Five standout Menomonie athletes inked college commitments to continue with sports at the next level on Wednesday morning.
Helen Chen, Noah Feddersen, Bella Jacobsen, Emma Mommsen and Madeline Palmer signed to continue with athletics into college, the culmination of years of hard work.
Chen will play basketball at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Feddersen will also stay with basketball as he plays at North Dakota State University, Jacobsen will run track and field and cross country at the University of Wisconsin, Palmer will run track and field and cross country at Winona State University and Mommsen will play basketball at Concordia-St. Paul University.
The 5-foot-7 Chen led the Mustangs in scoring a season ago in earned All-Big Rivers Conference second team accolades.
“Every year has been enjoyable, obviously there’s a big weight off our shoulders now that we’ve committed and we know what our future plans are,” Chen said of Mommsen and herself. “This season we’re not letting our foot off the pedal, we’re going full force this season.”
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Minnesota-Duluth is a Division II school that plays in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference for coach Mandy Pearson with Amery native Madelyn Granica and Rice Lake native Brooke Olson as a few members of the Bulldogs roster with area ties.
“I’m not sure what they’ll have me do,” Chen said. “Freshman year I’ll just play my role and have me do what I need to do, work as hard as possible and whatever happens happens.”
Feddersen will also be staying on the hardwood for college as he heads for Fargo to join the Bison men’s basketball team. The 6-foot-10 Feddersen is just the second player in the history of the Mustangs boys basketball program to earn a Division I scholarship.
“I like what they value,” said Feddersen of joining the Bison, “hard defense is one of the things they really value so I just all-around fit in with them.”
Feddersen averaged 13 points and 6.5 rebounds as a junior in earned All-Big Rivers Conference second team honors with Menomonie.
“I really bonded with all the guys, they’re all really similar to me” Feddersen said. “They like my play style and I like how I’d fit into their offense.”
Jacobsen will be taking her running talents to Madison as she joins the Badgers for cross country and track and field. She recently completed a stellar career with the Mustangs cross country team as a two-time Big Rivers Conference champion and four-time All-Big Rivers Conference competitors and took fifth place overall at the Division 1 state cross country championships recently in Wisconsin Rapids.
“I definitely feel very relieved and I can just be excited and don’t to think any more about what I want to do,” Jacobsen said of the decision.
Chen, Jacobsen, Palmer and Mommsen were all a part of the Menomonie cross country team that recent finished fifth as a team at state, earning back-to-back state berths and winning our straight Big Rivers titles during their careers. Jacobsen joins two Badgers programs with plenty of talent and she is excited to find her place.
“The competitiveness of every girl on the team is going to be matched and every girl is going to do everything they can to as good as they can possibly can be to reach goals that they never thought they could,” Jacobsen said.
Mommsen will become a Golden Bear when she joins the Division II program in St. Paul to play for coach Amanda Johnson in the NSIC.
“I think it’s nice I already know what I’m going to do,” Mommsen said of the commitment. “I think it takes pressure off and we can just have fun this year.”
The 6-foot Mommsen was second on the team in scoring in 2020-21 and earned All-Big Rivers Conference first team honors as she joins the same collegiately conference as her teammate Chen, but on a different squad.
“I just want to do what they need me to do, join the team and see what I can get from it,” Mommsen said.
Palmer heads for Winona to join the Warriors for cross country and track and field. Palmer is also a four-time All-Big Rivers Conference competitor on the cross country course and a part of Menomonie’s success over the course of the last four years.
“It feels really exciting,” Palmer said of finalizing her commitment, “especially to have a decision made this early in the year. It feels like I have no stress for the rest of the year.”
Palmer joins strong cross country and track and field programs with the Warriors while still being just an hour and a half from home.
“It’s a great feeling because you know everyone on that team works hard to get things and to know my work ethic and Bella’s work ethic (at Wisconsin) will add to theirs,” Palmer said of joining the Warriors.