Area athletes roundup: Burnham honored at Northwestern-St. Paul
This is a look at special honors current area athletes have received and how some area athletes are doing at their respective colleges or in their athletic careers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any more detailed information on the athletes listed or the names of other athletes that you would like to see included in future publications.
• Alexandria native Gideon Burnham helped the University of Northwestern-St. Paul football team to an historic season as the Eagles made their first ever NCAA playoff appearance this past fall.
Burnham, a 2012 Jefferson High School graduate, was one of the top reasons why. He was named an All-National Christian College Athletic Association player after the season. As a junior linebacker, Burnham was second on the Eagles in tackles with 74, including a team-high 15 for loss. He had six sacks and three interceptions on his way to helping his team to a 9-2 overall record.
Northwestern ran into Division III power St. Thomas in the opening round of the playoffs, where the Eagles lost 43-0. Burnham had a team-high 11 tackles in that game.
Northwestern won the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference with an 8-1 league record. That helped the Eagles wrap up a lot of postseason UMAC awards, including head coach Kirk Talley being named the league's 2016 Coach of the Year. Burnham was first team all-conference on defense.
It's part of a long list of awards for the Alexandria native. Burnham added the Special Teams MVP Award to that list after the UNW football banquet. He also earned the team's biggest honor, the Chub Reynold's Award as the UNW football MVP.
• Alexandria Area High School graduate Sara Wegner got her college track and field career off to a good start as she won the 600-meter race for Bethel at the Macalester meet on Jan. 20.
Wegner, a freshman for the Royals, won in a time of 1:41.42, just in front of her senior teammate Nicole Balzer in 1:41.43. Wegner also helped the 4x400 relay team to a second-place finish in that season-opening meet.
The Royals hosted the Gene Glader Classic on Feb. 4 as Wegner made her debut in the 200-meter dash and took third in 27.67 seconds.
• Alexandria's Jude Pelowski has worked his way onto the Division III University of Wisconsin-Stout track and field team as a freshman for the Blue Devils.
The 2016 AAHS graduate is listed as a hurdler on the roster but raced in the 400-meter dash at the Warren Bowlus Open in Menomonie, Wisconsin, Jan. 27-28 where he finished in a time of 55.78 seconds, good for 23rd place overall.
Pelowski was 15th in the 60-meter dash in 7.47 seconds at the Stout Open on Jan. 21. He also raced the 200-meter dash in 24.47 seconds (18th) that meet.
• Osakis native Lauren Silbernick was recently honored for her work in the classroom after having a nice season on the softball field during the 2016 campaign.
Silbernick was one of seven players from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul who earned Scholar Athletes by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. To earn the award, a student-athlete must have 3.50 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale in an academic year.
Silbernick led the Eagles in innings pitched (153.2) in 2016 and posted a 3.01 ERA. She accumulated a 12-12 record with three shutouts, 15 complete games and 46 strikeouts.
• Brandon-Evansville junior Colton Sherman has made a name for himself as one of the top high school trap shooters in Minnesota, and he was recognized again on Jan. 12 when the Minnesota Trapshooting Association announced the 2016 all-state teams.
Sherman was named a captain on the Junior all-state team. Of the hundreds of Minnesota shooters who compete in Amateur Trapshooting Association, only 56 are chosen to represent the state in the six team categories of Men, Women, Veteran, Senior Veterans, Juniors and Sub-juniors.
Sherman is a member of Brandon-Evansville's trapshooting team that competes in the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League. He jumped onto the scene in the state tournament as an eighth grader in 2014 when he finished second by busting 98 of 100 clays.
Sherman finished the 2016 spring season as the seventh best shooter in the state by average (24.3 of a possible 25) out of more than 10,000 participants in the league. That put him into the individual state championship shoot among the top 100 shooters in the league, where he finished 18th on a windy day at the Minneapolis Gun Club in June.
• Alexandria's Logan Doyle has found his place at the Division II level with Northern State University.
The former Cardinal dominated for the Wolves in an 85-80 overtime win against Minnesota-Crookston on Feb. 10. He finished with 23 points, 20 rebounds and six blocks after shooting 9-of-13 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. He turned around the night and grabbed 17 rebounds and scored four points in a 63-59 loss to Bemidji State.
Doyle has upped his season averages to 14.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game through 26 contests. That's third on the team in scoring and first in rebounds.