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, The Platteville Journal / Fennimore Times / Boscobel Dial
Will Lawrence, So., Javelin, UW–Platteville men's track and field
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — UW–Platteville sophomore Will Lawrence won the men’s javelin on day one of the 2023 NCAA Division III Outdoor National Championships last Thursday afternoon.
With a school record throw of 72.14 meters (236’ 8”), Lawrence was named a national champion after besting the field by nearly nine feet. After fouling on his first two attempts, Lawrence advanced to the finals with a third-attempt mark of 69.21m. He followed that up with the fifth-best throw in Division III history and the best mark in DIII since 2018 on his fourth attempt which proved to be enough to win the event. Lawrence’s throw is also a new WIAC record.
Lawrence is a 2021 graduate of Benton High School, where he was a track and field, basketball and football standout for the Zyphers on the hardwood and the Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg football and track teams.
Skye Digman, throws, UW–La Crosse women's track and field
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Senior Skye Digman won the NCAA Division III title in the women’s shot put last Friday to help UW–La Crosse secure this year’s national title with 67.5 team points with Loras College (Iowa) finishing second with 58.0. The Duhawks had captured the last two national championships. It is the Eagles’ first outdoor national title under head coach Nickolas Davis. He led UWL to the 2023 NCAA Division III Indoor Championship in March, its second national title in school history.
Digman won the national title in the shot put Friday with a throw of 49’9”. She is the fifth thrower in school history to win the national title in the shot put and first since Kim Dankemeyer in 1995. Cindy Lensmire (1983), Donna Oedsma (1985) and Jessie Coonen (1993) also captured the NCAA Division III title. She earns her third career All-America honor in the shot put, finishing seventh in 2019 and third in 2021. It is her second career NCAA III Outdoor title after winning the discus throw last year.
Digman placed third in the discus (159’8”) Thursday. It is Digman’s third career NCAA Divisoin III Outdoor All-America accolade in the discus. She captured the national title in 2022 after placing seventh in 2021. She earned her third career All-America honor at this year’s championships with a seventh-place finish in the hammer throw (181’1”) lsat Saturday. Digman, who scored 18 of UWL’s 67.5 team points, ends her career with nine outdoor All-America awards.
Digman is a 2018 graduate of Platteville High School and the daughter of Aaron and Laura Digman.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Payton Johnsen, Sr., P, Belmont softball
Johnson (15–3) pitched and hit the Braves (20–5) to a WIAA Division 5 regional final victory over Juda/Albany last Thursday afternoon. Johnsen went the distance, allowing just three runs on three hits and two walks. She also aided her own cause with a two-run RBI single to centerfield in the fifth and a sac bunt that turned into a two-run error an inning earlier. Johnsen also struck out three and allowed just two runs, one earned, on three hits in five innings to earn the win in Belmont's 6–3 regional semifinal win over Southwestern (9–13) last Tuesday.
Brady Larson, Sr., Fennimore boys golf
Larson shot 9-over par 81 to finished tie for fourth out of 48 golfers at last Tuesday’s WIAA Division 3 Barneveld Regional at the Par 72 House on the Rock Resort near Spring Green. Larson went on to shot a 77 at the par 70 Dodge–Point Country Club this Tuesday to place second at the WIAA Division 3 Mineral Point Sectional to earn an individual berth at next week's WIAA State Championships. The top two teams at sectionals, and top three individuals at not on a qualifying team advanced to the WIAA State Tournament which will be held Monday and Tuesday at Blackwolf Run (Meadows Course) in Kohler, Wis.
Eli Lindsey, Carson Kroll and Alex Ross, Mineral Point boys golf
Lindsey, Kroll and Ross all shot 3-over par 75 to share medalist honors and lead seven-time reigning SWAL champion Mineral Point to the WIAA D3 Barneveld regional title with 309 strokes last Tuesday at the Par 72 House on the Rock Resort near Spring Green. Barneveld finished a distant second at 360. Kroll went on to card a 74 to earn medalist honors at this past Tuesday's WIAA Division 3 Mineral Point Sectional on his home course, the Dodge-Point Country Club, while Ross, Lindsey and Ascheliman each tied for fourth with 80 strokes to lead the Pointers to the sectional team title and a team berth in next week's state tournament. The top two teams at sectionals, and top three individuals at not on a qualifying team will advance to the WIAA State Tournament which will be held Monday and Tuesday at Blackwolf Run (Meadows Course) in Kohler, Wis.