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Zastrow earns top WIAC honor

UW-Stout pole vaulter Noah Zastrow was named the WIAC Field Performer of the Year for men’s indoor track and field on Tuesday.

Zastrow led Division III and the WIAC in pole vaulting all season. He finished first in the nation by 30 centimeters and led all conference competitors by more than two feet. His best vault of 5.40 meters ranks fifth all-time in Division III indoor history.

Stout’s Kevin Ruechel (shot put) and Jacob Bugella (weight throw) were also first team All-WIAC performers, along with UW-Eau Claire’s Marcus Weaver (heptathlon).

North VB earns 1st victory

The Eau Claire North volleyball team swept Superior 3-0 on Tuesday at the Doghouse for its first victory of the season.

The Huskies improved to 1-7 on the season. Statistics were not reported.

Stout announces fan policy

UW-Stout announced Tuesday its spectator policy for spring sports.

Each student-athlete competing is allowed two guests who are either legally or emotionally related to them at each contest.

Spectators must wear face coverings and remain socially distanced at all times. They will be required to leave the facility immediately following the competition.

Bleacher seating is limited. There will be designated areas for spectators from the home and visiting team.

Fans will not be allowed at any indoor events.

Stout hoops legend dies

UW-Stout men’s basketball great Mel Coleman died on March 12, the school announced Tuesday.

Coleman was an NAIA All-American and the Wisconsin State University Conference player of the year during his career at Stout State University in the 1960s.

Coleman holds numerous records, both within the conference and for Stout. His 19.3 rebounds per game average still ranks as the best-ever in the conference. At Stout, he holds records for most points in a season (571), single-game rebounds (38) and season rebounds (451).

The Cleveland native led the Blue Devils to the NAIA national tournament in 1969, earning All-America honors along the way. He remains Stout’s only first team All-American. He went on to be drafted by the American Basketball Association’s Carolina Cougars and the National Basketball Association’s Cincinnati Royals. He opted to go with Cincinnati, where he stayed with the club until its final round of cuts.

NWL announces traveling team

The Northwoods League announced Tuesday that the Minnesota Mud Puppies will replace the Thunder Bay Border Cats for the 2021 season.

Thunder Bay previously announced it will not compete this summer. The Mud Puppies will take the Border Cats’ place in the Great Plains division, which is also the home of the Eau Claire Express. They will play all road games during the season, picking up only Thunder Bay’s scheduled away games.

The Mud Puppies will be based out of the Twin Cities area. They will appear in the division standings, but will not be eligible for the playoffs.

Locals earn weekly honors

UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout athletes earned WIAC athlete of the week honors this week.

Blugolds softball player Bailee Sillman and tennis player Elaine Franta received honors, along with Blue Devils baseball player James Palmer.

Sillman hit .455 with two homers and six RBIs in four games for Eau Claire last week. Franta won at No. 3 singles against Augustana for the Blugolds. Palmer pitched six strong innings, striking out nine, in the Blue Devils’ season-opening win over UW-Platteville.

From staff reports