The Free Press, Mankato, MN

April 10, 2013

Notebook: Adam Thielen, Alex Means take part in combine at Cowboys Stadium

By Shane Frederick
The Free Press

— Former Minnesota State wide receiver Adam Thielen and Mankato native Alex Means, a former linebacker at Air Force, were among 218 football players who participated in the Super Regional Combine at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas earlier this week.

The invitation-only event was a supplement to the NFL's National Scouting Combine, which allows players to showcase their talents to pro scouts in preparation for this month's draft.

"That's what I have been working for," said Thielen, who is a senior at MSU. "It was my goal to get there, so I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to show what I got in front of scouts. It was a pretty good combine, and a lot of scouts showed up, so I tried to take advantage of that opportunity."

Thielen advanced to the Super Regional Combine after participating in a regional combine in Chicago.

Means, a Mankato East graduate, recently completed his senior season with Air Force and, in January, participated in the Raycom College Football All-Star Classic in Montgomery, Ala.

The Super Regional also included former NFL players looking for another shot. That group included former Minnesota State offensive lineman Adrian Battles, who spent time on the Green Bay Packers' practice squad in 2010.

Hayes makes debut

Minnesota State senior Eriah Hayes made his professional hockey debut on Tuesday night, playing for the American Hockey League's Worcester (Mass.) Sharks.

Hayes was plus-1 with  a shot on goal and a penalty as the Sharks snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 3-0 win at the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Hayes, who just wrapped up his college career with the Mavericks, last week agreed to a two-year contract with the NHL's San Jose Sharks and is finishing the season in Worcester.

GAC's Hjelm honored

Gustavus Adolphus women's hockey senior Lindsey Hjelm added a handful of honors to her collection of postseason awards this week.

The versatile Hjelm, who played both forward and defense for the Gusties, was named First Team All-American, as well as West Region Player of the Year and All-West Region by the website D3hockey.com.

Last month, Hjelm was named First Team All-American by the American Hockey Coaches Association and was the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's Player of the Year and Sheila Brown Award winner.

Ness earns award

Gustavus track and field senior Ryan Ness was named MIAC Field Athlete of the Week for his performance at the Wartburg Outdoor Select Meet last weekend in Waverly, Iowa.

Ness won the javelin competition with a career-best throw of 188-feet-9.

Ness now has the top throw in the MIAC this season and ranks 33rd in NCAA Division III.