EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Ian Barry, So., Fennimore cross country
Fennimore’s Ian Barry is on an incredible run. The speedy sophomore has raced to four straight top-five finishes, including a first-place performance at last Saturday’s Brookwood Lloyd Lueth–Dustin Levy Memorial Invitational to earn this week’s Mast Water Technology Athlete of the Week award.
A year ago as a freshman, Barry missed a trip to state by just 2.8 seconds after finishing 11th on his own course at the WIAA Division 3 Fennimore sectional. Barry is on a mission to rectify that near miss with a trip to Wisconsin Rapids this fall. Barry has quickly made his mark as one of the best runners in the southwest part of the state and hopes to continue his break neck pace the rest of the season.
Barry dominated a field of 117 runners to win the boys’ individual title last Saturday at Brookwood with a time of 17:45.4. He covered the 5,000-meter course in a pace of 5:43 per mile to finish nearly a minute ahead of runner-up Dakota Wells (18:28.6) of Hillsboro. A week earlier, Barry placed fourth out of 126 runners in the small schools division at the River Valley Blackhawk Invitational with a personal record time of 17:14.28. Earlier in the week, he placed second overall at the 20-team Westby Invitational on Tuesday, Sept. 5 with a time of 17:16.6. Barry also finished fifth at the Darlington Invitational on Sept. 1 with a time of 17:33.4.
“Ian has been having a super successful season thus far,” said Fennimore coach Ryanne Bell. “He really has grown as a runner since last season, his determination in practice and meets has really went to the next level. He is a leader on and off the course and someone that our team really looks up to. His win last weekend at Brookwood makes him back to back invitational champion at Brookwood). Ian has his sights set on some big goals this season and it's going to be fun to watch him continue to grow and succeed this season.”
Barry and the Eagles will next defend their home course at Saturday’s Fennimore Golden Eagle Relays.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Britney Baker, Sr., S, Platteville volleyball
Baker is a driving force in Platteville’s 5–0 start to conference play. The senior setter passed out 36 assists in last Tuesday’s sweep of River Valley, then posted a double–double of 22 assists and 10 digs in an easy 25–7, 25–8, 25–9 win at Lancaster last Tuesday. Baker then tallied 98 assists, 29 digs and nine kills to lead Platteville to a tie for fifth place at Saturday’s 17-team Middleton Invite. She then had 29 assists and three blocks in Tuesday’s sweep of Prairie du Chien as Platteville (16–6 overall) improved to 5–0 in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference.
Donovan Blevins, SR., WR/DB, Platteville football
Blevins returned the opening kickoff 80 yards to ingnite Platteville's 48–0 rout of host Richland Center. The senior standout also caught six passes for 162 yards and three TDs in the win as the sixth-ranked Hillmen (Division 4), improved to 5–0, 1–0 in the SWC. Blevins has 26 catches for 607 yards (which is fifth most in the state) and 11 touchdowns (fourth in the state) through five games this season.
Callista Brogley, S, Southwestern volleyball
Brogley passed out 67 assists to lead the Wildcats (11–4, 3–2 SWAL) to four victories and the championship of the five-team round robin Benton Invitational. Southwestern won come from behind 2–1 decisions over both Benton and Argyle, and swept matches against Barneveld and Warren, Ill. The Wildcats then swept visiting Iowa–Grant 25–17, 33–31, 25–20 in a SWAL match Tuesday behind 45 assists from Brogley.
Payton Heinberg, Sr., Darlington boys cross country
Heinberg shaved 10 seconds off his personal best to finish second at Saturday’s Marshall Dana Waddell Cross Country Invitational with a time of 16:16 to lead the Darlington boys to the team title. Heinberg and the Redbirds dominated the event easily distancing themselves from runner-up Wisconsin Dells 50–126.
Abby Kaiser, Sr., OH/MH, Potosi volleyball
Potosi’s Abby Kaiser is used to putting up big numbers. The senior standout reached one her biggest career milestones when she floored a team-high 17 kills to surpass the 1000 kill mark for her career in a four-set loss to Benton last Thursday. Kaiser had 14 kills and 13 digs to led Potosi (11–4, 4–2 SRW) to a bounce-back 25–18, 25–16, 26–24 victory over Belmont Tuesday night. Kaiser leads the Chieftains with 217 kills, 194 digs and 31 aces this season.
Reghan Komprood, Sr., Darlington girls cross country
Komprood set a new PR and established a new 5,000-meter school record at Darlington to finish sixth at Saturday’s Marshall Dana Waddell Cross Country Invitational with a time of 19:48.41.
Kennedy Rankin, Sr., MH, Darlington volleyball
Rankin led the second-place Redibirds (9–5–1, 5–1 SWAL) to a pair of conference victories last week. Rankin led the ‘Birds with eight kills and six aces in an easy sweep of winless Fennimore last Tuesday, then finished with a team-high nine kills in Thursday’s 25–13, 25–12, 25–6 sweep of Boscobel.
Alex Udelhofen, Sr., WR/DE, Potosi/Cassville football
Udelhofen hauled in three passes for 98 yards, including an incredible 15-yard TD catch in the first quarter, and also registered a pair of sacks in Potosi/Cassville’s 38–14 victory over Pecatonica/Argyle Friday in the Cassville Homecoming game.