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Co-ATHLETES OF THE WEEK: Dakota Kauffman and Ian LaMere
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UWPlatteville junior Ian LaMere celebrates a second straight national championship in the 10,000 meters while crossing the finish line Thursday night. LaMere went on to win the 5,000 meter title on Saturday.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.


Dakota Kauffman, Sr., Boscobel track & field

     Boscobel’s distance running phenom won three events – the 800-meter run with a time of 1:57.25; the 1,600-meter run at 4:26.09; and the 3,200-meter run at 9:59.45 – to lead the Bulldogs a runner-up finish at last Thursday’s WIAA Division 3 Bangor Sectional. Kauffman scored 30 of his team’s 62 points (second to Independance/Gilmanton’s 63 points) and is this week’s Mast Water Technology Athlete of the Week by virtue of his standout performance.

     Kauffman won both the 1,600 and the 3,200 runs last year and is a three-year state qualifier. He has the third-best qualifying time this season in the 1,600 at 4:26.09 and the fifth-fastest in the 3,200 at 9:59.45. In addition, his sectional time of 1:57.25 in the 800 run ranks first among qualifiers in that event, which returns its champion senior Xavier Lechleitner of Marathon, who has qualified with the third-fastest time of 1:58.61.

     The 121st Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Track and Field Championships and the 46th Girls Track and Field Championships will be held Friday and Saturday, June 3-4, at the Veterans Memorial Stadium Complex on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Division 3 competitions begin at 3 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, finals for Division 3 begin at 10:30 a.m.

     Ticket prices for the State meet, if purchased at the stadium on Friday, are $8 for each session or $12 for both sessions.


Ian LaMere, Jr., UW–Platteville track & field

     LaMere won his second consecutive 10,000 meters national title last Thursday night during day one of the NCAA Championships at Wartburg College. After a cautious start by the field LaMere took the lead and pulled the field along at a faster pace, occasionally sharing the lead with others. After the halfway mark LaMere started separating from the field by a few seconds. With every lap LaMere pulled away even more eventually finishing 28 seconds ahead of second place.

     “It was hot,” exclaimed LaMere, “being fit helps, but I think wearing extra clothes during training really helped.”

     LaMere crossed the finish in 30:21.40, setting a new facility record and finishing 23 seconds faster than his winning time from last year. LaMere went on to win the 5,000 meters national title on Saturday, in the process helping the UW–Platteville men finish fourth as a team. LaMere ran with the pack for most of the race before taking the lead with five laps to go. Defending national champion Josh Thorson from UW–Eau Claire remained on LaMere’s heels until the final lap.

     Entering the final lap, Thorson took the lead from LaMere. LaMere tried to respond on the back stretch but Thorson held him off. LaMere hung on to Thorson until the final turn when LaMere dug deep for a final sprint and went by Thorson. LaMere held on to the lead as he crossed the finish in 14:24.02.



HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):

Maggie Durni, Platteville track & field

     The Hillmen senior qualified for state in three events, placing third in both the 100-meter dash (12.67) and 200 (26.54) and fourth in the long jump (16’10”) at last Thursday’s WIAA Division 2 McFarland sectional.


Josh Hentrich, Jr., Lancaster golf

     Hentrich, who was a vital member of Lancaster’s Division 3 State Championship team two years ago, took medalist honors on Tuesday, May 24 at the WIAA Division 3 Dodgeville regional with a 2-over-par round of 72. Wednesday he shot a 4-over-par 76 to place second among 72 golfers at the D3 Onalaska Luther Sectional played at River Run Golf Course in Sparta to earn an individual berth in the WIAA State Championships, that will be held Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison.


Dylan Johll, Sr., Cassville track and field

     Johll won the 100-meter dash (11.11 seconds) and finished second in the 200 (22.78) at last Thursday’s WIAA Division 3 Bangor sectional to earn a return trip to the WIAA state track and field championships. Johll won conference titles in each even two weeks ago at the Six Rivers Championships at UW–Platteville.

Kaitlyn Kaiser, Sr., Cuba City track & field

     The senior qualified for state in four events at last week’s WIAA Division 3 Bangor sectional. She anchored the Cubans’ sectional champion 4x100 and 4x200 relays and finished second in both the 100 (12.59) and the long jump (17’4.5”).


Hunter Matye, Jr., Benton/Shullsburg baseball

     The junior first baseman mashed a pair of three-run homers to lead Benton/Shullsburg to a 9–1 WIAA Division 4 regional quarterfinal victory over visiting Black Hawk last Thursday afternoon. The Zephyr–Miners improved to 12–9 with the win.

Rachael Myers, Sr., Southwestern softball

     Myers ripped a two-out RBI triple down the right field line to break a scoreless tie top of the fourth inning as Southwestern won its first regional softball title with a 3–0 victory at Belmont last Friday afternoon. Wednesday, Myers had an RBI double to key a three-run first-inning as the Wildcats upset second-ranked Juda/Albany in a D4 sectional semifinal. Southwestern will face De Soto today (Thursday, June 2) in the Belmont sectional final with a state tournament berth on the line.


Aspen Neisius, Sr., Fennimore track and field

     The Fennimore senior won sectional titles in both the shot put (37’11.25”) and the discus (118’2”) at last Thursday’s WIAA Division 3 Bangor sectional to advance to the WIAA state championships.

Jesse Sturtz, Sr., Darlington baseball

     The senior hurler improved to 10–1 on the season earning both the win and the save in Darlington’s SWAL-title clinching 7–5 win at Southwestern last Tuesday, May 24. Strutz, who started on the mound before giving way to teammate Ryan Glendenning, returned to the bump in the seventh and tossed a scoreless frame to close out the win. Strutz allowed three runs (one earned) on his hits in five innings of work. He struck out six and helped his out cause with a 2-for-3 day at the plate. Darlington clinched the SWAL title with a 12–2 league mark and closed out the regular season 15–5 overall.