UWS honors its top athletes
Former Superior Spartans’ Hailey Kontny, Daniel Litchke and Evan Walpole were among those honored at the University of Wisconsin-Superior Athletes Awards Banquet Monday night in Yellowjacket Union.
Kontny and Litchke were named the UWS Male and Female Scholar Athletes, while Walpole was honored as an individual and UMAC champions this season.
Kontny, who won the scholar athlete award for the second straight year, was also co-winner of the Lydia C. Thering Award along with Maggie Cragg.
Litchke had a solid season on the ice for the men’s hockey team and a solid year in the classroom, achieving a 3.986 grade point average. The junior business major is a three-time WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll member and was second on the Yellowjacket squad with 24 points on the season, matching 12 goals with 12 assists.
Kontny claimed the award for the second-straight year and finished her physical education major with a 3.960 GPA. She also was an integral part of the Yellowjacket women’s basketball team that had another phenomenal season.
Community Service Award
Mac Reykdal earned the Superior Community Service Award for his outstanding work in the community.
The sophomore business management major from Washburn rang bells for the Salvation Army during the Yellowjacket Week of Giving, assisted with the Special Olympics and their bowling event, volunteered at a local school’s math meet, and worked to help raise money during the Tony G. 3-on-3 tournament.
He also participated in ‘Jacket Day with the Challenge Center, Caroling for Cans, evaluated senior projects at Superior High School, and volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club.
On the court, Reykdal averaged 17 minutes per game, including 4.4 points and 44 percent from the 3-point line for the men’s basketball team.
Mertz Mortorelli Award
Jon Bucklew won the Mertz Mortorelli Award as the senior soccer forward showed that he was the top male student-athlete on-and-off the field.
Bucklew helped the men’s soccer team enjoy a 14-7-2 record, win the UMAC playoff championship and qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.
Bucklew played in all 23 games and led the Yellowjackets in scoring, tallying 11 goals and 28 points; he was named All-UMAC 1st Team and earned All-Wisconsin honors. Bucklew completed his Yellowjacket career as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 93 points.
Lydia C. Thering Award
For the first time the Lydia C. Thering Award ended in a tie as Cragg and Kontny were named the top female athletes of the year.
Cragg, from Champlin Park, was a three-sport standout at UWS. In the fall, she ranked third with an average score of 95 on the golf team.
In the winter Cragg appeared in every game as a defender on the women’s hockey team. On the softball diamond in the spring, Cragg played 30-of-36 games at second base and ranked fourth on the team with a .351 batting average.
Kontny had another outstanding year on the hard court for the Yellowjackets, helping the team to a 23-5 record and winning the UMAC regular season and playoff titles for the third year in a row.
In the process, Kontny, who was the leading scorer for the Yellowjackets scored her 1,000-career point and was the UMAC Player of the Year for the third-straight season.
She was named All-UMAC 1st Team and was chosen as a member of the UMAC All-Defensive Team while taking home All-Region second team honors by D3Hoops.com.
In the fall, Kontny earned a letter as a member of the women’s soccer team.
Coaches of the Year
In one of the best all-around seasons in UWS athletics history, five Yellowjacket coaches received UMAC and WIAC Coach of the Year honors.
Honored were Paul Eberhardt, men’s golf; Dan Laughlin, women’s hockey; Zach Otto-Fisher, women’s basketball; Kolin Dean, women’s tennis; and Glen Drexler, cross country and indoor and outdoor track.
Laughlin earned women’s hockey coach of the year honors for the sixth time, including for the second time in the last four years in the WIAC; and Drexler completed the hat trick this year by being named UMAC men’s coach of the year in cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field.
Joey Cummings and Evan Walpole were individual UMAC champions this season.
Cummings won the 2017 UMAC golf championship with a score of 222, bettering the field by four strokes, and helped UWS to a third-place finish.
Walpole took home the UMAC men’s cross country championship with a time of 26:10, an all-time personal best that made him the third-straight Yellowjacket to claim the conference championship. He helped the team to a first-place finish for the second-straight season.
Team championship included the men’s soccer; women’s basketball; and men’s indoor and outdoor track.
Sophomore catcher/first baseman Cory Albertson took home D3 Baseball All-Midwest honors Monday at the catcher position. The UMAC Player of the Year made his first appearance on the squad.
The sophomore from Stillwater, Minn., was also named to the American Baseball Coaches Association Midwest All-Region team Tuesday in the first baseman slot.
Albertson was second in the conference in batting average (.411), first in runs batted in (42), first in home runs (13), first in slugging percentage (.847), and second in hits (51).
He played the majority of time at first base and catcher and owned a .978 fielding percentage and had 160 putouts on the season.
The Yellowjackets finished fourth in the UMAC tournament and with records of 12-26 overall and 8-8 in the UMAC.
Potratz, Ruehl named all-region
Svenja Ruehl and Noah Potratz collected U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Region awards.
Ruehl, from Kirchvers, Germany, won her third all-region selection in both triple and long jumps. She was the individual champion at the UMAC Championships in both events, leaping 5.53 meters (18-1.75) in long and 11.38 meters (37-4) in the triple.
Last weekend Ruehl marked a personal-best in the triple jump with 11.65 meters (38-2.75) at the NCC Gregory Final Qualifier.
Potratz is coming off a record-breaking season in the javelin throw, beating the school record on his first throw of the season at the Dingles Brueggen Open at St. Mary’s University March 29 with 54.79 (179-9) meters.
He then broke his own record with 57.83 meters (189-9) at the UMAC Championships, but his best throw of the season came a week ago at the North Central College Gregory Final Qualifier where the senior broke both the new scoring, and old scoring records with 59.96, securing a spot in the NCAA DIII Outdoor Championships this week.