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How they’re doing now: Vickstrom sets Concordia records

Former Cardinal Ben Vickstrom now runs for the Concordia College track and field team. (Contributed)

This is a look at how some area athletes are doing at their respective colleges or in their athletic careers. Similar pieces will run periodically through the fall, winter and spring seasons.

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Email with any more detailed information on the athletes listed or the names of other athletes who are playing college sports that you would like to see included in future publications.

* Alexandria graduate and current Concordia Cobbers junior Ben Vickstrom set the bar pretty high for himself in the upcoming track and field season after breaking a couple school records at the season-opening meet in Fargo.

Vickstrom wowed those in attendance at the Bison Classic on January 18 by breaking the Cobbers’ school record in the 60-meter and 200-meter races. The 60-meter record had stood since 2009 and the 200-meter mark was in the books for 13 years.

Vickstrom started the day by setting the new mark in the 60 during the prelims after he ran a time of 7.10 to beat the old record of 7.18 held by Xavier Carroll. Vickstrom then took it a step further in the finals by lowering that time to 7.03. That was good for a second-place finish in the event.

The former Cardinal then turned his attention to the longer 200-meter race later in the day. He finished as the runner-up there, too, crossing the finish line in 22.55 seconds. That beat the previous Concordia record of 22.80 set by John Andan in 2000.

Making the records even more impressive are the fact that Vickstrom didn’t qualify for the finals at the MIAC Indoor Championship Meet in the 60-meter dash and he didn’t even compete in the 200-meter race.

* Former Parkers Prairie star and current University of Minnesota senior Sari Noga continues to play a vital role for the Gopher women’s basketball team (13-8, 2-5 Big Ten) this season.

Noga, a team captain, averages 7.4 points per game and is one of five players to average at least seven points for the Gophers. She has started all 21 games for the Gophers and is hitting at a 39-percent clip from beyond the arc. Her 4.2 rebounds per game as of Tuesday morning are also third on the team. She has proven almost impossible to sit down as she averages a team-leading 35.3 minutes per game.

* Caitlin Mahoney of Alexandria is in her 13th season with the University of Minnesota Men’s Basketball Program and her eighth year as an executive assistant.

Prior to joining the basketball staff, Mahoney was an Early Childhood Special Education teacher in Robbinsdale. During her college career, she spent five seasons with the Golden Gopher basketball office as a student office assistant.

As the executive assistant, Mahoney oversees all of the daily operations of the Golden Gopher basketball office. She coordinates first-year coach Richard Pitino’s schedule, including his travel, media responsibilities and speaking engagements.

Mahoney serves as a liaison to the basketball program for the alumni group, booster group, marketing department and several other organizations in which Coach Pitino is an active member. She coordinates purchases and special projects, plans annual team and family events, manages the budget, and assists in team travel arrangements.

Mahoney is a 1999 graduate of Jefferson High School in Alexandria. She currently resides in Plymouth.

* Barrett native Guy Kalland is in his 30th season as the men’s basketball coach of the Carleton College Knights in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) this season.

Kalland coached at Herman and Eagle Valley before moving to Carleton. He registered his 400th career win last season, making him one of only three active coaches in the MIAC with more than 300 wins at his respective institution. Kalland earned MIAC Coach-of-the-Year honors in 2006 and 2011.

He entered this season with a career record of 408-336 at Carleton. That makes him the school’s all-time leader in coaching victories. He has led the Knights to 20 winning seasons. His team currently sits at 7-10 overall and 5-7 in the MIAC after a 62-48 loss to Hamline University on January 25.

(Former Echo Press sports editor Larry Holverson also contributed to this piece)

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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