Sports 2020: Two Owatonna Legends Lost
Two men who made a great impact on Owatonna passed away in 2020. Ken Wilcox touched many aspects of the community with his work through many local civic groups. He was instrumental in bringing indoor ice to Owatonna with the Four Seasons Centre and served as the on-air color commentator for hockey broadcasts for many years with Todd Hale on KRFO. He was 85 years old.
Noel Jenke is considered one of the most accomplished athletes to ever play for Owatonna High School. He lettered in football, basketball, and baseball for OHS in addition to playing hockey through the park and rec program in the days before high school hockey in Owatonna. Jenke also played hockey and football for the Golden Gophers before playing minor league baseball for the Boston Red Sox and pro football for the Vikings, Falcons, and Packers. Jenke was 73.
2020 featured many accomplishments for individuals. Each is quick to thank and credit those they work with and play with to make these things happen.
- Lyndsay Bangs, OHS Class of '21, continued her dominance at the state gymnastics meet, bringing home several more medals early in 2020.
- Carsyn Brady, OHS runner, qualified for her second straight state cross country meet, but the state event was not held.
- Mary Davis, OHS wrestling supporter and wife of longtime Owatonna coach Scot Davis, was inducted into the MN Chapter of the National Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
- Charley Elwood, Medford wrestler, won his second straight state title, as a freshman.
- Sydney Gilliland, Triton Class of '20, set the school's all-time assists record.
- Chad Gimbel, Blooming Prairie football coach, was named the Minnesota Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year in early 2020 after BP won their first state football title in 2019.
- Derek Johnson, OHS grad and former state wrestling champ, joined the Region One Mayo Civic Center Wrestling Hall of Fame.
- Emma Kniefel, Medford Class of '20, set the school's all-time scoring record.
- Colton Krell, BP student-athlete, won the first-ever state wrestling title for the Awesome Blossoms and Westfield Razorbacks. He committed to wrestle for Division I NDSU.
- Lyndsay Macy, OHS grad and former D-I hockey player, accepted a job as the women's hockey coach at Finlandia University in Michidgan.
- Preston Meier, OHS runner, qualified for his second straight state cross country meet, although the meet was not held.
- Logan Norrid, OHS swimmer, continues to rewrite the school's record book, and qualified for the state meet for the third straight year. The state competition, however, was not held.
- Kendra Petersohn, Triton Class of '20, set the school's all-time scoring record.
- Peyton Robb, OHS grad and multi-time state wrestling champ, had a stellar season with Nebraska.
- Andrew Stelter, OHS and University of MN grad, played professional football with Los Angeles of the XFL before the pandemic shut the league down.
- Willie VonRuden, Medford Class of '20, capped his prep wrestling career with a state title and his third straight top three finish.
- Grace Wolfe, OHS Class of '21, has committed to play D-I college hockey at St. Cloud State University.
2020 in Local Sports: Champs All Around
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