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COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: Former Central wrestler Allyssa Johnson wins conference title as freshman

Feb. 26—GRAND FORKS — Former Grand Forks Central standout and current University of Jamestown wrestler Allyssa Johnson won the 155-pound title at the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships last Saturday in Crete, Neb.

Johnson automatically qualifies for the NAIA National Championships, which will be held in Jamestown in March.

Johnson, Grand Forks' first state-sanctioned female wrestling state champion, was a

back-to-back state champion as a junior and senior and nobody scored a point on her as a senior.

Ranked ninth nationally at 155 pounds, Johnson won her first three matches by pin, taking down Avila's Kirsten Bruegel in 1:05, Bailee Hawks of Friends in 2:10 and Olivia Smith of Dakota Wesleyan in 2:00.

Against No. 19 Aspen Barber of Doane in the finals, Johnson won by 10-0 technical fall.

Johnson is now 19-1 on the season, with her only loss a 6-3 decision to Kayla Bednarcik of Saskatchewan, who's a member of the Canada Senior World Team.

Lauren Dosch, a former Grand Forks Red River runner and current athlete at Franciscan University, won the 800 meters at the Presidents Athletic Conference Championships in Youngstown, Ohio, last weekend.

Franciscan is an NCAA Division III catholic university in Steubenville, Ohio.

Dosch's time in the 800 was a PAC Championship record at 2 minutes, 16.15 seconds.

Dosch also ran on Franciscan's 4x400 relay, which set a new PAC record, as well, at 4:07.00.

After becoming a two-time All-Summit League performer at the 2024 Summit League Indoor Championships, UND thrower Kenna Curry earned the title of Field Championship MVP.

On Friday, Curry won the gold medal in the weight throw with a toss of 69-2 (21.08m). It was the first Summit League indoor title of Curry's career. In the competition on Friday, she had to come from behind, as she did not have the top mark in the event until her fifth throw.

Curry returned to the Shelley Ellig Indoor Track and Field Facility on Saturday and gained a silver medal in the shot put with a toss of 50-6 (15.39m). Her throw tied her PR mark, which set the school record at the UND Open earlier this season.

The Elk Point, S.D., native was responsible for 18 of UND's 120 points scored at the championship.

This season, Curry broke the school record in the shot put (50-6, 15.39m) at the UND Open and put down the No. 2 weight throw mark in school history (71-6 1/4, 21.80m) at the SDSU Indoor Classic. Curry's mark in the weight throw currently ranks No. 15 in the NCAA.

After scoring 30 of UND's 120 points at the Summit League Indoor Championships, distance runner Yonca Kutluk was named the Track Championship MVP.

Kutluk was a three-time All-Summit League performer at the meet and a gold medalist in the 3,000 meters, mile and 5,000 meters.

On Friday evening, Kutluk won the title in the 3,000 meters with a time of 9:27.20. She finished over six seconds quicker than anyone on the track. It was the first All-Summit League honor of her career.

Kutluk added two more gold medals to her name on Saturday. She opened the afternoon with the mile and claimed the crown with a PR time of 4:46.72. It was the closest race of the meet for Kutluk, with her having to outlast a surging Ella Byers (4:47.07) of South Dakota in the final 100 meters to win the title. With her time of 4:46.72, Kutluk not only won the title but also broke the mile school record of Becky Leppard, who set it at 4:49.35 at the NCAA Division II Championships in 2001.

The Turkish native completed the trifecta towards the end of the meet, becoming victorious in the 5,000 meters with a time of 16:50.44. She crossed the finish line five seconds faster than the rest of the competition.

Kutluk rewrote the UND record books this indoor season and holds the school records in the 3,000 meters (9:22.35), mile (4:46.72), 5,000 meters (16:07.70) and as a member of the distance medley relay (11:40.44).

Mayville State's Jordan Zrust was named the North Star Athletic Association Women's Basketball Player of the Year, while Darren Jones of the Comets won the award on the men's side, the league announced Monday.

Zrust, a senior from Buffalo, Minn., averaged 20.5 points per game, while shooting 52.4 percent from the field, 39.3 percent from 3-point range and 87.3 percent from the foul line. She also had 8.8 rebounds per game.

"Jordan has had another great seaseon for our team," Mayville State women's coach Dennis Hutter said. "To be named back-to-back player of the year is an amazing individual accomplishment on a team that captured a conference championship as well. She has been a rock for us all year, and I am very proud of her and her accomplishments."

Teammate Mackenzie Hughes, a Thompson, N.D., native, was also named First Team All-Conference. Jes Mertens, a Devils Lake native, was Second Team All-Conference.

Darren Jones, a junior from San Bernardino, Calif., was also named the league's Newcomer of the Year.

He averaged 15.5 points and 7.6 rebounds while shooting 52.4 percent from the field.

"Jones' length and athleticism helps us out on both ends this year," Comets men's coach Brandon McGruder said. "There's times he guarded the opposing teams points guard and center in the same game. We look to build on his success next year."

Teammate Thomas Gieske, a senior from Sartell, Minn., was First Team All-Conference. He averaged 16.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.