Hougen adds two women for 2010-11 track and field season
Monday, June 21, 2010
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University head track and field coach Craig Hougen has announced the addition of Alexandra Hedlund (East Grand Forks, Minn.) and LeAnn Wagner (Crookston, Minn.) for the 2010-11 track and field seasons.  Both prospective student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent to attend BSU in the fall of 2010 and compete for the Beavers.

“Alex and LeAnn are both good Northern Minnesota athletes,” said Hougen.  “They come from solid athletic high school programs, will mesh well with our student-athletes and add good depth to our program.”  He continued, “They are going to be nice additions to our team.”

Hedlund is a 2009 graduate of East Grand Forks Senior High School, where she excelled as a thrower for Green Wave track and field team.  A Minnesota State Track and Field Meet qualifier in both 2008 and 2009, Hedlund earned all-state honors in 2008 with a ninth-place finish in the shot put after capturing a Section 8A title in the shot and runner-up laurels in the discus.  In just two years an a prep thrower, Hedlund posted career bests of 116-00.00 in the disc and 36-08.00 in the shot put.  In addition to participating in track and field, she also was a member of the soccer team and was captain of the girl’s hockey team.  She spent the 2009-10 athletic year playing hockey for the Minnesota Crunch U19 team out of Grand Rapids, Minn. while attending Itasca Community College.  Hedlund logged over 60 games for the Crunch.

Hedlund’s parents Michael Hedlund and Paula Hedlund are both graduates of Bemidji State.

“Alex has a lot of potential,” commented Hougen.  “She was a very quick and explosive track athlete in high school. She is a little bit undersized for the shot put, but for the weight throw, discus, javelin and the hammer, she is going to be very good.  She has a great work ethic and is dedicated to work in the weight room so we expect her to make great strides as she comes to BSU and is able to concentrate on track and field.”

Wagner recently completed her senior year at Crookston High School, where she was active in swimming and dance team in addition to track and field, and captained all three teams as a senior. A sprinter and jumper for the Pirates, Wagner narrowly missed qualifying for the 2010 Minnesota State High School Track and Field Meet, placing third in the 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter intermediate hurdles and triple jump at the Section 8A meet.  A qualifier for the 2009 state championships, she was named as her track team’s “Move Valuable Athlete” for each of the last two seasons.

In addition to her excellence on the track, the Leo Club, National Honor Society and “A” Honor Roll member is active in the community and participated in band.

Wagner’s older sister Megan is a current student at Bemidji State.

“LeAnn will be a great addition to our team,” said Hougen.  “She has that ‘pop’ in her legs that you want to see from a sprinter/jumper.  She was a high school dancer and swimmer in addition to participating in track so she has great flexibility and athletic ability. She will greatly benefit from focusing on track and field for seven or eight months out of the year at the collegiate level.”

Hedlund and Wagner join Hougen and a BSU track and field program, headlined by four-time All-America sprinter Kristi Buerkle (Sr., Stacy, Minn.), that has produced 18 All-America performers, three individual NCAA Division II Champions and two ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans since 2005.

All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.