Tribune Notebook: Detroit Lakes is headed to the CLC

Feb. 2—Detroit Lakes is about to become the newest member of the Central Lakes Conference.

The Minnesota State High School League assigned Detroit Lakes to the CLC earlier this week, increasing its official membership to 10 schools, including Willmar, which is an original member. The CLC began as a league in 1977.

The Lakers traditionally have played most of the schools in the CLC in many sports over the years, including Willmar. It has been a member of the Mid-State Conference, which includes schools all quite a bit smaller than Detroit Lakes: Crosby-Ironton (enrollment of 258, according to the MSHSL), Park Rapids (395), Staples-Motley (287) and Aitkin (302).

Of the 10 CLC schools, Detroit Lakes would rank ninth in enrollment with 737, ahead of Fergus Falls (594) and just behind Rocori (797).

Willmar ranks sixth of 10 with 917. Brainerd, at 1,582, is the CLC's largest school.

It's a bit of a haul travel-wise for Willmar, about two-and-a-half hours. But having an even 10 schools helps in scheduling. For instance, there can be all 10 teams playing basketball the same night.

Two former Willmar Cardinals, Nadir Yusif and Jessa Hanson, chase Olympic dreams when they compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials marathon on Saturday in Orlando, Florida.

Yusif is a former Division II All-American who ran for Minnesota State-Moorhead. Hanson is a 2017 Willmar grad and a graduate of Northern Arizona University who competed in the NCAA Division I national cross-country championships during her career.

Willmar's Telilie Lange, Andrew Garcia, Emmie Larson and Mallory Beier have all earned Central Lakes Conference Performer of the Week honors.

Lange averaged 13 points, six rebounds, 2.5 assists and six steals per game for the Cardinals' girls basketball team.

Garcia, a senior on the boys Nordic ski team, had his best finished of the year with a time of 20 minutes, 6 seconds in classical, 18:20.3 in freestyle and 38:26.3 in pursuit.

Larson, a senior on the girls Nordic ski team, placed 23rd at the conference meet with a time of 24:08.8 in classical, 20:31 in freestyle and 44:39.8 in pursuit.

Beier took first place in the vault for the gymnastics team with a lifetime best of 9.35.

School, enrollment

Alexandria, 1,168

Brainerd, 1,582

Detroit Lakes, 737

Fergus Falls, 594

Rocori , 797

St. Cloud Apollo, 895

St. Cloud Tech, 1,109

Sartell, 1,238

Sauk Rapids, 1197

Willmar, 917