Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mustangs go D1

Isabel Li
Mounds View senior athletes attend signing day in May in front of a crowded commons.
Jaros will attend the University of Memphis where she will be a Rifle athlete. (photo via Megan Jaros)

Senior Megan Jaros had a rough introduction to rifle as a sport. “I’ve been around rifles and guns for pretty much my whole life, and rifle safety was a pretty huge thing that people taught me,” she said, “[but] when I first started [rifle], I didn’t really like it.” However, after two years, the rifle community and traveling competitions became a highlight of her high school career. She has enjoyed many aspects of rifle, from attending rifle proms to learning mental toughness. When she first joined the team, Jaros felt excluded from the other members. But after becoming captain her junior year, she wanted to change the dynamic of the team. “I tried to start including all the new shooters and people who weren’t as included because I didn’t want them to feel how I did,” said Jaros. While there are a few paths to rifling professionally, Jaros hopes to follow one of them with her goal of going to the Olympics.

Mehta will attend West Point Academy where she will compete in Track and Field (photo via Isaac Tsai)

A driven cross country and track and field runner, senior Emily Mehta began running during COVID-19 on her own time but soon joined the Mounds View cross country and track team.. Upon joining, Mehta immediately felt connected to her teammates. “Every race in cross country is about each other. We train together and are in everything together and that just creates a bond that is unmatched. When it comes to racing we are constantly thinking about each other and how we can work together to the best of our abilities,” she said. She credits much of her growth to her teammates and her coach who she believes helped her appreciate running in a healthier way and instilled confidence in her before each race. In a sport where progress is not always linear, Mehta has continued to persevere and train almost every day. “Stick with it and just trust that you’re capable and that your training is paying off,” said Mehta.

Hoiland will attend St. Thomas University where he will be a kicker and punter (photo via Sam Hagen)

Since childhood, senior Benjamin Hoiland has been heavily involved in basketball and soccer. However, football was the last thing on his mind until the summer before his junior year, when his friend senior Ryan Litecky convinced him to join the football team as a kicker, where he started playing almost immediately. “It was really nerve wracking at first but [I] just kept pushing through,” said Hoiland. He spent the next year practicing at many kicking camps where he quickly built his skills to a collegiate level and met the St. Thomas coach. Hoiland said that the coach took interest in him because of his potential to learn after having played for less than a year. Hoiland tells aspiring athletes to take risks. “Being a kicker, at first it seemed really scary, […but] look what it turned into,” said Hoiland. “I tried it and I loved it.”

Westlund will attend California Baptist University where she will play as a forward and midfielder (photo via Sam Hagen)

Senior Anya Westlund began playing soccer at four years old and started playing competitively for a club at seven, where her dedication for soccer only grew. One of Westlund’s most impactful  memories during her sports career was winning third in the state tournament during the 2022-23 Mounds View girls soccer season. “Being able to play in the U.S. Bank Stadium was an experience that I’ll never forget, and being able to create those memories with some of my best friends was amazing,” she said. One of Westlund’s most important lessons learned through soccer was resilience, especially after breaking her arm twice in one year. “Being resilient has helped me bounce back from setbacks and it’s helped me to not let failure define me,” she said. “Recovering quickly from difficulty or hardships has not only benefited me through soccer, but it’s also benefited me in my daily life.”

Nystrom will attend the University of Wyoming where he will play as a wide receiver (photo via Tyler Nystrom)

Growing up in an athletic family, senior Tyler Nystrom has been playing footbal l since he was a child. His dad has been a big factor in his motivation to play. Nystrom has set great achievements in his football career, including breaking the single-season receiving record and being an all-conference athlete. This past year, although Nystrom did not get the season he wanted because of an injury, he advises others to continue and pull through hardships. “Always keep going, even when things aren’t going your way, it will get better,” he said. Nystrom hopes to pursue football professionally.

Kocon will attend Providence College where she will play as a setter and outside hitter (photo via Audrey Kocon)

After falling in love with the game at first play in fourth grade, senior Audrey Kocon decided she wanted to pursue volleyball at the collegiate level just three short years later. Her volleyball career really began to take off when she joined the Mounds View Girls Volleyball team in eighth grade. “I loved every moment of it and playing for the crowds and the people,” Kocon said. Her aggressiveness on the court and calmness with her teammates have led to stellar performances that won her the St. Paul Area Athena Award, which honors outstanding female senior athletes. Kocon graduated from Mounds View one semester early to train with her college teammates at Providence College where she follows a diligent training schedule. “I wake up at 6:30 every other day and lift at 7 am, then I go to class for the day and then come back to have practice from 4-6pm,” she said.

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About the Contributors
Michael Wang
Michael Wang, Online Editor-in-Chief and News Editor
Hello! I am Michael, and I will be The Viewer's online Editor-in-Chief for the 2023-2024 school year. This will be my third year with The Viewer. I am involved in the Econ Team, Student Council, Science Olympiad, and more activities. Reach out to me at [email protected] if you have any questions. Awards:   
Gloria Liu
Gloria Liu, Sports Editor
Hi, my name is Gloria, and I'm the debates and sports editor for the Viewer! I'm currently a junior. In my free time, I love listening to music, photography and watching horror movies. I love being a part of the Viewer because it's a very unique class compared to other classes and also allows me to improve my writing skills. I love being with my peers and hope to inspire younger students to join the Viewer.
Isabel Li
Isabel Li, Spread Editor and Online Editor
Hi, my name is Isabel, and I am super excited to be an editor this year. Outside of the Viewer, I am a member of the girls' cross country and track team at Mounds View. I also enjoy playing violin and piano, listening to music, and taking photos. Don't forget to pick up a copy of the Viewer! Awards:  Best of SNO - The downfall of ELA education Best of SNO - Our community's car dependency
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