More Magic athletes having success at college

Following the April 3 Monticello Times story on former Magic athletes who have gone on to college success, we received several submissions about additional athletes that fit the criteria. They are presented here.

Jake SchmitzUniversity of Minnesota Morris
Schmitz, a junior, plays baseball for the University of Minnesota Morris. Last season Schmitz, a shortstop, started all 25 games for the Cougars, batting .293 while knocking in a team-leading 15 RBIs. The junior is off to an even stronger start this year. Through 18 games, he is hitting .345 with four extra base hits to go along with 12 walks. He has also recorded 13 RBIs and scored 16 runs this season while stealing a team-high ten bases for the Cougars, who are 9-9 on the year.

Shelby BrionAugsburg College
Brion helped start a women’s lacrosse team at Augsburg College this season, and then she helped make them successful. Brion, a captain as a freshman, led the Auggies with 21 goals and 26 total points this season. She started all 13 games for Augsburg, as they finished with a record of 6-7 in their inaugural year. One of the biggest highlights during the year was Brion scoring four goals and adding an assist during Augsburg’s first ever game, a 12-10 win over Midland University.

Jessica ZimmermanUniversity of Wisconsin Superior
Zimmerman, a 2010 MHS graduate, just finished her volleyball career at the University of Wisconsin Superior this past fall. She was a four-year team member and a two-year captain for the Yellow jackets. During her senior season, Zimmerman recorded 265 kills, the second most on the team, to help lead Superior to a 17-14 record. Zimmerman, who finished in the top five of nearly every statistical category, also picked up 290 digs, the third most by a Yellow jacket this past year.

Alyssa CiattiGustavus Adolphus College
Ciatti, a junior at Gustavus Adolphus College, had a strong past season for the women’s gymnastics team. Ciatti competed on the bars all season,  as well as taking a couple turns on the beam and making one appearance on the vault. At a triangular meet in January, Ciatti performed all three exercises, turning in a 8.350 on the vault and a season best 7.725 on the beam to go with a 7.150 on the bars. Her best bar performance of the year came at the biggest meet, the WIAC/NCGA West Regional, where she scored 8.425 points.

Jamie RiesGustavus Adolphus College
Ries was a teammate of Ciatti’s at Gustavus through this past season, when she finished her outstanding career on a high note. The senior qualified to compete in the all-around at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Championships this year for her fourth straight season. Ries finished 13th at the event with a total score of 36.150. She posted a 9.625 on the bars and a 9.350 on the floor for her two best scores of the meet. Her score on the bars was nearly a full half point better than her previous season best. Ries posted a career-best all-around score of 36.8 at the West Regional in early March. As a junior, Ries earned All-American honors with a ninth place finish on the bars at the NCGA Championship meet.

Keiana Wurtinger Central Lakes College
Wurtinger, a 2012 MHS graduate, has spent the past two years playing both volleyball and softball for Central Lakes College in Brainerd. On the volleyball court she spent her freshman year as a setter before transitioning to a defensive specialist for her sophomore campaign. Wurtinger helped lead CLC to the Division III Championships this season, where they finished in third place.

Nathan KnopUniversity of Minnesota Duluth
Knop, a senior at University of Minnesota Duluth, is looking to finish his collegiate career in style. A member of the men’s track and field team, Knop is the Bulldog’s top high jumper and top javelin thrower. During the past year he has recorded a top high jump of 6’4.75” and a long javelin throw of 180’10”, which is nearing the school record.

Nick MoranUniversity of Minnesota Duluth
Moran, a junior at the University of Minnesota Duluth, continues to be the Bulldog’s top thrower. Moran holds the high marks on the team for both the discus and the hammer throw and is second in the shot put. His top indoor shot put throw this season is 48’7.5”. His top outdoor distances last year were 148’3” in the discus and 168’11” in the hammer throw. Moran has already bettered his hammer throw record this year, throwing it a whopping 187’-07” in early April, which is near a school record and hits a NCAA provisional qualifying mark for the national championships.

Jacob PetersonSt. John’s University
Peterson, a sophomore, competes in the hurdles and the decathlon for the Johnnie’s track and field team. During the indoor portion of this season, Peterson turned in an impressive showing at the MIAC Championship meet. The sophomore finished sixth in the heptathlon, with a score of 4013.

Michael WitschenUniversity of St. Thomas
As just a freshman, Witschen is already making a difference in several events for the Tommie’s track and field team. The former Magic standout competes in the decathlon, hurdles and jumps for St. Thomas. The early highlight of Witschen’s year was a fourth-place long jump finish at the MIAC Indoor Championships, where he set a personal record with a distance of 21’10”.

Cyrus MasonUniversity of Wisconsin La Crosse
Mason, just a sophomore, is already a two-time Division III All-American as a member of the men’s track and field team at UW-La Crosse. Earlier this season, Mason’s distance medley relay team placed third at the Indoor National Championship Meet, earning him the All-American honor. Last year, Mason was on the distance medley relay team when they won the National Championship Meet.


Contact Clay Sawatzke at [email protected]