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
Blake Thiry, So., Prairie du Chien boys track and field
RICHLAND CENTER — Prairie du Chien sophomore Blake Thiry was a one-man show at Tuesday's Southwest Wisconsin Conference Meet at Richland Center High School. Thiry won four individual conference titles to score 40 of the PdC boys' 90.5 teams points.
Thiry swept the boys' hurdle events, winning the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.67 seconds and the 300 hurdles in 41.38 seconds. He also won the long jump in a jumps tie-breaker of 20'10" and the triple jump with a leap of 45"3". The Prairie du Chien boys finished fourth behind co-champions Platteville (123) and Dodgeville/Mineral Point (123) and third-place Lancaster (108).
Thiry and the Blackhawks will begin the WIAA postseason Monday on their home track at the WIAA Division 2 Prairie du Chien Regional. The top four finishers in each event advance to next Thursday's D2 McFarland Sectional.
Gretta Grassel, Jr., P, Boscobel softball
MINERAL POINT — After a rocky start to the season, junior pitching phenom Gretta Grassel and the Boscobel Bulldogs had to rediscover the rhythm that led to a 21–1 record and a berth in the WIAA D4 sectional final a year ago. Grassel and the Bulldogs were near perfect in the past week to claim a share of a third-straight SWAL title.
Grassel blanked Fennimore last Thursday, 8–0, then smashed Riverdale, 16–0, Monday afternoon to keep pace with Cuba City atop the SWAL standings, then shutout rival Mineral Point 1–0 in a tense league matchup Tuesday to earn a share of this year's title.
Grassel (11–5) struck out 12 and allowed just three hits and a walk in Tuesday's title-clinching victory at Mineral Point (15–3, 10–3). A day earlier, she struck out 12 Chieftains to record her fourth career no-hitter Monday at Riverdale. Grassel aided her own cause with a 2-for-3, three-RBI, two-double, two-run day at the plate. She was nearly as dominant last Thursday as well, striking out 13 Eagle, while walking two in a complete game shutout.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order)
Eli Adams, Jr., Potosi/Cassville baseball
Cassville junior Eli Adams threw a five-inning no-hitter to lead the Chieftains to a 10–0 win over Monticello/Albany Friday afternoon. With the win, Potosi/Cassville (15–6, 11–2 SRC) clinch it second-straight outright SRW title. Adams (4–3) struck out 12 of the 16 batters he faced without allowing a walk to complete his second no-hitter of the year. The only base runner he allowed was on a fourth-inning error.
Lainey Burks, Sr., Lancaster girls track and field
Burks won three conference titles in the 100-meter-dash, long jump and 4x100 relay, and finished second in the 200 behind teammate Eden Bowen to score 30.5 team points to lead the Flying Arrows to the team title at Tuesday's SWC Conference Meet.
Isaac Henkel, So., Fennimore boys track and field
Henkel was named the Co-Male Athlete of the Meet at Monday's SWAL Conference meet after winning the 800 meters in a new meet record time of 1:58.16. Henkel’s time also broke the previous mark of 1:59.0, set by Riverdale’s Chris McKenna in 1997, and broke his own school record for the fourth time this season. Henkel. also teamed with juniors Carter Bunn and Riley Foreyt, and sophomore Ben Varela to win the 4x400 relay (3:35.62), and Bunn, Foreyt, and junior Nick Needham to win the 4x800 relay (8:14.68).
Nora Jillson, So., Boscobel girls track and field
Jillson was named the Female Athlete of the Meet at Monday's SWAL Conference meet after winning individual conference titles in the 800 and 1,600, and helping the Bulldogs win the 4x800 relay. Jillson also smashed a 33-year-old conference meet record in the 1,600 with a winning time of 5:20.69. The previous record of 5:25.20 was set by Riverdale's Joette Buening in 1990.
Mason Leeser Sr., Cuba City boys track and field
Stitzer shared Co-Male Athlete of the Meet honors with Fennimore's Isaac Henkel after winning the 100-meter-dash (11.45) and the long jump (20'6.75") and placing second in the 200 (23.78) at Monday's SWAL Conference Meet.
Nick Stitzer, Sr., Riverdale boys track and field
Stitzer won a pair of individual SWAL titles at Monday's SWAL Conference Meet winning the boys' 1,600 (4:39.57) and 3,200 (10:18.87). He also ran the anchor leg on Riverdale's fifth-place 4x400 relay.