UW-Platteville Hosts 2001-02 Athletic Honors Banquet
Basketball star Crystal Stietz earned the UW-Platteville Female Athlete of the Year Award while record-setting football quarterback Tom Stetzer and cross country/track all-American Ryan Kleimenhagen shared the Male Athlete of the Year Award.
The awards were presented at the annual Athletics Honors Banquet Sunday, May 5, in the Ullsvik Center.
Track and field athlete Adam Christnovich and wrestler Roy Forsyth shared the Male Scholar-Athlete Award. Volleyball player Kristen Shields won the Pat Doyle Female Scholar-Athlete Award, while teammate Brooke Kaiser earned the school's NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
In addition, cross country and trackster Mike Schmitz won the Pioneer Student-Athlete Advisory Committee award, and the women's basketball team won the Platteville Chamber of Commerce Director's Award for Community Service.
The athletic department presented awards of thanks to Bill Melville, world-record holder in master's track, for volunteering at all Pioneer home track and field events, and former pro football player Phil Micech, who commuted from Milwaukee to assist with the Pioneer football team.
Gary Karner, the WIAC commissioner, re-presented the school with the inaugural Josten's Trophy for Community Service and a $2,000 check for the general scholarship fund from Josten's, as well as a $1,000 check for the Platteville Food Pantry from Ministry Health Care. UWP Athletics finished third in an on-line voting poll of favorite WIAC schools, conducted by Ministry Health Care, to earn the donation.
Stietz, a senior from Argyle, led the conference in scoring at 19.2 points per game, and her 495 points were the fourth highest total ever for a Pioneer. She earned three WIAC player of the week awards, all-conference and all-region recognition. She was also an academic all-region selection.
Stetzer, a sophomore from Black River Falls, led the top-ranked passing offense in NCAA Division III. He broke four conference and almost every Pioneer passing and total offensive record on the books. He earned first team all-conference honors and earned player of the week twice, not just by the conference, but by Football Gazette, which selects a national player of the week. He threw for more than 400 yards three times last year, including 496 vs. UW-Oshkosh. For the season, Stetzer completed 292 of 493 passing attempts for 3,130 yards, all Pioneer records.
Kleimenhagen, a sophomore from Oak Creek, broke the 24-year-old school cross country record for fastest time ever over 8,000 meters at 24:32. This enabled him to place ninth in the NCAA national championships. He also placed 10th at the conference and seventh at the regional championships. He is one of only two athletes in school history break 25 minutes twice in one season. His success continued over to track, where he won the conference indoor championship in the 1,500-meter run and then went on to place second in that event at the NCAA III national championships with the second fast time in UWP history. Saturday in La Crosse, Kleimenhagen anchored the winning 4x800 relay team and finished second in both the 800 and 1,500 runs.
Christnovich (Jr., Neenah) is majoring in industrial engineering. He has an overall grade-point average of 3.6, with a perfect 4.0 in his major. He was elected vice president of alpha pi mu, an industrial engineering society, and inducted into alpha lambda delta for academic excellence. He is a two-sport athlete who holds the school record for the distance medley relay and has placed third in the conference track and field meet three times in various events. On April 27, he broke the four-minute barrier in the 1,500-meter run to win that event at the rain at the Loras Open.
Forsyth (Jr., Arcadia) is a 2002 Academic all-American who starred on the wrestling mat and in the classroom. He was 25-9 with two of those losses to eventual national champions. He also defeated the wrestler who placed fourth in the nation. Forsyth was a big reason the wrestlers had the best finish of any Pioneer team this season, finishing second in the WIAC and ranking 16th in the country. He is a civil engineering major with a 3.6 g.p.a.
Shields (Sr., Montfort/Iowa-Grant) broke three major career records: kills, aces and digs. She has earned three all-conference awards and named to three all-tournament teams. Shields is a member of the Dean's List, the Chancellor's List, the Gabe Miller Honor Roll and has won several academic scholarships. She was also a Verizon Academic all-District honoree this fall. Shields has a 3.77 grade-point average in business and graphic communications.
The NCAA Woman of the Year honors someone who excels in four categories: athletics, academics, service and leadership. Kaiser (Sr., Warren, Ill.) more than fills all those roles. She came to UWP from a Division I program, where she was a two-year starter, and became one of the most dominating hitters in the volleyball program's history. She earned two first team all-WIAC and two first team all-region honors. Kaiser has the best career attack percentage in school history at .335 and the seventh-best single-match percentage in NCAA III history after getting 16 kills in 18 attempts vs. Ripon in 2000. She is a business management major with a 3.14 grade-point average. She has volunteered with the Platteville Holiday Project and as a member of the Pioneer Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
The PSAAC Award is given to an individual who has overcome odds to excel. Schmitz (Sr., Oak Creek) was involved in a car crash leaving last year's honors banquet. The accident robbed him of a chance to compete in the NCAA III national championships, for which he had already qualified. It robbed him of some short-term memory loss, which made taking finals impossible. Schmitz, however, overcame his injuries through a lot of hard work. On April 27, he went to the prestigious Drake Relays and provisionally qualified for the NCAA III national championships in the 10,000-meter run once again.