EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Emma Lawrence, Sr., OH, Benton girls volleyball
Benton’s Emma Lawrence has led the Zephyrs to great heights during her decorated four-year high school career. Add another feather to her cap. Lawrence slammed a match-high 26 kills and had five blocks to lead Benton to a 30–28, 25–23, 25–19 victory over Bangor (28–7) in the WIAA Division 4 Wauzeka Sectional final last Saturday night to lead the Zephyrs to their first state tournament berth.
Lawrence tallied 11 kills and two blocks in the third set as the Zephyrs jumped out to a dominating 21–12 lead in the clinching set. Lawrence also had a team-high 18 kills, six blocks and 18 digs in Thursday’s 25–15, 25–21, 25–17 victory over top-seeded Seneca in last Thursday’s WIAA D4 sectional semifinal.
Seventh-ranked Benton improved to 27–2 and will face Oshkosh Lourdes (35–9) in a D4 state semifinal match at the Resch Center in Green Bay on Friday at 10 a.m. The Knights were the D3 state runner-up a year ago and are making their third straight state appearance.
“What a great feeling. I’m speechless,” said Benton head coach Russell Hamm. “This was a goal the girls had. These girls prevailed and came through some obstacles and struggles and now ew are headed to state. I’m just ecstatic for this program for this school and for this community.”
Madison Albert-Nelson, So., Platteville/Lancaster girls swimming
Albert-Nelson broke a pair of team records, won a pair of individual conference titles and a bronze medal in a third event to lead the Platteville/Lancaster girls swim team to a sixth-place finish at last Saturday’s Southern Lakes Conference Championships.
The sophomore opened the day by teaming with Allison Brehm, Erin Walker and Brooklyn Van Natta to win the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:57.78. She then turned in another gold medal-winning performance in the 100-yard butterfly with a new sophomore and varsity team record of 1:00.27. She also broke a second sophomore and varsity team record with a third-place finish in the 100 backstroke, breaking coach Liz Peters’ 1999 team record with a time of 1:02.77.
“It’s really rewarding to be able to coach a swimmer to break your own record,” said Peters. “Records are meant to be broken and it couldn’t go to a more deserving person. Maddy worked for it and earned it.”
Albert-Nelson also finished sixth in the 200 freestyle relay as the Hillmen (1–11, 1–6 SLC) finished sixth out of eight teams with 199 points and jumped over Edgerton (2–5 SLC) for sixth place in the final SLC standings.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Ty Bausch, Jr., RB/DB, Potosi/Cassville running back
Bausch rushed for 137 yards and four first-half touchdowns as Potosi/Cassville clobbered visiting Wauzeka/Seneca 56–18 in a WIAA Division 7 playoff game last Friday night. The second-seeded Chieftains (9–2) will travel to top-seeded Black Hawk (11–0) for a Level 3 match-up this Friday night.
Lydia Murphy, Jr., Lancaster girls cross country
Murphy finished second at the WIAA Division 3 girls cross country state championships for a second straight year with a time of 19:12.68, (14 seconds faster than her 2016 runner-up finish) to lead the Lancaster girls to a second-place team finish in Division 3. Murphy’s blistering time also earned her second-team all-state honors for all divisions.
Reghan Komprood, Sr., Darlington girls cross country
Komprood became the first female runner in school history to earn a state medal, after placing 10th in the Division 3 girls state championship last Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids with a time of 19:55.57.
Brody Milz, RB/LB, Sr., Black Hawk football
The senior standout rushed for 131 yards and three TDs on 11 carries and led a spirited defensive effort that held Iowa–Grant 2,000-yard rusher Brady Peat to just 44 yards on 23 carries in Black Hawk’s dominating 68–15 WIAA Division 7 Level 2 playoff victory over the visiting Panthers last Friday night.