EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a new web-only feature that will publish each Friday throughout the calendar year.
Senior Vince Momot is having a standout final season for the Platteville boys cross country team. Last Satruday Momot outdueled some of the best runners in this part of the state, beating all of them to win the boys’ varsity race on his home course at the 48th annual Dick McKichan Platteville Invitational at UW–Platteville's Veterans Memorial Park.
Momot finished first out of 162 runners and in the process set a new Platteville course record with a winning time of 16:19.5. He beat runner-up Christopher Pahnke of McFarland (16:23.8) by more than four seconds.
“For Vince to win this meet is big,” said Platteville head coach Rob Serres. “There are really some great runners out there, and he went out and gave a fantastic effort for the win, and for a new PHS course record. We are so proud.”
Momot's individual title led the Platteville boys to a third-place team finish in the large school division behind champion McFarland and runner-up Madison Edgewood, but he had plenty of help from his teammates, junior Dan Iselin (7th overall, 17:02), freshman Jace Serres (15th, 17:27) and senior Blake Julius (40th, 18:14), who all finished in the top 40.
“We are a tough, tough team, one of the best we have had,” added Serres. “But, we are running up against some tough teams as well. We have more in us, and we have a mission to be better, and we will be.”
Two weeks earlier Momot finished 11th out of 268 runners at the 42-team Midwest Invitational in Janesville with a personal-best time of 16:17.19 (also the second fastest time in Platteville history). He also won the boys' Division 3 title and finished sixth overall out of 170 runners at the Verona Invitational on Sept. 5.
Momot is the defending Southwest Wisconsin Conference boys' cross country champion. He won last year's SWC title and led the Hillmen to the team title with a winning-time in 16:47.4, then placed third at sectionals and 21st at state. As a sophomore in 2013, Momot finished second at conference, seventh at sectionals and 19th at state. Momot and the Platteville boys will look to defend their team titles, Thursday, Oct. 15 at the SWC Championships at Richland Center High School.
Briana Ernst, So., Belmont volleyball
Ernst had team highs with 18 kills and six blocks to lead the Braves (5–11, 2–7) to a thrilling come-from-behind victory over visiting Shullsburg last Thursday night, 18–25, 17–25, 25–20, 25–19, 15–8, as the Belmont program honored a young cancer survivor with Tipping for Tessa night. With several area volleyball teams wearing pink in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Braves opted to go with blue for their "Tipping for Tessa" benefit for Tessa Carey, a 4-year-old Belmont girl with Down Syndrome who was diagnosed with leukemia in October 2013 and has endured intense chemotherapy sessions to fight the disease. The Braves held the benefit for Tessa's parents, Dan and Becky Carey of Belmont. Braves' head coach Michelle Wedig went to school with Tessa's father Dan at Belmont.
Nic Wood, sr., Lancaster football
Wood, a Mast Water Technology Athlete of the Week earlier this year, rushed for 277 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 38 carries in Lancaster's 20–13 victory over Dodgeville last Friday night. Wood's 33-yard touchdown run with 8:53 left turned out to be the game-winning score. Wood eluded a number of Dodger would-be tacklers, then stiff-armed one final defender at the 10-yard line en route to the end zone. Lancaster has now won three straight games and sits in a first-place tie in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference with Prairie du Chien after a sluggish 1–3 start during non-conference play. In Lancaster's last three games, Wood has rushed for 664 yards and nine touchdowns on 83 carries since taking over the starting fullback job for injured Evan Gates. Wood and the Arrows will travel to Prairie du Chien Friday night with a share of this year's SWC title on the line.
Abby Kaiser, jr., Potosi volleyball
Kaiser returned to the lineup last Thursday after missing the previous two matches with a knee injury to lead the Chieftains to a thrilling come-from-behind upset of the host Benton Zephyrs 20–25, 14–25, 25–21, 25–12, 15–13 . Kaiser slammed a team-high 17 kills and also posted 22 digs for victorious Potosi, which rallied from a 2–0 deficit to knock off Benton for the first time in three meetings this season. With the win, Potosi knocked the Zephyrs (7–2 SRW) out of a first-place tie with River Ridge in the Six Rivers West.
Lydia Murphy, fr., and Jonathon Murphy, jr., Lancaster cross country
The sibling duo led the Lancaster cross country teams to a pair of top 3 performances at last Saturday's Dick McKichan Platteville Invitational. Lydia finished second in the small schools division and third overall out of 138 runners with a time of 19:31 to lead the Flying Arrows to the girls' small schools team title. The freshman has been a standout perfomer all season and is expected to compete for the girls' individual SWC title next Thursday at Richland Center.
Jonathon, who splits time between cross country and the Platteville/Lancaster boys' soccer team, finished fourth in the boys' small school division and 17 overall out of 162 runners with a time of 17:29. His top 20 performance led the Lancaster boys to a third-place team finish in the small schools division behind only Darlington and Albany.
Hunter Johnson, jr., and Trevor Johnson, jr., Darlington
The cousins combined for more than 450 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns on just 19 touches to lead Darlington to a 57–12 victory over at Southwestern last Friday night. Hunter rushed for 202 yards and three TDs on nine carries and added a 60-yard touchdown reception. Trevor added 115 yards and one touchdown on seven carries, a 7-yard TD reception and a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.