By Mike Granlund
For The Telegram
The week of May 13, 2019, will go down in history for Northwestern High School as all five Heart O’ North Conference spring teams won championships within a three-day span.
The Tiger boys track team, behind Michael Knaack’s wins at 100, 200 and 400 meters, won a team title at Chetek on Tuesday, May 14, with Hayward finishing second 140.5 to 131.5.
The girls track and field team, at the same site, had only three first-place finishes out of 18 events, but used superior depth to win a close battle with Bloomer, 145-132.
Abby Nelson’s 11-foot pole vault highlighted the Tiger girls’ first HON title since 2007.
Also on May 14, the Tiger softball team needed a win over a tough Bloomer team that was undefeated in the HON. The previous game between the two went scoreless through 10 innings with Northwestern losing 4-3 in 11. It was close again this time around with the teams knotted up at 5-5 through seven innings.
It was Alyssa Little’s run in the eighth that gave the Tigers the win and a co-championship with the Blackhawks.
The Tiger golf team continued its HON dominance Wednesday, May 15, with their third consecutive HON title after shooting an impressive 303 for 18 holes at Rolling Oaks in Barron. Kordell Swanson shot a 72 to win medalist honors at the conference meet for the second straight year.
On Thursday, May 16, the Tiger baseball team took the field against Cumberland needing to win twice to secure at least a tie for the HON championship. And they needed to do it without ace Justin Sedin, who pitched in Tuesday’s loss to Spooner.
An 8-2 win in the first game behind Jake Brill’s pitching made the second game crucial. The Beavers were not cooperating, however, as Cumberland led 9-4 after five innings.
Six runs in the top of the sixth gave Northwestern a 10-9 edge. Cumberland threatened in the bottom of the sixth, but a diving catch in centerfield by Carsen Holsclaw backed up Andrew Klobucher’s pitching and the Tigers added three more in the seventh to win 13-9 and claim its first HON title since 2006.
Spooner’s doubleheader sweep over Barron the next day, made it a co-championship.
That is five Heart O North championships in the span of three days, probably never before accomplished by any HON team.
Added to the boys cross-country, football and boys basketball trophies, that is eight of the 13 conference sports that Northwestern prevailed.