Katie Faris, Kaylee Frenette, Thomas Robarge and Grace Roseen are in the middle of a lot of things for their respective Chi-Hi sports teams.
Not surprisingly, college coaches have taken notice.
The quartet were honored on Wednesday as they finalized plans to play sports in college for Division III schools. Faris will run cross country at UW-Eau Claire while Frenette will join her as a Blugold on the softball team. Thomas Robarge will head north to play basketball at UW-Superior and Grace Roseen will play soccer at Wartburg College.
Faris is coming off a strong senior season with the cross country team where she finished 42nd at the Division 1 state meet last fall. Faris is a three-time state qualifier, finishing 24th in 2016 and 77th in 2015. Faris said the combination of academics and caliber of team she was joining helped make UW-Eau Claire the top option.
“I like the majors that they offer there and their cross country team took second at nationals this year,” Faris said.
Faris has had a successful spring with the Cardinal track and field team, finishing second in the 3,200-meter run on Tuesday at the Big Rivers Conference championships in Menomonie.
She will join her older brother Andrew who was a member of the program. Andrew graduated from Chi-Hi in 2012 and ran for two years at UW-Eau Claire.
“He was a big influence on my decision to go to Eau Claire,” Faris said.
Frenette will also make the short trip to Eau Claire as she joins Leslie Huntington’s softball program. Frenette has been a staple at the top of the Cardinals batting order all throughout her high school career, most recently earning Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association First Team All-State honors last spring. A standout for Chi-Hi’s softball, volleyball and girls hockey teams, Frenette said being able to stay close to home and play for a strong program was a major draw.
“Eau Claire is a place that feels like home and I feel really welcomed,” Frenette said. “I love the coaches, the team’s energy they bring and their intensity.”
She joins former Cardinal teammates Gretchen Arneson and Tessa Dachel on the Blugold roster.
The Cardinals enter Thursday’s Big Rivers Conference doubleheader with Rice Lake with a 16-4 record and can clinch the program’s 10th straight conference title with at least one win against the Warriors.
“We’re playing really good softball at the right time right now,” Frenette said. “We had a rough patch at the beginning. We’re playing really well and I’m really excited to see how the next couple of weeks are going to play out.”
Robarge will join the Yellowjackets program after capping his high school career during the winter with the Cardinals boys basketball team. Robarge averaged 8.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game with a team-high 42 3-pointers made for a team that finished 12-11.
Robarge said he liked the culture with the team forged by Greg Polkowski and didn’t take long to make his decision after making a trip to the campus last year.
“I really like the campus a lot,” Robarge said. “Overall I think it’s just a great place to be.”
Robarge also had a helpful tour guide during his trip to Superior — Chi-Hi grad and UW-Superior senior Nate Kalien. Chi-Hi boys basketball coach Jason Proue is also a UW-Superior alum.
“It’s always been a childhood dream of mine. It’s really cool to be able to play at the next level,” Robarge said.
Roseen is the only one of the four that will leave the state as she heads to Waverly, Iowa to play soccer for Wartburg College. Roseen was a second team All-Big Rivers Conference selection for the Cardinals last spring and is a key cog for the team’s defense.
The combination of academic offerings and the feeling she got while touring the campus helped Roseen make her decision.
“They have a neuroscience degree, which was mainly the first stepping point towards that college,” Roseen said. “It’s very small and I really liked that. When I spent time with the team they were very inviting and nice and the coach was super excited and really good at communicating.”
Roseen was also a standout for the Chi-Hi girls swim team.
The Cardinals are off to a 5-8-1 start to the spring, most recently defeating Superior 4-1 on Tuesday at Dorais Field. Chi-Hi is back in action at River Falls on Thursday. The team has been at its best this spring against its toughest opposition, including a 2-1 defeat against state-ranked Eau Claire Memorial on May 10. With her future secure, Roseen is excited to finish out the spring with a Cardinal squad she says is gaining more confidence by the day.
“Those games have been super exciting, being able to see all that our team can do especially up against really hard opponents,” Roseen said. “I think going into the playoffs that’ll give us a lot of confidence to go out and play.”