Benilde-St. Margaret’s sophomore first baseman Alyssa Brinza made a good early-season impression taking over the position from longtime stalwart Maddie Houlihan, who has become a freshman standout for the Gophers softball team.

Brinza powered the Red Knights to the championship of the Wabasso Tournament on April 9. She went 5-for-6 with two walks, three home runs and a triple. Two of her big blasts came in the championship game, a 4-2 victory over Edgerton.

Swimming awards

Edina’s Rachel Wittmer and Eden Prairie’s Griffin Back were named the 2016 Class 2A Female and Male Athletes of the Year by Minnesota Swimming Coaches Association at the organization’s annual All-State banquet on April 10.

Wittmer, a junior, had three first-place finishes at the girls’ state meet in November. The highlight was a state-record setting time of 22.54 seconds in winning the 50 meter freestyle.

Back, a senior, helped the Eagles to the Class 2A team championship by winning four events, including the 100 meter freestyle in a meet-record time of 44.80 seconds.

Wayzata’s Elizabeth Hansen was named Class 2A girls’ Coach of the Year. Eden Prairie coach Kelly Boston took the boys’ honor.

Strong early run

Holy Family’s Allie Bodin looks to be in late-season form already. The senior long-sprinter dominated the field in the 800 meter run at the Minnesota State Mankato Indoor Track and Field Showcase, winning the event in a meet-record time of 2 minutes, 22.54 seconds, nearly four seconds ahead of the runner-up.

Jim Paulsen