Tribune notebook: Willmar basketball player honored by CLC

Jan. 9—Willmar girls basketball player Kenedee Salonek has been playing well for the Cardinals, who have emerged as a potential top-three team in Section 8AAA.

The senior forward had 30 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and four steals in wins last week over Detroit Lakes (55-48) and Rocori (52-48). The win over DL likely pushes Willmar past the Lakers when seedings are announced in 8AAA in March.

The effort also earned Salonek Central Lakes Conference Performer of the Week honors.

Salonek was the only Willmar athlete honored this week by the CLC. Other honorees were:

* Alexandria girls hockey player Jersey Severson, boys swimmer Eric Peterson and gymnast Kira Johnson;

* Brainerd boys hockey players Kalvin Stengrim and Brady Jonson, girls basketball player Mya Tautges, boys Nordic skier Lance Hastings and wrestler Shane Carlson;

* St. Cloud girls hockey player Abby Stevens and boys swimmer William Stadther; and

* Sartell gymnast Cami Weber.

Last week, Willmar girls hockey player Avery Olson, boys basketball player Avery Christensen, boys Nordic skier Timothy Halvorson and gymnast Lyndi Koosman all earned CLC Performer of the Week honors.

Olson, a junior forward, had a goal and two assists in a victory. Christensen, a sophomore guard, averaged 20 points per game in three games along with 10 assists. Halvorson placed 13th in a meet at Andes Tower Hills. Koosman placed first in the vault with a score of 9.475 points and the floor with a 9.325 and took first in all-around scoring with a 36.575 in a meet against St. Cloud.

* Former Willmar star Bailey Olson has four goals and four assists in 14 games this season for the University of Wisconsin-River Falls women's hockey team. Olson, a junior business administration major, is a plus-7 when she's on the ice. She has two penalties for four minutes for the Falcons, who are 3-0 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and 14-0 overall. UW-River Falls is ranked No. 1 in the nation in NCAA Division III, according to PairWise Rankings.

* Former River Lakes star Brooke Lemke has three goals and three assists in 11 games for the UW-River Falls women's hockey team. She's a junior forward for the Falcons.

* Kelly Mahlum, who was the West Central Tribune's Hengstler-Ranweiler winner in 1989 as an athlete at Danube-Renville-Sacred Heart, is now the deputy athletic director and senior woman administrator at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Mahlum has been St. Olaf's women's basketball coach the past three seasons, leading the Oles to a 14-12 record, including an 11-11 mark in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, in 2022-23. She's a former College of St. Benedict star has coaching stops in her resume at Wittenberg, Bard College, Colorado College, Greensboro College and Randolph-Macon College, as well as being a graduate assistant at St. Cloud State.