BELMONT — The surname Kamps is synonymous with athletic achievement in the tiny 823-person community of Belmont.
Every Braves’ team in a variety of sports has seemingly had at least one Kamps on its roster for what must be the past four decades.
So it was no surprise that Kailee Kamps, the third daughter in a family of four and the offspring of a state champion discus thrower, became an excellent three-sport athlete.
Two weeks ago she was named the best female three-sport athlete in the state of Wisconsin, an impressive feat for anyone, but even more so for the Univeristy of Minnesota-bound standout that starred for a high school with an enrollment of only 86 students.
On June 29 Kamps became the third recipient of the Pat Richter Award presented by WisSports.net as the state’s Triple Play Triple Threat Female Athlete of the Year.
The Triple Play Triple Threat Athlete of the Week is a weekly honor given on WisSports.net to the top senior boys and girls three-sport athletes in the state At the end of the school year, those awarded with the weekly honor were eligible for the year-end Pat Richter Awards.
Hugh V. “Pat” Richter was perhaps Wisconsin’s most heralded multi-sport student-athletes. He was a three-sport prep standout at Madison East High School, in football, basketball and baseball, who later went on to earn nine varsity letters in those three sports for the Badgers and later became UW’s athletic director.
Kamps, the daughter of David and Jackie Kamps, totaled 11 varsity letters during her prep career staring on the Belmont basketball, volleyball and track teams.
“My sisters all played volleyball, basketball and track growing up,” Kamps told the Dubuque Telegraph Herald. “Coming in my freshman year, I always knew [I would play all three].
“I’m very honored [by the award]. It’s just really good to know that all the hard work in those years paid off. People look up to you and you know that you’ve ended your high school career on a high note. Winning this award really shows off your hard work.”
Kamps earned three varsity letters in volleyball as a setter and outside hitter twice earning All-Six Rivers West accolades, including first-team honors as a senior.
But it was on the hardwood and in the throwing circle where Kamps really left her mark on Belmont athletics, earning the maximum four letters in each sport.
Kamps was a four-year starter in basketball, averaging 18.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 3.1 assists per game during her senior year while leading the Braves to a 21–4 overall record and a share of the school’s first conference title in the sport.
She was named first-team all-state for Division 5 by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association and the Six Rivers West Player of the Year.
Kamps led the conference in scoring each of her last three seasons and in all of them was named first-team all-conference.
She also played in the WBCA Division 5 all-star game scoring 12 points in a South win, led the West to a 73–56 win in the Six Rivers Basketball Classic on June 29 and finished her career as Belmont’s all-time leading scorer with 1,430 points.
In track and field she was every bit as successful.
Kamps won the 2010 Division 3 state championship in discus as a sophomore, and finished second in both the shot put and discus in her final two seasons behind four-time state champion Kennedy Blahnik of Algoma, who is two years behind Kamps in school.
She finished her career with six state medals and school records in both events 45 feet 71/4 inches in the shot put and 147–5 in the discus.
But playing alongside her sisters gave Kamps’ her greatest thrills in competition.
“My freshman year I got to play alongside my older sister Kassi,” Kamps said. “And my senior year I played alongside my younger sister Keegan. It’s just full of memories, getting to play with them and have good years.”
Her oldest sister Kara, a 2007 BHS grad, was also a three-sport standout at Belmont and played basketball for one season at UW–Whitewater. Kassi still competes in track and field at Winona State.
Kamps will again follow in her siblings’ footsteps by continuing her athletic career in college beginning next fall as a Division 1 scholarship track and field athlete at the University of Minnesota.
“She’s one of the top girls [in Belmont’s history], or one of the top athletes period,” said Belmont track and field, and football coach Jason Weittenhiller. “She has a lot of natural ability, but what she did on top of that took it to the next level. It’s not just for track and basketball, this award celebrates three-sports athletes. She is just so talented.