Sports briefs: Hasz sisters to add one more year to standout careers with Gophers

Local golfers continue impressive summers.

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Alexandria’s Bethany (left) and Megan Hasz are all smiles after both ran indoor 5K personal records in Boston during December of 2019. The Hasz sisters will use an extra year of athletic eligibility for the 2021-22 school year granted to them and other athletes by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Contributed photo / Gopher Athletics)

Alexandria natives Megan and Bethany Hasz have both announced their intent to return to the University of Minnesota for one more season.

Both were redshirt seniors for the Gophers’ running programs this past school year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA has granted an extra year of competition for athletes who want to return to school with their programs. In addition to success competitively in cross country and track and field, the Hasz sisters earned national and Big Ten academic honors this past year.

Bethany announced her decision to return on July 9 through a University of Minnesota release. On July 28, the school announced that Megan too will be back with the Gophers for the 2021-22 cross country and track and field seasons.

"I've loved my time as a Gopher, so I chose to take the opportunity to spend another year doing what I love with this amazing team," Megan said in the release on "We have built a really solid group over the last few years. I'm excited to be a part of it for a little longer and see what we can do."
The Hasz sisters helped the Gophers to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in the fall of 2020. Megan placed 114th overall at the championship and was fifth on the team with a time of 21:37.7 in the 6,000-meter run.

Megan had a setback with a foot injury before the Big Ten Outdoor Championship that ended her spring track season. She is feeling better and is back training again ahead of this fall.


Bethany is coming off a banner season for the Gophers. She earned two First-Team All-American honors in track and field after finishing second in the NCAA indoor 5000-meter race and third in the outdoor 5000-meter championship.

That was in addition to winning three individual Big Ten championships in cross country, the indoor 3000-meter race and the outdoor 10,000-meter race. Bethany was eighth individually at the 2020 cross country championship with a time of 20:25.2. That’s the second best finish by a Gopher at the NCAA Championship in program history.

That all earned her the Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year Award.

"After finishing fifth at the national cross country meet in the 2020-21 season, I think our team has the potential for even bigger things, which is why I decided to come back for another year as a Gopher," Bethany said. "We're going into next year with a ton of momentum and an awesome culture, and I'm also looking forward to competing on our home track for the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championship."

  • Alexandria’s Braeden Sladek continued his impressive summer by placing second at the Minnesota Golf Association Junior Boys’ Championship that ran July 26-27 at the Pine to Palm Course in Detroit Lakes.

Alexandria's Braeden Sladek tees off at the Class AAA state tournament on June 16, 2021. Sladek has had a busy summer that recently included tying for second at the Minnesota Golf Association Junior Boys' Championship after he shot 7-under par through two rounds at the Pine to Palm Course in Detroit Lakes July 26-27. (Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press)

Sladek finished tied for second at the championship with three other players as he shot a 7-under par 135. The soon-to-be junior in high school carded rounds of 66 and 69. That included 11 birdies throughout his two rounds.

Mason Roloff of TPC Twin Cities won the title with an 11-under par 131 after shooting rounds of 65 and 66. Roloff, a junior at Spring Lake Park High School this past season, had just two bogeys over 36 holes around his 13 birdies.


Sladek’s younger brother, Ashton Sladek, and fellow Alexandria teammates Carver Larson and Bennett Olsen also competed in the championship.

Larson (71, 85 - 156) and Olsen (81, 75 - 156) tied for 88th. Ashton Sladek tied for 113th out of 143 players after shooting a two-day 161 (78, 83).

Sean Lehman of the Alexandria Golf Club tied for 12th as one of 20 players who shot under par in Detroit Lakes. He finished at 2-under with a 140 (71, 69).

  • Just like in the men’s field , the MGA Women’s Amateur Championship featured plenty of local golfers competing.

The women’s tournament ran July 26-28 where Red Wing native and University of Missouri junior Sophia Yoemans won with a three-day score of 212 (69, 72, 71). Yoemans, the 2017 Women’s Division champion at the Resorters Tournament in Alexandria, chipped in for birdie on the 18th hole during her third round to tie Taylor Ledwein of New Prague and force a playoff. Yoemans made par on the second playoff hole to win it at the Island View Golf Club in Waconia.

Osakis native Alayna Eldred, who transferred from the University of Minnesota to Ferris State University in Michigan for her sophomore season this past school year, finished tied for 15th at the MGA Championship. Eldred shot rounds of 72, 80 and 77 for a 229.

Alexandria’s Hannah Boraas also competed and finished tied for 37th. The soon-to-be junior in high school shot a 238 (78, 78, 82), while Alexandria senior Cora Larson tied for 29th with a 235 (74, 83, 78). Alexandria native Bridget Amundson also played and shot a 240 (79, 80, 81) to tie for 46th out of the 88 players in the field.

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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