finished the 2020-21 season with 38 points and is continuing her college career at Division I Boston University.

• Katie Lembrecht, Byron track/soccer/basketball. Lembrecht was a standout in three sports for Byron and was a state qualifier in multiple events in track and field.

Male Athlete of the Year

Winner: Cayden Holcomb, Mayo football/basketball/track/baseball.

Holcomb's top sport is football where he helped guide Mayo to a Class AAAAA state berth. As a wide receiver, he broke a school record for most receptions in a season and a career. He was also a state qualifier in track and was part of the 4x100 relay that placed third.

Other finalists:

• Brody Lamb, Dodge County hockey player. Lamb guided Dodge County to a runner-up state finish in Class A in hockey while leading the state in scoring with 52 goals and 87 points. He was drafted by the New York Rangers of the NHL and is a University of Minnesota commit.

• Easton Fritcher, Hayfield baseball/basketball. Fritcher Hayfield win state titles in both baseball and basketball. His top sport is baseball where he has committed to play at Minnesota. He hit .543 with eight homers and was also 11-0 with a 1.55 ERA as a pitcher.

• Will Tschetter, Stewartville football/basketball/track and field. Tschetter set a school scoring record in basketball and averaged more than 30 points a game as a senior. He is now playing at the University of Michigan. He was the discus state champ in track and field.

• Jarod White, Pine Island track and field/football. White is an elite pole vaulter who won the Class A state title by more than a foot and set a state record in his class in the process.

• Ethan Slaathaug, Hayfield basketball/baseball. Slaathaug helped Hayfield win state titles in both baseball and basketball. His top sport is basketball. He averaged more than 20 points a game and became the school's all-time leading scorer as well as leading the way in the state tournament.

Adaptive Athlete/Team of the Year

Winner: Peyton Gunnarson, Lewiston-Altura track and field. Gunnarson won state titles in two wheelchair events in track.

Other finalists:

• Seth Pack, ZED Zoros bowler. Pack placed third in the state in bowling in the CI Division.

• Rochester Raiders adaptive soccer team. The Raiders placed fourth in the state in the PI Division of adaptive soccer.

Post-secondary Male Athlete of the Year

Winner: Matthew Hurt.

The John Marshall grad wrapped up a two-year career for the Duke's men's basketball team in stellar style. The 6-foot-9 sophomore forward was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team and he was also named the ACC's Most Improve Player. Hurt led Duke in scoring (18.3 points per game) and rebounding (6.2) as a sophomore and declared for the NBA draft following the season. He was not drafted, but he is currently playing for the Memphis Hustle in the G League, a minor-league affiliate for the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA.

Post-secondary Female Athlete of the Year

Winner: Ayoka Lee.

The Byron grad continues her stellar play for the Kansas State women's basketball team. The 6-foot-6 center was named to the All-Big 12 Conference first team for the 2020-21 season an was honorable mention All-American. She is currently having an elite season in 2021-22, averaging a team-best 23.5 and 10.6 rebounds per game. She has set school records this season for more points in a game (43) and most points in a Big 12 Conference game (38).

Guy N. Limbeck is a Rochester native who has been working at a daily newspaper since 1981. He has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Guy at 507-285-7724 or glimbeck@postbulletin.com.
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