EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Kaitlyn Kaiser, Sr., Cuba City track & field
Cuba City senior Kaitlyn Kaiser was an easy choice for this week’s Mast Water Technology Athlete of the Week award. Kaiser finished up her fantastic prep career by winning two state events — setting two new school records in the process — and earning four state medals for the Lady Cubans while leading the Cuba City girls track and field team to the WIAA Division 3 state championship last weekend.
The Lady Cubans won the state title with 34 points, finishing one point ahead of the Weyauwega–Fremont (33). Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg tied for third-place (24) with Reedsville and Lourdes Academy. With her individual long jump title, fourth-place finish in the 100 and her contributions to the two medal-winning relays, Kaiser accounted four 18.75 of Cuba City’s 34 team points.
Kaiser started off her busy weekend by winning the girls’ long jump with a mark of 18’2.25” on Friday afternoon and breaking a 32-year old school record in the process. She went on to qualify for the finals in the 100-meter dash, the 4x100 and 4x200 meter relay races on Friday as well along with senior Sadie Murray, sophomore Mykenzie Vaassen and freshman Brinley Wood.
Kaiser anchored the 4x100 relay team to a state title on Saturday in a school-record time of 50.10 seconds, and she added a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter dash (12.94) and teamed with Murray, Vaassen and Wood to take fourth in the 4x200 relay (1:46.66).
“It’s an incredible experience. In my last track meet, to go out with four places on the podium, it definitely sums up the whole track experience on a positive note,” said Kaiser. “I’ve been going for 18-feet in the long jump all year and this was the only meet I’ve ever jumped 18-feet, so to get that gold was a huge goal for me.”
Along with the two first-place team titles the past two seasons and a runner-up team title her sophomore year, Kaiser finishes her career with 12 total state medals, including five first-place medals, a second, three thirds, two fourths and a sixth.
“Kait Kaiser is unbelievable,” said Cuba City head coach Jason Holzemer. “What she’s been able to do up here over the last four years has been remarkable. To cap it of like she did was amazing.”
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Joey Clary, Jr., Ithaca baseball team
Clary smashed a two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday afternoon to lift the Bulldogs to a dramatic 8–7 victory over Hillsboro in the WIAA Division 4 Weston Sectional final. Clary blast lifted Ithaca to a third-straight state tournament. The Bulldogs (21–3) will face Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran (13–7) Wednesday at 8 a.m. at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute in the first D4 state semifinal. Ithaca defeated Highland 7–5 earlier on Tuesday in the sectional final. Clary ended the game by throwing a runner out at third base from the outfield. He also had three hits in the win.
Josh Hentrich, Jr., Lancaster golf
Hentrich closed out his junior season with a 14th-place finish at the WIAA Division 3 state golf tournament last Tuesday at University Ridge in Madison. Hentrich, the Southwest Wisconsin Conference Player of the Year, finished with a 20-over-par two-day score of 164. Hentrich shot identical rounds of 82 on Monday and Tuesday.
Dylan Johll, Sr., Cassville track and field
Johll capped his final season on the Cassville track and field team with a pair of fourth-place finishes at the WIAA State Track & Field Championships last weekend in La Crosse. Johll placed fourth in the D3 boys 100-meter-dash with a time of 11.34 seconds, then finished fourth in the 200 with a 22.99 later on Saturday afternoon.
Dakota Kauffman, Sr., Boscobel track & field
Kauffman repeated as the Division 3 champion in the 1,600-meter run Friday at the WIAA State Track & Field Championships with a time of 4:22.93. He also won a silver medal with a second-place finish in the the 3,200-meter run (9:29.48) and placed 16th in the 800 (2:06.13) on Saturday.
Emma Lawrence, So., Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg Track & Field
The Benton sophomore place second in the Division 3 girls 300-meter hurdles with a time of 45.63 seconds at the WIAA State Track & Field Championships last weekend. Lawrence also teamed with senior Payton Bastian and juniors Paige Murphy and Ally Janson in the 4x200 meter relay in a new program record time of 1:46.16.