Dunn County sports has seen some outstanding accomplishments in 2017 — from Players of the Year to Dunn-St. Croix and Big Rivers Conference championships and everything in between. It is no easy task to select which achievements deserve to be among the top 10 of the year.
However, the skill and talent that came out of the Boyceville wrestling program during the 2016-17 season was truly remarkable. As such, The Dunn County News has chosen their story as its number one highlight for 2017.
Dream come true
Boyceville’s Garrett Joles, James Palmer and Brock Schlough all earned Division 3 state titles in their respective weight classes on Feb. 25 during the WIAA Individual State Wrestling tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison.
“The weekend couldn’t have went much better,” coach Jamie Olson said “Getting three state champions in one year is a dream come true for a coach.”
Seeking redemption after bringing home silver medals the last two years, Joles (44-1) took the 195 pound state title after defeating Southern Door’s Tory Jandrin by an 18-6 major decision. He won his first two matches by defeating Royall’s Noah Friedl (39-6) by technical fall in the semifinal round and then took a 15-3 major decision win over Amherst’s Bryce Holderman (45-3).
In his first career championship win, Palmer (44-1) won the 182 pound state title after defeating Wittenberg-Birnanwood’s Alex Peplinski (44-5) by a 6-1 decision. He moved into the first place match after taking a major decision win over Edgar’s Will Raatz (35-7) in the quarterfinal round and advanced to take the semifinal round over Athens’ Marshall Westfall (36-10) by pinfall.
Palmer not only captured the state title, he became Boyceville’s all-time career winning leader with 165 victories, with the first place match being the one that surpassed the previous record, held by Jack Duerst. In addition, Palmer was also a four-time state qualifier becoming just the second wrestler in the school’s history to grasp that accomplishment.
Schlough (43-1) became a state champion for the second year in a row after defeating all three of his opponents by decision at 160 pounds. In his first two rounds, he defeated Reedsville’s Isaac Roffers then advanced to the semifinal round where he won by a 10-7 decision over Stratford’s David Marquardt (37-6). Schlough defeated Riverdale’s Bradon Roen 5-2 to take the title.
Two other Boyceville state competitors were Noah Novotney and Justin Malean who both placed sixth in their first state tournament appearances.
These young men were not only successful on the mat, many of them excelled just as well in the classroom, earning them Crossface Academic All-State Honors.
Palmer and Joles were named to the first team for grades 12 and 11, respectively. The two student-athletes finished first at state in their respective weight classes for the 2016-17 season and ended with 44-1 records.
Academically, both earned a 3.9 grade point average (GPA).
Schlough earned a first team selection at the ninth and 10th grade level, with a first place finish at state in his respective weight class with a 44-1 varsity record while maintaining a 3.7 GPA.
Jason Swanepoel was named to the third team for upperclassmen with a 3.95 GPA and a 5-4 win-loss season. Micadin Kahl, a 2017 graduate, earned honorable mention during his senior season as a varsity athlete, finishing with a 3.4 GPA and an 11-10 record.
Eli Swanson, a sophomore, was named to the third team for 9th and 10th grade, finishing the 2016-17 season with a 12-22 record and a 3.6 GPA.
Five in a row
Winning a three-peat in a conference is certainly a great accomplishment. But clinching a conference title five years in a row is almost unheard of.
The Colfax Viking volleyball team secured the Dunn-St. Croix (DSC) Conference title for the fifth year in a row after a fitting five-match set victory over Mondovi on Oct. 10.
The Vikings took the first two sets, but Mondovi refused to hand them the title and rallied to win the next two sets and force a third. Colfax held strong, however, and came up with a 15-8 final match to remain undefeated in the conference and become DSC champions once again.
The Vikings then advanced through regional play to compete for the regional title against Webster on Oct. 21 where they dominated the competition with a 3-1 set victory.
Coach Pamela Meredith said winning the regional championship on their home court was something to be remembered: “There is no denying it is more exciting to play in your own gym with your fans cheering you on.”
Colfax traveled to Cameron on Oct. 26 for the first round of sectional play against Grantsburg, a team they had only defeated once before in 2014 for the regional championship. Unfortunately for the Vikings, a highly in-tune Grantsburg team was too much to handle and Colfax’s season ended in a 3-0 defeat.
The Vikings ended their season 22-14 overall and went undefeated at 8-0 in the DSC.
Hitting the moon
“Aim for the stars and you will hit the moon.”
Boyceville track and field coach Corey Day believes senior Tyler Krueger did just that during the track and field state tournament held June 3 at UW-La Crosse. Though Krueger had his eyes set on the school record of 14 feet, he settled for his own personal record of 13-feet-6 inches in the Division 3 pole vault.
“Tyler ended his career the way you would hope as a coach, who has watched him put in the time and effort since middle school,” Day said.
Krueger finished second to Noah Zastrow of Spencer, who broke the state record with a 15-foot-4 inch jump.
Day also noted that Krueger had been recovering from a thumb surgery sustained during the football season: “He was still doing physical therapy and was not cleared until after the second week of track practice. He definitely overcame adversity this season.”
This year was brimming with stellar DSC and BRC athletes that put in the hard work and dedication required to be among the select few that earn a trip to compete at the state level.
Sam Skillings of Menomonie, Brock Schlough, James Palmer, Garrett Joles and Noah Novotney of Boyceville, and Mitchel Harmon and Cole Olson of the Bloomer/Colfax cooperative team all earned trips to the state tournament in Madison for the 2016-17 season.
Kaitlyn Trunkel and Grace Braatz of Menomonie High School put on stellar performances at the Division 2 sectional meet to earn the trip to Wisconsin Rapids to compete at state on March 4.
Track and field
A staggering 33 Dunn-St. Croix, and nine Menomonie (Big Rivers Conference) athletes qualified for the state tournament, which was held June 2-3 at UW-LaCrosse.
For Menomonie, Kylie Mogen won the high jump event while Tyra Boettcher earned runner up in the triple jump to advance.
The 4x100 relays team of Nautica Vaughn, Elle Hemauer, Hannah Peterson, Madison Davis, Kaitlyn Trunkel and Victoria Harmston qualified by coming in first in their race.
Brian Wheeler was the only Mustang boy to qualify, advancing with two third place finishes in the long jump and 100 meter dash.
Colfax advanced 11 athletes after they hosted the Division 3 tournament.
The girls’ had three relays teams qualify: the 400, 800 and 1,600. The 400 consisted of Morgan Schleusner, Jayna Bowe, Bryanna Buchanan, Ally Heidorn, Samantha Pretasky and Caroline Dworak. The 800 consisted of Schleusner, Bowe, Buchanan, Heidorn, Dworak and Teagan Field, and the 1,600 consisted of Pretasky, Bowe, Schleusner, Abbagail Schotter, Mackenzie Jensen and Hailey Prince.
Jeremy Artist also qualified with a fourth place finish in the 100 meter dash.
Boyceville had eight athletes qualify; six girls and two boys.
Cassie Malean moved on in the high jump while Paulina Weinke advanced with a third place finish in the discus.
One relay team qualified with a third place finish, the 400 meter consisting of Malean, Naomi Hillman, Carlee Schultz, Erica Sempf, Weinke and Brooklyn Booth.
The two boys who advanced were Tyler Krueger and Brandon Kenefick, who took second and third in the pole vault, respectively.
The doubles team of Brandon Doughty and Wes Thompson represented the Menomonie boys tennis team at the state tournament held June 1 in Madison. In the fall, the girls’ team advanced the No. 1 doubles team of Lexi Hastings and Lindsey Johnson, along with No. 3 singles Jordyn Hagman to the state tournament in Madison in October.
Home field advantage
This spring marked the first time in 25 years that Menomonie High School hosted a track and field event on school grounds.
Just hours prior to the start of the Mustang Open, the ribbon was cut to officially open the new MHS sports complex on April 13.
The Mustang Open wrapped up with the girls placing fourth out of seven teams and the boys taking fourth. First place victories for the girls belonged to Kylie Mogen in the 300 meter hurdle and high jump events, Madison Davis in the 200m dash and the 4x100 relay team.
For the boys, then senior Evan Husby took first in two sprint events, the 100m and 200m dashes. Sam Zbornik placed second in the 300 hurdle, third in the 110 hurdle and fourth in the triple jump.
“This was a wonderful event, the first track meet on the high school campus since 1992, when we had a middle school meet on the dirt track behind the school,” head boys’ coach Craig Olson said. “The community came out in support and we had some great competition for all of our athletes.”
Note: This edition will feature the top five stories, while the remaining five will be featured in the Wednesday, Jan. 3 edition.