EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Tricia Serres, Luther College cross country/track and field
Tricia Serres has won more than her fair share of awards dating back to her record-setting prep career at Platteville High School through her outstanding four-year collegiate career at Luther College.
Last week the gifted distance runner added another feather to her cap, this time with her combined athletic ability and classroom achievements. Serres was recently awarded a 2016 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. She is this week’s Mast Water Technology swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week.
The NCAA awards a one-time, non-renewable educational grant of $7,500 to 58 student-athletes — 29 men and 29 women — who competed in spring sports. To qualify for an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, a student-athlete must be nominated by his or her athletic department, have an overall grade point average of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent, and must have performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team in the sport in which the student-athlete was nominated. The student–athlete must have behaved, both on and off the field, in a manner that has brought credit to the student–athlete, the institution and intercollegiate athletics. The student–athlete also must intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a full-time or part-time graduate student. The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women.
Serres, a biology major, graduated in May with a 3.60 grade point average. She will attend Clarke University in Dubuque, working toward a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
Serres is the most decorated track and cross country athlete in Luther history, earning 11 All-American honors: four during the indoor track season, five for the outdoor season and two in cross country. At the NCAA Division III Indoor Track Championships, she was a three-time All-American in the mile, placing fourth twice (2013, 2016), and was the national runner-up as a sophomore (2014). She also placed third in the 3,000-meter run (2014).
At the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track Championships, she is the only Luther athlete to earn All-American honors in the 1,500-meter run four times, which included a runner-up finish as a sophomore (2014) and capturing the national title as a junior (2015). She was also the national runner-up in the 5,000-meter run (2015).
She dominated the Iowa Conference, capturing three indoor titles in the mile, one in the 3,000; three in the distance medley relay and two in the 4 x 800. Outdoors, she was crowned the league champion four times in the 1,500; twice in the 5,000; once in the 800 and once in the 4 x 800. She was named the Iowa Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Most Valuable Performer in 2015 and 2016.
Academically, Serres is a three-time Iowa Conference Spring Sports Academic honoree (3.50 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale) and a two-time College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Division III Academic All-America honoree.
At Platteville High School, Serres was a four-year letter winner in both cross country and track. She was a Southwest Wisconsin Conference all-conference performer four times in cross country and became the first female to win the individual conference title four years in a row, while earning all-state honors three times. In track she was a member of the state championship 4x800 relay three years and the 4x400 meter relay once. She finished her career at PHS as the school record holder in the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs as well as the 1600 relay and 3200 relay. Serres earned six combined first team all-state honors in four events, and helped lead the Hillmen to four conference titles and a WIAA Division 2 state runner-up finish as a senior in 2012.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Nathan Farrey, Lancaster golfer
The 19-year-old Farrey won his second Men’s Club Championship in three years at the Lancaster Golf Course last weekend with a 36-hole 1-under par, 143. Farrey, a 2015 graduate of Lancaster High School, posted a 71 Saturday and followed it up with an even par 72 on Sunday to hold off Father Tim Farrey and uncles Dave Farrey, who tied for second two strokes back at 145. Andrew Gates, another 2015 Lancaster graduate, finished fourth with two-day 147.
Teagan Friederick, Potosi football
Friederick made five tackles from his safety position and returned one kickoff 25 yards for the South in Saturday’s WFCA Small Schools All-Star Game. Frederick was a two-year starter at tailback and safety for the Chieftains, leading team team in rushing each of the last two seasons.
Jason Withrow, Platteville football
The recent Platteville graduate had 10 tackles, including two for loss and a fourth-down stop for the South in Saturday’s Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Small Schools (D4–7) All-Star Game at UW–Oshkosh. The South’s late rally came up short in a 28–24 loss. Withrow was a three-year starter and two-time All-Southwest Wisconsin Conference selection at linebacker for the Hillmen.