2012 was another solid year for sports stories in the KEYC area, from state champions to national championship runs.
As we close in on the new year we will look at the first six of our top 12 sports stories from the year.
Starting with a pair of successful college basketball coaches leaving their posts.
After leading the Mavericks to the 2009 national championship and guiding the MSU women's basketball team back to the division two tournament in 2012, coach Pam Gohl resigned her position to take an administrative job at the University of Sioux Falls.
Gohl was replaced by Emilee Theisse from SDSU who has guided the Mavs to an 8-1 start.
The Gustavus women's basketball head coaching spot also opened up when Mickey Haller announced she was leaving the program for personal reasons after 12 seasons with the Golden Gusties.
Gustavus filled the void by hiring Laurie Kelly away from the division one ranks at Northern Arizona.
Number 11 keeps us on the hardwood for a record breaking state tournament for NRHEG's Carlie Wagner.
The Panthers finally
broke through to reach the 2A state tourney and the then sophomore guard made the most of it.
Wagner set a single game scoring record in the state quarterfinal with 48 points against Braham, and she didn't stop there.
NRHEG missed out on the championship, but took third and in the three games Wagner scored 112 points which also was a state tourney record for three games...to top off a great year, Wagner eclipsed the 2,000 point mark just three days ago at the Saint Peter holiday tournament as the Panther's took the title for the 2nd straight year.
We head back to MSU's campus for number ten, and a historic year for the women's soccer team.
The Mavericks not only won their first NSIC regular season title, and made the division two national tournament once again, but MSU made the most of it as they went to Grand Rapids, Michigan and won their first game in a shootout to win the Maverick's first regional title.
The next game would see the tables turned on MSU as the Mavs went to a shootout once again against host team Grand Valley State, although it didn't look like they would get that far after trailing 2-nil with just minutes to go before Caitlin Graboski and Breanna Steele scored to tie the game.
After two overtimes, the Lakers would outlast the Mavs, winning in round 7 of the shootout, 5-4.
#9 might be a comeback story that would make Adrian Peterson proud.
St. Clair High School didn't even have a varsity football team in 2011.
The Cyclones returned to
the varsity ranks in 2012 in a big way.
St. Clair won its first two
games of the year to show they were back, but the Cyclones upset one of the top ranked teams in 1-A when they beat Faribault B-A in double overtime to land the 2 seed in the section 3A tournament.
Saint Clair would reach the section championship at Southwest Minnesota State against Adrian and upset the top seed to reach the state tournament for the first time in 20 years...the first time since St. Clair had switched to 11-man football.
The Cyclones would have to travel back to Marshall for the quarterfinal and led ACGC at halftime, but the Falcons came back to eliminate St. Clair ending a great year for the Cyclones.
Back to MSU for the 8th best story, and the Mavericks baseball team
was dominant once again.
The Mavs regular season landed them the right to not only host the NSIC tournament which they beat SCSU for the title, but then MSU got to host the regional tournament for the first time since 1988 where the Mavericks beat the Huskies once again to send MSU to the D-2 World Series.
The Mavs got off to a rocky start in the double elimination tournament in North Carolina, losing to Southern New Hampshire.
MSU would fight in the elimination bracket, winning its next three games before falling in the semifinal to Delta State and would end up finishing 3rd.
We wrap up the first half of the countdown with a pair of Olympic stories, starting in the pool where Mankato West junior to be Danielle Nack got a try out for the U-S Swim Team in the 100 meter butterfly.
Nack didn't make it through the preliminary round although she only missed the semifinals by under a second.
If Nack keeps improving, the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro might be in the works.
While Nack missed out, New Ulm wrestler Ali Bernard found herself in London after the woman
that beat her in the team tryouts tested positive for a banned substance.
Bernard would fall in her first match at the summer games, 2-1 to a wrestler from Sweden, but was still celebrated back in New Ulm when she returned.