Menomonie seniors Tyra Boettcher, Carissa Henderson and Grace Bilse officially signed on to participate in athletics for their respective colleges in the fall of 2018.

Boettcher commits to basketball at Mankato

Tyra Boettcher, daughter of Bart and Lynn Boettcher, has formally committed to play women’s basketball as a Maverick at the Minnesota State University at Mankato. As an honor roll 3.5 GPA student, Tyra excels both in the classroom and on the court. Combined with her love for helping others is an immense appetite for the learning and improvement process. Tyra enjoys all aspects of education as she looks to further her academic career in pursuit of a degree in education.

As a three-sport athlete, Tyra has a long list of athletic accomplishments. Her cross country honors include being a four time letter-winner, two-time all-conference second team selection, two-time all-conference first team selection, two-time state qualifier and school record holder.

Tyra’s basketball honors include being a three-time letterwinner, all-conference honorable mention, all-conference first team selection, All-Great Northwestern (second team), including a regional championship, and a sectional final runner-Up finish.

Over the course of her high school career, Tyra has averaged 13 points per game and has scored 894 total points for the Mustangs. She enters her senior year as one of the top 40 ranked players in the state of Wisconsin.

Tyra’s track and field honors include being a three-time letterwinner, all-conference third team, two-time all-conference second team selections and was a sectional qualifier twice and state qualifier in the triple jump.

Minnesota State University in Mankato competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Their women’s basketball team is coached by Emilee Thiesse and currently ranked seventh in NCAA DII.

“Tyra is a very gifted athlete that deserves everything she has earned up to this point,” head basketball coach Storm Harmon said. “Of all the athletes I’ve coached over the years, very few have shown that burning desire to win and refusal to lose such as Tyra. She’s passionate, she’s emotional, she puts the time in, she cares, and that’s why she’s successful.”

Henderson signs to swim at UW-Green Bay

Carissa Henderson, daughter of Kevin and Cat Henderson, has accepted a D1 collegiate scholarship offer to swim with the UW-Green Bay Phoenix starting in June 2018.

Academically Carissa has a 4.0 GPA with six AP classes. She is planning a double major at UW-GB in economics and business administration with an emphasis in finance. She is planning to go on to law school and currently has an internship with the Dunn County Clerk of Courts.

In addition to many YMCA and USA State level meets with the Eau Claire YMCA Marlins, Carissa qualified for and swam at YMCA Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. in 2016 and 2017. She has qualified for the same in April 2018.

In high school swimming, Carissa was voted captain for two years and received all-conference individual honors six times and individual all state honors once. She represented the team at WIAA Division 2 State swimming competition all four years, breaking two school records and making it to the podium.

Head swim and dive coach, Emily Fransway, said in just the one year she has been the girls’ swim coach at Menomonie High School, Henderson has showed her what it truly means to reach ones goals.

“Carissa is an all around amazing person,” Fransway said. “At the start of the season, we had a conversation about her goals for her senior year, and her initial responses were all team centered. This shows how truly big of a heart she has and how selfless she really is. I have the utmost confidence that she will excel at UW-Green Bay, and I am unbelievably honored that I was able to be a part of her journey to get there.”

Carissa will wrap her last high school swim season up at Madison this Friday when she competes at State with relay teammates Regan Smith, Melody Greenwood and Kate Westphal in the 200 freestyle relay event. The team qualified with a fourth place finish at the sectional tournament.

In addition, Carissa will compete in two individual state events — the 50 yard freestyle and 100 yard backstroke.

Bilse to hit the pavement at Northern Michigan University

Grace Bilse, daughter of Tom and Suzanne Bilse, has committed to run track and cross country at Northern Michigan University starting in the fall of 2018.

Grace led the Mustangs to the WIAA state cross country meet in 2014 and 2016. She has earned all-conference honors four times in cross country and twice in track and field. Her 5k personal best time of 19 minutes, 27 seconds is the fourth fastest time in MHS history. On the track, Grace has personal bests of 12:10 in the 3200 meter, 5:36 in the 1600m and 2:28 in the 800m.

Grace was the co-captain of the MHS Cross Country program, is an active member of the National Honor Society, and has earned a 3.8 GPA over her four-year academic career.

Coach Craig Olson, who coaches both girls’ track and field and cross country, believes Bilse will be a great fit for NMU and their outstanding team.

“Grace is certainly one of the best cross country runners in the history of our school, with two trips to state and four consecutive all-BRC awards,” he said. “She works extremely hard and has run, perhaps, 6,000 miles over the past four tears. She’s been a wonderful leader for our program and has set a terrific example of what can be accomplished with hard work, discipline and effort.”

Northern Michigan University, located in Marquette, competes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Their women’s cross country team, coached by Jenny Ryan, is currently ranked 17th in NCAA DII. Grace is planning on majoring in Environmental Sciences while at NMU.


Dunn County News reporter

Laura covers local/prep sports as well as school-related and general news in Dunn County. She joined The Dunn County News in October 2016. She can be contacted directly at or (715) 279-6721.

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