EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
By Jason Nihles
Skye Digman, Jr., UW–La Crosse women's track and field
UW–La Crosse junior Skye Digman picked up a pair of All-America recognitions two weekends ago at the 2021 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in Greensboro, N.C. On Day 3 of competition (May 29), Digman placed second in the hammer throw (182’4”) and third in the shot put (48’9”) to earn All-American honors in each event. Her throw of 48’9” in the shot put is second in school history after Cindy Lensmire’s school record throw of 50’1.5” in 1984.
Digman already holds the school record in the hammer throw with a mark of 184’10” at the UWL Final Qualifier on May 19–20. She earned three NCAA III All-America honors at this year’s national championships after finishing seventh in the discus throw on Thursday, May 27. Digman has four career All-American accolades with a seventh-place finish in the shot put in 2019.
Digman’s outstanding performance netted the Eagles 16 team points and helped the UW–La Crosse women finish second with 56 teams points. Loras College (Iowa) won its second straight outdoor title with 58 points. UWL has now recorded 30 top-10 finishes, including 18 in the top-five, in 37 appearances at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships.
Digman is the daughter of Aaron and Laura Digman of Platteville and is a 2018 graduate of Platteville High School.
Jonathan Kelso, Jr., CF, UW–Platteville baseball
UW–Platteville junior centerfielder Jonathan Kelso had the greatest season in Pioneer history. After a record breaking regular season, Kelso continues to add to his postseason honors. A day after being named D3baseball.com All-Midwest Region Player of the Year and American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings All-Midwest Region first team, the player of the year in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference added D3baseball.com first team All-American honors to his accolades.
Kelso led the WIAC in hits (69), batting average (.442), slugging percentage (.782), on-base percentage (.532), on-base-plus-slugging (1.314), and stolen bases (27). Kelso finished second in runs (55), total bases (122), doubles (18) and triples (4) and fourth in homeruns (9). He broke the school single season record for hits and total bases while recording the best batting average since Brian Potter hit .443 in 1996.
The Villa Park, Ill. native recorded a hit in 36 of the 41 games he played. Kelso had a season and career best 13-game hitting streak and finished the season with a 10-game hitting streak. He recorded 25 multi-hit games with seven games of three or more hits. Kelso did not commit one error in 115 chances while starting all 41 games in centerfield.
Kelso is the first Pioneer in school history to be named All-American, All-Midwest Region Player of the Year and WIAC Player of the Year.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Blake Bussan, OF, Cuba City baseball team
Bussan went 3-for-4 with four RBI and a run scored in a 13–1 win over Darlington Tuesday, May 25. Bussan also went 4-for-5 with a run scored and pitched two scoreless innings of relief to preserve in the Cubans' 12–8 SWAL victory at Southwestern Tuesday afternoon in Game 2 of a two-city doubleheader. Bussan also had a pair of walks early in the day to help Cuba City (12–6, 9–3 SWAL) beat visiting Fennimore (12–9, 9–4) 1–0 and move into second place in the SWAL.
Noah Kirsch, Jr., Lancaster boys golf
Kirsch continued his season-long dominance winning medalist honors at Wednesday's WIAA Division 3 Barneveld Regional by shooting a 5-over-par 77 at The House on Rock Resort while leading the Flying Arrows (373) to a third-place team finish behind SWAL champion Mineral Point (359) and Fennimore (361) and earn a team berth in next week's WIAA D3 Mineral Point Sectional. Kirsch also shot a 2-over par 73 at the Southwest Wisconsin Conference Championships May 24 at Viroqua Hill to claim medalist honors and the season-long individual SWC championship. Kirsch's season-long excellence helped the Flying Arrows (37.5 points) finish second in the conference behind only Dodgeville (46.5).
Caitlyn Hahn, Sr., Lancaster track and field
Hahn finished first out of 25 runners in the girls' 100-meter dash (13.10) and placed sixth in the discus (91'8"), and also teamed up with Abby Burr, Eden Bowen and Lainee Burks to win the 4x100 (:52.27), and with Bridee Burks, Lainee Burks and Bowen to win the 4x200 (1:49.55). Hahn had a hand in 33 of Lancaster's meet-best 120 team points, finishing 21 points ahead of runner-up Dodgeville–Mineral Point (99) at the 14-team invitational. Hahn and the Flying Arrows will attempt to win the Southwest Wisconsin Conference title Tuesday at Platteville High School.
Preston Noethe, Sr., Lancaster track and field
Noethe placed first in the long jump (20’5.5”), second in the triple jump (40’9”) and third in the high jump (5’10”), and also teamed up with Logan Smith, R.J. Hutchcroft and Hayden Knapp to win the 4x100 (:45.37) to help the Lancaster boys win the team title at last Wednesday's Lancaster Invitational.
Bristol Ogden, Jr., 3B, Belmont softball
Ogden went 3-for-4 with two doubles, four RBI and two runs scored, and then came in to work two and a third scoreless innings giving up one hit with no walks and a K to pick up the win in a 21-1 win over River Ridge.
Liam Stumpf, Sr., OF/P, Mineral Point baseball
Stumpf, a Division 1 Missouri State recruit, went 2-for-3 with a homer, three walks and six RBI in a 25–7 SWAL victory at Darlington Wednesday. It Stumpf's third straight game with a long ball. He also went 1-for-3 with two walks and a solo homer in a 13–3 win over visiting Fennimore Tuesday afternoon, and was 2-for-5 with a homer, three RBI and three runs scored, and earned his 10th pitching victory, allowing one run on three hits in five innings of work in last Tuesday's 10–3 non-conference win at Pecatonica. Stumpf is batting .537 (36-of-67) with seven home runs, 41 RBI and 37 runs scored for the SWAL champion and Division 3 #1-ranked Pointers (21–1, 13–0 SWAL). He is also 10–0 with a 0.97 ERA, 62 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched as Point's unquestioned ace.