By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
SUPPZ.COM SWNEWS4U CO-ATHLETES OF THE WEEK: Fennimore's Brooklyn Ritchie, Boscobel's Aleya Kliesner
Fennimore frosh, Boscobel senior share SWAL Co-Female Athlete of the Meet award
Ritchie, Kliesner
Fennimore freshman Brooklyn Ritchie (left) was named the Co-Female Athlete of the Meet, along with Boscobel senior Aleya Kliesner, after winning four gold medals and setting two new meet records at Monday’s SWAL Conference meet. Ritchie won titles in the 200, long jump, 4x100 and 4x200 relay. Kliesner won gold medals in the 1,600, 3,200 and 4x800 relay.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The 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

Brooklyn Ritchie, Fr., sprints/jumps, Fennimore girls track and field
FENNIMORE — Fennimore Freshman Brooklyn Ritchie won gold medals in four events, including the 200 meters in a new SWAL meet record time of 26.22 seconds, and the long jump  (16’11.5”) to help the Golden Eagles win the team title at Monday's SWAL Conference Meet.

The Fennimore girls won 11 of the 16 events and piled up an astounding 215 points to finish well ahead of runner-up Darlington (97.5) and third-place Boscobel (73.5).

Ritchie anchored the 4x200 relay of senior Jillian Adam, sophomore Peyton Lendosky and senior Rosalie Griesel to victory in a new meet record time of 1:48.14, and also anchored the winning 4x100 relay (52.26), which consisted of the same four girls.

Ritchie was named the Co-Female Athlete of the Week, along with Boscobel senior Aleya Kliesner, who also set a pair of meet records Monday, winning the 1,600 (5:11.90) and the 3,200 (11:43.03), and was also on the winning 4x800 relay.

“After four gold medal performances and two conference meet records (200m and 4x200 relay, Brooklyn Ritchie was deservedly awarded Co-MVP of the meet following a coaches’ vote,” said Fennimore head coach Gregg Davis.

Aleya Kliesner, Sr., distance, Boscobel girls track and field
FENNIMORE — Senior Aleya Kliesner was Boscobel’s brightest star of the day at Monday's SWAL Conference Meet at Fennimore High School.

The UW–La Crosse recruit won three gold medals and set a pair of SWAL meet record to share the Female Athlete of the Meet with Fennimore freshman Brooklyn Ritchie, who won gold medals in the 200, long jump, 4x100 relay and 4x200 relays, and was a part of two meet records herself.

Kliesner set new meet records with winning times in the girls’ 1,600 (5:11.90) and the 3,200 (11:43.03), and also ran the lead off leg of the winning 4x800 relay (10:10.28).

“Aleya did something incredibly special at the conference meet on Monday,” added Fritz. “She is a kid that has worked so hard for the last four years, to be the very best version of herself, and it is really paying off right now. She is one of the most gutty racers, and makes it apparent that she doesn’t plan on letting anyone by her in the last 200 of a race. I am proud of the toughness and grit that she showed to break two conference records, one being from 1998. She has earned every accolade that she has received and continues to set her goals sky high!”

Sophomores Madi Kinnett and Aubrey Seep, and junior Nora Jillson ran with Kliesner on the winning 4x800 relay. Jillson won the 800 with a time of 2:23.17. Freshman Hannah Dilley finished third in the 400 (1:07.28) and fourth in the high jump (4’6”) for the Lady Bulldogs.

HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order)
Tim Bailey, Sr., sprints, Riverdale boys track and field
Riverdale senior Tim Bailey won three gold medals at Monday's SWAL Conference Meet, winning the boys' 100-meter-dash (11.14 seconds) and 200 meters in a new SWAL meet record of 22.48 seconds, and ran the anchor leg of Riverdale's winning 4x100 relay team (45.22), which also consisted of fellow seniors Noah Arrington, Dietrich Buchholz and Dreyton Deglow.

Izzy Bender, Sr., hurdles/jumps, Fennimore girls track and field
Bender scored a team-high 34 points to help the Fennimore girls win the team title at Monday's SWAL COnference Meet. She won the high jump (5'4") and triple jump (33'10"), and finished second in the 300 hurdles (16.78) and third in the 100 hurdles (16.78).

Bret Connolly, Jr., distance, Iowa–Grant boys track and field
FENNIMORE — Iowa–Grant junior Bret Connolly pair of individual titles and placed second in another event to earn Male Athlete of the Meet and lead the Iowa–Grant boys track and field team at Monday’s SWAL conference meet at Fennimore High School. Connolly won the 400 (52.99 seconds) and the 1,600 (4:45.19), and finished second in the 3,200 (11:02.79) behind Cuba City junior Noah Wood (10:45.97) to score a team-high 28 points for the Panthers, who finished third with 90 points. Fennimore dominated the boys championship with 167 points, 56 more than runner-up Cuba City (111).

Braden Fishnick, Sr., sprints/jumps and Brielle Fishnick, Fr., sprints/jumps, Cassville/Potosi
PLATTEVILLE — There’s no disputing who the fastest brother–sister combo in the Six Rivers Conference as senior Braden Fishnick and freshman Brielle Fishnick captured top honors in the sprinting events at Monday’s Six Rivers Conference Track and Field Meet held at UW–Platteville. Together the sibling had a hand in winning seven gold medals and one silver Monday afternoon. The speedsters from the Cassville/Potosi track and field teams both captured the 100- and 200-meter dash titles, Braden with times of 11.23 seconds and 23.06, and Brielle with times of 12.96 and 26.58. Braden also teamed up with Kadin Walsh, Oliver Post and Aaron Edge to win the boys 4x100 relay (46.54) and also finished second in the long jump (20’4”), while Brielle teamed up with Hannah Infield, Iris Adams and Grace Laufenberg to with the girls 4x100 (:52.88) and also finished first in the triple jump (32’11.5”).

Kayahna Furrer, So., P, Fennimore softball
Fennimore's sophomore pitcher dominated last week with her bat leading to Golden Eagles (11–6, 9–5 SWAL) to SWAL wins over Riverdale and two over Darlington. Furrer went a combined 10-for-14 with three doubles, three homers, 12 RBI, 12 runs scored and two walks in four games over the past week. She went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a homer and six RBI in Friday's 16–2 win over Riverdale. She then went a combined 4-for-6 with a walk, a double, a homer, five RBI and six runs in Monday's sweep of Darlington, 17–0 and 13–1. She also went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and three runs scored in Monday's 9–6 loss to Mineral Point (19–3, 11–3). Despite resting her arm in the Riverdale and Darlington games, Furrer still struck out 11 batters and allowed just one hit in five innings pitched in the three wins.

Payton Gile, Jr., P, Cuba City softball
CUBA CITY — Cuba City's Payton Gile had an incredible week pitcher's circle, going 5–0 with a 0.46 ERA, 47 strikeouts and just two walks in 30 2/3 innings to lead the Cubans to the SWAL title. After outdueling Boscobel senior All-State pitcher Gretta Grassel in a 3–1 SWAL win at Boscobel last Monday, Gile struck out nine and threw a no-hitter in a 4–0 win over Iowa–Grant last Friday. Gile then struck out 11 and allowed just one unearned run in a 3–1 win over Division 3 #3-ranked Brodhead Saturday at Belmont. Gile fanned 10 in a five-inning one-hit win over Riverdale Monday, then won both ends of a SWAL split doubleheader Tuesday to help the Cubans (17–2, 12–2 SWAL) clinch the outright SWAL title. Gile outdueled Grassel Boscobel again in a 5–4 comeback win in Tuesday's first game to take sole possession of first place, then earned the victory in relief, pitching 4 2/3 shutout innings, while fanning six in an 8–3 win over Southwestern.

Isaac Henkel, Jr., Fennimore boys track and field
Henkel won three gold medals to lead the Fennimore boys to the team title at Monday's SWAL Conference Meet. Henkel won the open 800 (2:00.01) and teamed with seniors Carter Bunn, Riley Foreyt and Nick Needham to win both the 4x400 relay (3:30.01) and the 4x800 relay in a new SWAL meet record time of 8:04.84, completely smashing the old record of 8:12.74, set in 2015 by Boscobel.

Aleah Jackering, So., OF, Lancaster softball
Lancaster sophomore Aleah Jackering had a big week to lead the Flying Arrows (10–10, 5–5 SWC) to three conference wins and a tie for third-place in the SWC. Jackering hit a grand slam in last Wednesday's 13–7 win over visiting Richland Center, then belted a two-run homer in Friday's 5–4 SWC win at Dodgeville. Jackering drew a pair of walks and scored a run in Tuesday's 4–0 win over visiting Platteville. Jackering is batting .338 (22-for-65) with 17 runs (second on the team), and leads the team with seven doubles, three home runs, 21 RBI, a .615 slugging percentage and a 1.029 OPS.

Hanna Martensen, Sr., Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg girls track and field
Martensen won four gold medals and scored a maximum 40 points to help the BSMS co-op win the girls team title at Monday's Six Rivers Conference Meet at UW–Platteville. Martensen blazed to on-track victories in the 800 (2:33.84), 1,600 (5:41.54) and the 3,200 (13:07.54), and won the pole vault (7'6").

Bailey Mester, Sr., 1B, Belmont softball
Belmont senior Bailey Mester had an incredible week at the plate to lead the Braves (16–4, 12–1 SRC) to the Six Rivers West title. The Belmont leadoff hitter went 10-for-15 with a double, two doubles, a homer, six runs scored and three stolen bases in four wins over the past week. Mester went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBI in last Monday's 15–0 win over River Ridge, then went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI in a 10–1 win at Pecatonica last Friday. She went 3-for-3 with a double, a run and a stolen base in Saturday's 3–0 win over Division 3 #3-ranked Brodhead, then went 1-for-3 with a walk, a steal and two runs scored in Monday's 7–5 SRW title-clinching win over Potosi/Cassville.