Monday, May 31, 2010

The Dairy State Passion for Track & Field :)

So I'm bored here sitting in the airport waiting to board my plane to head back to WI after spending almost a week here in Cleveland, OH for the 2010 NCAA DIII Track & Field Championships. It's been a fun experience, and Cleveland really is better than most people think it is when you mention the city. Got a lot of "ouch, you have to go THERE?" when I told them where Nationals was, but we stayed in a nice hotel and Berea (where Baldwin Wallace College is) had a lot of restaurants and did a very good job hosting! Other than not enough food at the banquet (which, ironically was the biggest banquet facility I've ever seen...) it was a very fun, positive Championship experience overall!

That being said, as I was sittin here bored, I was looking at local news coverage of Nationals back in the state of WI, or rather, pretty much the lackthereof coverage! I decided to compile a list of all the athletes from Wisconsin colleges that became All-Americans, both state school and private schools (which just so happened to be only St. Norbert,Carroll, and Concordia).

On the men's side, there were 27 Wisconsin All-Americans out of a possible 176 (44 events with 8 All-Americans each). This was about 15% of all possible AA's. Here they are:

100m: Kendall Wade UW-Stout, 7th
200m: Wade, UW-Stout, 6th
400m: Aric Hoeschen, UW-La Crosse, 6th
800m: Adam Lang, UW-Stevens Point, 3rd
10,000m: Kevin Hall, UW-Eau Claire, 8th
400m Hurdles: Ben Zill, UW-Oshkosh, 2nd
3,000 steeplechase: Chris Wirtz, UW-Eau Claire, Champion
4x100 Relay: UW-Oshkosh, 5th
Carroll University, 7th
UW-Platteville, 8th
4x400 Relay: UW-La Crosse, 4th
Carroll University, 5th
Long Jump: Kellen McCrary, UW-La Crosse, 2nd
Isaac Vasquez, UW-La Crosse, 7th
Triple Jump: Vasquez, UW-La Crosse, 6th
James Simms, UW-Oshkosh, 8th
Discus Throw: Sean Larson, UW-Stout, Champion
Shaun Davis, UW-Whitewater, 4th
Lewis Prior, UW-Oshkosh, 5th
Shot Put: Kyle Scofield, UW-Stevens Point, 2nd
Andy Novak, UW-La Crosse, 3rd
Pete Delzer, UW-Oshkosh, 5th
Bill Warren, UW-La Crosse, 8th
Hammer Throw: Larson, UW-Stout, 4th
Javelin Throw: Brock Solveson, Concordia University of Wisconsin, Champion
Decathlon: Solveson, CUW, 4th

On the women's side, there were 24 Wisconsin All-Americans out of a possible 176, or about 14% of overall AA's. Here they are:

100m: Camille Davis, UW-Oshkosh, 7th
200m: Davis, UW-Oshkosh, 5th
400m: Natasha Arnold, UW-River Falls, 7th
800m: Emily Schudrowitz, St. Norbert, 6th
10,000m: Jenny Scherer, St. Norbert, 4th
Megan O'Grady, Carroll University, 5th
3,000 Steeplechase: Stephanie Perleberg, UW-La Crosse, 3rd
Hannah Humbach, UW-Eau Claire, 4th
4x100 Relay: UW-La Crosse, 3rd
4x400 Relay: UW-River Falls, 4th
UW-Platteville, 6th
UW-Stevens Point, 8th
Long Jump: Ashton May, UW-La Crosse, 2nd
Triple Jump: May, UW-La Crosse, 2nd
Shot Put: Jecel Gerner, UW-Oshkosh, 2nd
Holly Ozanich, UW-Oshkosh, 4th
Ellie Sitek, UW-Oshkosh, 6th
Discus Throw: Sitek, UW-Oshkosh, Champion
Brittany Frederick, UW-Eau Claire, 2nd
Hammer Throw: Ozanich, UW-Oshkosh, Champion
Sitek, UW-Oshkosh, 5th
Javelin Throw: Amanda Trieloff, Carroll University, Champion
Pole Vault: Hayley Suckow, UW-Eau Claire, 3rd
Heptathlon: Jenna Starck, UW-La Crosse, 7th

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that Wisconsin is quite dominant on the DIII Track & Field scene!!! If you take all 176 All-Americans and divide that by the 48 contiguous states, you'd find that if each state was represented equally, they'd own 3% of the number of total All-Americans. Wisconsin has over 5 times that percentage of athletes represented!

I was recently told the WIAA (Wisconsin's High School Athletic Association) State Track & Field Championship, held in the first weekend in June, has the 3rd best attendance of any meet in the whole nation. I believe it! There is definitely a passion for the sport in this state and I hope we can continue a tradition of excellence! Must be all that milk and cheese... strong bones helping us run, jump, and throw very fast, high, and far! ;)

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