College athletes roundup: Former Elk state champ Baker caps strong college career at Drury

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Dwight Baker, 2009 state diving champion for Elk River, has completed a successful college career at Drury University in Missouri.

Baker made Division III All-America three times in one-meter diving, placing eighth twice (including this year) and fifth once. He holds New South Conference records in both one-meter and three-meter diving. He helped Drury win the D-III national team title all four years (they’ve got nine straight overall).

Dwight Baker
Dwight Baker

Baker will get his degree in four years with a physics major and math minor. He  plans to take a two-year engineering program at University of Missouri.

Baker told the Star News he’s “100 percent satisfied” with his college diving career. He added that he’ll take “at least three years off before doing anything related to diving again.”

Baker was pleased that the Elks have another good diver in sophomore Andrew Bronstheyn, who placed fifth at state this year. “I talk to Andrew and his mom on Facebook,” said Baker, “and dived with him last summer.”

Georgia diver Ryan earns trip to nationals

Laura Ryan
Laura Ryan

Laura Ryan, University of Georgia junior diver from Elk River, qualified for the NCAA nationals by winning the 3-meter springboard Monday at the Zone B meet in Knoxville, Tenn. Ryan, who will be one of 17 Bulldogs at nationals March 21-23 in Indianapolis, transferred this year to Georgia from Indiana. With Indiana, she won the Big Ten 1-meter title her freshman year, and at nationals last season placed eight in 3-meter and 12th in 1-meter.



More college athletes news

Emma Bates, Boise State junior runner from Elk River, placed 14th in the NCAA Division I indoor meet in the 5,000 meters on March 8 at University of Arkansas. Bates, who held ninth place midway through, finished in 16:08.56, after posting a career-best 15:50.78 at regionals in Seattle. She placed 12th at outdoor nationals in the same event last June.

Alexius Schutt
Alexius Schutt

Alexius Schutt, junior goaltender from Elk River on the Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, CT) Division I hockey team, had an 8-8-1 record in 17 games, a 3.20 goals-against, and a .920 save percentage which ranked 20th in the nation. She made the all-tournament team at the DoubleTree Holiday Classic in Vermont when she stopped 64 of 65 shots in two games. She got SHU student-athlete of the week Jan.13. The Pioneers were 18-12-2 overall.

Ethan Lunning,  St. Olaf freshman track-and-field athlete from Zimmerman, placed fourth in the shot put with 14.93 meters (49 feet) at the MIAC indoor meet in Northfield on March 1, helping the Oles place second in the meet.

Jessie DeZiel, University of Nebraska sophomore gymnast from Spectrum High School and Rogers, tied for first all-around in a Minnesota four-team meet with 39.475 on March 9 and won Iowa State’s Masters Classic with a career-best 39.675 on Feb. 22. She shared the Big Ten gymnast of the week award (her second this year) with Joanna Sampson of Michigan.

Brittany DeZiel, UW-Stout junior gymnast (Jessie’s sister), also from Spectrum High School and Rogers, has qualified for Division III nationals in all-around. DeZiel and four teammates will compete March 23 at UW-Whitewater. DeZiel, averaging 37.169 this season, tied for ninth place last year at nationals.

Brendan O'Connell
Brendan O’Connell

Brendan O’Connell, St. Thomas senior tennis player from Elk River, was named MIAC player of the week on March 5, after winning at one-singles and two-doubles in a 7-2 victory over Macalester.