Category: Track and Field

Lawrence names Ayers as Athletic Performance Coach

Tyler Ayers
Tyler Ayers

APPLETON, Wis. — Tyler Ayers has been named the Athletic Performance Coach at Lawrence University, Director of Athletics Christyn Abaray announced today.

Ayers was hired after a national search to fill this position, which is new to the Department of Athletics.

“We are excited to have Tyler join our LU family as our first full-time Athletic Performance Coach,” Abaray said. “He comes from a knowledge-rich environment for the athletic performance industry so his credentials and experiences are impressive. Beyond this and even more striking was his ability to effectively communicate with all of the different people he encountered, including student-athletes. With him at the helm, I am confident that we will build upon where we are and make even more significant strides.”

Ayers was the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Webber International University in Babson Park, Fla. Ayers, a native of Daytona Beach, Fla., had served in that role since July 2015.

“I would like to thank the Lawrence University administration, search committee and Christyn for this opportunity,” Ayers said. “I believe my job is two-fold. Number one, it’s about impacting the lives of the student-athletes in a positive manner by taking what we learn in the weight room — hard work, determination, toughness, etc. — and applying it to daily life. This all translates into their life after athletics, molding them into great future employees, husbands and wives and mothers and fathers. Number two, it’s about increasing their athletic performance on and off the field while trying to keep them as healthy as possible. If I can do those two things, I will consider my time here successful at Lawrence University.”

Ayers served as the interim head strength and conditioning coach at Stetson University in 2015 before going back to Webber International. He had worked at Webber International as coaching assistant for strength and conditioning for a number of sports.

A 2014 graduate of Anderson (Ind.) University with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, Ayers also holds certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, USA Weightlifting and the American Red Cross. Ayers played football at Anderson and served as the team captain as a senior in 2013.

Lawrence opens the fall sports season on Sept. 1 when the men’s soccer team travels to Concordia University of Wisconsin. The Vikings’ first home contest is Sept. 7 when men’s soccer hosts MSOE in the Banta Bowl.

BLU Crew award winners to be selected Friday

APPLETON, Wis. — The first BLU Crew Awards will be selected Friday evening at the Warch Campus Center.

The inaugural event is sponsored by Lawrence University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). SAAC will hand out 12 awards to its fellow Vikings and announce the All-Viking Team.

The event begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

The categories and nominees are:

Breakthrough Athlete of the Year

Jessica Demski (Gurnee, Ill./Warren Township), softball, pitcher

Jake Gostisha (Appleton, Wis./East), football, defensive end

Patsy Kealey (New Rochelle, N.Y./Ursuline), soccer, goalkeeper

Elana Lambert (Shorewood, Wis./Shorewood), tennis

Best Victory

Women’s cross country victory at Concordia (Wis.) Invitational

Hockey 6-3 win over Lake Forest to clinch berth in Northern Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs

Women’s soccer 2-0 win over UW-Stevens Point

Softball 5-4 win over Cornell

Men’s tennis 5-4 win over Cornell to qualify for Midwest Conference Tournament

Outstanding Play of the Year

Mattias Soderqvist (Stockholm, Sweden), back-to-back saves vs. Marian

Jamie Nikitas (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) to Mitch Willer (Sussex, Wis./Sussex Hamilton) for dunk vs. Knox

Cyra Bammer (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville), kill off face of Macalester player

Mike Deremo (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township), goal vs. Lakeland

Renato Engler (Davos, Switzerland), goal vs. Aurora

Ryan Berkley (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township), goals vs. UW-Stevens Point

Hayley Cardinal (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East), victory in 200 breaststroke at Midwest Conference Championships

Troy Miller (Lake In The Hills, Ill./Huntley), NBA-range 3-pointer in overtime at Monmouth

Alic Riedel (Appleton, Wis./East), kickoff return for touchdown vs. Rockford

Alic Riedel (Appleton, Wis./East), big hit on defense vs. Rockford

Upset of the Year

Women’s cross country tops field led by UW-Stevens Point to win Concordia (Wis.) Invitational

Women’s swimming defeats Lake Forest 146-117

Hockey defeats Marian 3-2

Softball gets 7-3 win at Monmouth

Women’s soccer 2-0 win over UW-Stevens Point

Baseball gets 6-4 victory over St. Norbert

Best Individual Performance

Ryan Butterfield (McDonough, Ga./Strong Rock Christian), football vs. Grinnell

Hayley Cardinal (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East), swimming at Midwest Conference Championships

Jamie Nikitas (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South), basketball vs. Carroll

Liz Arco (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett), volleyball vs. Grinnell

Mattias Soderqvist (Stockholm, Sweden), series vs. MSOE

Troy Miller (Lake In The Hills, Ill./Huntley), basketball vs. Monmouth

Patsy Kealey (New Rochelle, N.Y./Ursuline), basketball vs. Concordia Chicago

Katie Schumacher (Little Chute, Wis./Little Chute), softball vs. St. Norbert

Comeback of the Year

Hockey vs. Lake Forest, trailed 3-1 and came back to win 6-3

Softball vs. Cornell, trailed 2-0 and came back to win 5-2

Men’s basketball vs. Monmouth, trailed 71-62 and came back to win 96-89 in OT

Men’s tennis, Adam Busch vs. Cornell’s Tom Greene, lost first set and rallied to win in three sets to clinch team’s berth in Midwest Conference Tournament

Women’s soccer vs. Grinnell, trailed 1-0 and scored two goals in final 13 minutes to win 2-1

Men’s Rookie of the Year

Ryan Butterfield (McDonough, Ga./Strong Rock Christian), football, quarterback

Nick Felan (Highlands Village, Texas), hockey, forward

Josh Janusiak (South Milwaukee, Wis./South Milwaukee), cross country/track

Nathan Schlesinger (Austin, Texas), fencing

Nolan Spencer (Elmhurst, Ill./York), baseball, shortstop

Max Stahl (Tijeras, N.M./Sandia Prep), swimming

Women’s Rookie of the Year

Lilly Endsley (Rockford, Ill./Guilford), tennis

Mari Hubanks (Sharon, Wis./Walworth Big Foot), soccer, defender

Maddie MacLean (Arlington, Wash./Arlington), softball, pitcher

Arianna Neumeyer (Manitowoc, Wis./Lutheran), volleyball, outside hitter

Emmi Zheng (St. Louis Park, Minn./St. Louis Park), swimming

Coach of the Year

Jason Fast, cross country

Steve Francour, men’s tennis

Mike Szkodzinski, hockey

Kim Tatro, softball

Men’s Athlete of the Year

Ryan Butterfield (McDonough, Ga./Strong Rock Christian), football, quarterback

Renato Engler (Davos, Switzerland), hockey, forward

Matt Holliday (Hong Kong), baseball, first baseman/pitcher

Josh Janusiak (South Milwaukee, Wis./South Milwaukee), cross country/track

Jamie Nikitas (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South), basketball, guard

Women’s Athlete of the Year

Ryan Berkley (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township), soccer, forward

Clare Bruning (Mondovi, Wis./Mondovi), cross country

Hayley Cardinal (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East), swimming

Tierney Duffy (North Riverside, Ill./Riverside-Brookfield), softball, outfielder

Meg Krautsch (Oshkosh, Wis./West), softball, shortstop

The Viking Award

Brandon Boelter (Saginaw, Mich.), hockey

Tierney Duffy (North Riverside, Ill./Riverside-Brookfield), softball

Natalie Kramer (Mendota Heights, Minn./Henry Sibley), basketball

Jacob Lueck (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard East), football

Jamie Nikitas (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South), basketball

Lauren Ray (Hales Corners, Wis./Whitnall), volleyball

Abaray emerges from national search to lead Lawrence Department of Athletics

Christyn Abaray
Christyn Abaray

APPLETON, Wis. — Christyn Abaray is the new Lawrence University Director of Athletics, President Mark Burstein announced today.

Abaray takes over for Mike Szkodzinski, who announced this past spring he was stepping down to devote his full attention to coaching the Vikings’ ice hockey team. Abaray has served as director of athletics at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, since June 2012.

Read the full release

Lawrence student-athletes honored on academic all-conference team

APPLETON, Wis. — Lawrence University had 165 student-athletes earn Academic All-Midwest Conference honors for 2013-14.

To be eligible for selection, a student-athlete must have a minimum grade point average of 3.3 during the academic year.

The women’s swimming and diving team led Lawrence with 16 student-athletes honored. Lawrence had five other teams that had double-digit selections — women’s outdoor track and field, women’s cross country, women’s indoor track and field, women’s soccer and men’s soccer.

The women’s outdoor track and field team was next with 15 student-athletes honored. Women’s cross country had 13 of its 16 team members chosen, and women’s indoor track and field had 13 selections. Women’s soccer had 10 selections, and women’s tennis saw nine of its 11 student-athletes chosen.

Lawrence’s top men’s team was soccer, which had 10 selections. Men’s golf had seven of its 11 student-athletes chosen.

Lawrence had 64 student-athletes chosen from the fall season, 57 from the winter season and 44 from the spring season.

Complete list

Inside LU Athletics: Five to be inducted into Lawrence Hall of Fame

APPLETON, Wis. — Five former Lawrence University athletic stars are set to be inducted into the school’s Intercollegiate Athletic Hall of Fame next month.

Hans Hartwig ’35, John Bill ’79, Dan Dreyfus ’87, Maggie Phillips Reeve ’96 and Mark Smrecek ’00 will be inducted in a ceremony at the Warch Campus Center on Oct. 4 and be honored at halftime of the Hall of Fame football game vs. Illinois College the following afternoon.

Hans Hartwig ’35

In the era of ironman football, Hans Hartwig was one of the finest players of the 1930s for Lawrence University.

A native of Wauwatosa, Wis., Hartwig starred in the offensive backfield and linebacker during his career for Vikings. He played three seasons of football (freshmen couldn’t play on the varsity then) for head coach Percy O. Clapp.

Playing in the single-wing offense, Hartwig started at three positions in the backfield during his career. He starred at halfback, fullback and quarterback as a multiple threat with his ability to both run and throw the football.

Hartwig earned all-conference honors as both a junior and senior. In the days before the Midwest Conference selected a team, Hartwig was named to the All-Big Three team in 1933 and was selected for the All-Big Four team in 1934.

Led by Hartwig and fellow Lawrence Hall of Famer George Walter ’36, Lawrence won the mythical Wisconsin collegiate championship by defeating Carroll, Ripon and Beloit in 1934.

A proverbial big man on campus, Hartwig also was a campus champion in both boxing and wrestling.

Hartwig, who earned a degree in chemistry, remained in the Fox Valley after his graduation from Lawrence. He went on to found Crystal Print, Inc., which continues to operate in nearby Little Chute. Hartwig and his wife, Joan, had two children, Chris and Tina. Hartwig passed away in May 1976, and his wife died in 1995.

John Bill ’79

John Bill was the ace of the pitching staff of the best baseball teams in Lawrence University history.

Led by Bill’s powerful right arm, the Vikings won two Midwest Conference championships and made the only two NCAA Division III regional appearances in Lawrence baseball history.

A native of Kenosha, Wis., Bill put together a career record of 23-12, and he continues to be Lawrence’s career wins leader more than 30 years after his graduation. A two-time All-Midwest Conference selection, Bill was honored by the league in 1978 and 1979.

Bill threw a school-record 235.2 innings and set the school career record with 151 strikeouts. He also tossed a school-record 25 complete games, which included two shutouts. Bill also threw a school-record six three-hit games and compiled a 4.32 earned run average.

Bill went 21-8 over his final three seasons after going 4-4 as a freshman. He holds the school season record for wins with his 8-2 record in 1978 and his 7-3 mark in 1979 ranks second. He threw a school-record eight complete games in 1979 on his way to a school-record 70.1 innings pitched.

A two-year team captain, Bill also played in the outfield and served as the team’s designated hitter when he wasn’t on the mound. He enjoyed his best season at the plate in 1978 when he led the team with a .350 batting average.

Bill, who earned a degree in economics at Lawrence, was a first-team Academic All-American in 1979. Bill also played one season of football in 1975 and was the team’s starting punter on a conference championship squad.

Bill and his wife, Teri, own Manchester Investments and live in Greendale, Wis. The Bills have two adult children, Jacob and Sara.

Dan Dreyfus ’87

Dan Dreyfus made stopping the opposition an art form and became the most prolific goalkeeper in Lawrence University history.

Dreyfus holds virtually every Lawrence goalkeeping record and was a key player when the Vikings won the 1985 Midwest Conference championship.

A native of Bogota, Colombia, Dreyfus played his high school soccer in Tallahassee, Fla. Dreyfus earned all-conference honors in 1985 as Lawrence defeated Knox College 3-0 for the league championship. Dreyfus set school and conference season records in 1985 with eight shutouts, a 0.45 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. The save percentage mark still stands as the conference record.

During his three years as the starter in net (1984-86), Lawrence put together a 25-10-1 record. The Vikings finished first (1985), second (1984) and third (1986) in the conference during those seasons.

A team captain and team Most Valuable Player during his career, Dreyfus set the school and conference career records with 18 shutouts, a 1.07 goals against average and an .839 save percentage. The save percentage record still stands as the conference mark.

Dreyfus works at Accenture in Arlington, Va. Dreyfus and his wife, Laura, live in Fairfax, Va., and have a son, Bryan.

Maggie Phillips Reeve ’96

Maggie Phillips stepped to the top of the podium at the Midwest Conference Championships 12 times during her swimming career at Lawrence University. A native of Shorewood, Wis., Phillips won five individual conference championships and was part of seven winning relay teams, and she did it all in just three seasons.

Part of a 3/2 nursing program, Phillips competed for only three years and was part of the group that elevated the Lawrence women’s swim team to consistently be one of the top-three squads in the conference.

Phillips set five individual school records and was part of multiple relay teams to set school records. Phillips continues to hold the 400-yard individual medley record and is part of the team that holds the mark in the 400 freestyle relay.

Phillips started her career with a flash of brilliance at the 1993 MWC Championships. She won individual titles in the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 400 IM and was part of the winning 200 freestyle and 400 medley relay teams.

Phillips came back in 1994 to win the conference championship in the 500 freestyle and swim on the winning 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams. She then won the 200 IM at the 1995 MWC Championships and was part of the winning 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle and 800 freestyle relay teams.

Phillips also was a 10-time champion at the Wisconsin Private College Championships, and the Vikings won the team title in all three seasons in which she competed (1993, 1994, 1995).

Phillips works as a nurse at UW Hospital. She and her husband, Jamie Reeve ’95, live in Shorewood and have three children, Olivia, Max and Lily.

Mark Smrecek ’00

Mark Smrecek was the rock of the offensive line during his four seasons with the Lawrence football team.

An Appleton native, Smrecek was a two-time USA Football All-American and a four-time All-Midwest Conference selection. A stalwart at guard and tackle, it is believed the Smrecek played every offensive snap from scrimmage, including a few at fullback during his four years at Lawrence. Smrecek also was pressed into action on defense in his final two seasons and would play several series on the defensive line in each game.

An Appleton native, Smrecek also was a standout thrower on Lawrence’s track and field team.

Smrecek is one of just six Lawrence football players to be a four-time all-conference selection. He was a first-team selection in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and made the second team in 2000. A football team captain, Smrecek also received honorable mention on the USA Football All-America team in 1999 and 2000.

Smrecek also competed for three years in track and field and was consistently one of the conference’s best throwers. Smrecek, who set the school record in the weight throw, placed in the weight throw and shot put at the conference’s indoor championships in 2000. He also placed in the shot put at the league’s outdoor championships in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Smrecek works as a consulting actuary at Towers Watson. He and his wife, Lela, have two children, Rosemary and Hazel, and live in Deerfield, Ill.

Lawrence student-athletes named to Academic All-Midwest Conference team

APPLETON, Wis. — More than 100 Lawrence University student-athletes have been chosen for the Academic All-Midwest Conference team.

Lawrence had 133 student-athletes earn the academic all-conference honor, which is given after having a grade point average of 3.33 during that academic year.

The Lawrence women’s swimming and diving team had the largest numbers of honorees with 12. Women’s tennis and women’s indoor track both had 11 and volleyball and women’s outdoor track both had 10.

Complete list

Lawrence student-athletes receive awards at Honors Celebration

APPLETON, Wis. — Nine Lawrence University student-athletes were recently honored at the 2013 Honors Celebration.

The awards and winners are as follows.

The Ruth Bateman Award is given for excellence in scholarship, athletic ability and leadership by a female athlete. Senior Rose Tepper (Mount Vernon, Iowa/Mount Vernon) was honored after an outstanding career in track and field. A five-time all-conference honoree in the high jump, Tepper was 2010 Midwest Conference outdoor champion. Tepper, who holds the Lawrence record indoors in the high jump, was a qualifier for the 2011 NCAA Division III Championships.

The Iden Charles Champion Cup is given for excellence in scholarship, athletic ability, college spirit and loyalty. Senior Tyler Mazur (Reedsburg, Wis./Reedsburg) completed an outstanding football career at Lawrence and remains a key contributor to the men’s basketball squad. Mazur finished his football career ranked fourth in receiving yards (2,253), fifth in catches (130), fifth in touchdown catches (25), fourth in total touchdowns (37) and fifth in points (224). Mazur also was a key member of the men’s basketball team and broke the school record by making nine 3-pointers in a game this past season.

The Outstanding Freshman Athletic Award for Men is given the freshman man who has made the most outstanding contribution to Lawrence athletics. Brandon Boelter (Saginaw, Mich./Heritage) earned the award after an outstanding rookie season with the Lawrence hockey team. Boelter was a first-team All-Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association selection and was named to the All-MCHA Freshmen Team. Boelter led all defensemen in the conference in scoring with six goals and 15 assists for 21 points.

The Outstanding Freshman Athletic Award for Women is given to the freshman woman who has made the most outstanding contribution to Lawrence athletics. Hayley Cardinal (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East) won the award after a big impact on the swimming and track and field teams. Cardinal broke the Lawrence records in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200 breaststroke and placed second and third, respectively, in those events at the Midwest Conference Championships. Cardinal also was part of two record-setting relay teams. Cardinal also won a letter in track and field.

The Ralph V. Landis Award was established by the Lettermen of Lawrence in honor of Dr. Landis, physician to Lawrence students from 1926-78, and is awarded for outstanding contributions to Lawrence athletics by a senior male athlete. Senior hockey player Brad Scurfield (Midland, Mich./Midland) was an All-Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association selection and was the team’s Most Valuable Player each of the past two seasons. Scurfield finished his career ranked in the top eight in school history in points, goals, assists and power-play goals.

The Charles E. Pond Award for Men is given for all-around athletic ability by a senior man in two or more sports and for sportsmanship, school spirit and scholarship. Sam Stevens (Suamico, Wis./Bay Port) was a four-time Midwest Conference champion in track and field was a 15-time All-Midwest Conference performer. The 2011 Midwest Conference cross country champion, Stevens led the Vikings to the team title. Stevens, who holds Lawrence track records in the mile, 3,000 meters and distance medley relay, was a four-time all-conference honoree in cross country.

The Charles E. Pond Award for Women is given for all-around athletic ability by a senior woman in two or more sports and for sportsmanship, school spirit, and scholarship. Cathy Kaye (Sturgeon Bay, Wis./Sevastopol) was a four-year starter in both softball and basketball and also earned a letter in cross country. Kaye was a three-time All-Midwest Conference softball selection and also earned All-Great Lakes Region honors. The team’s center fielder, Kaye also served as team captain.

The Marion Read Award is given for outstanding contributions to Lawrence athletics. Shannon Murray (Lawrenceville, Ga./Dacula) earned the award for the second consecutive year. A four-year starter in softball, Murray was named to the All-Midwest Conference honors for the last two seasons and was the 2013 North Division Pitcher of the Year. A team captain, Murray also was a two-time All-Great Lakes Region softball selection. Murray also served as a student athletic trainer for both women’s tennis and basketball.

The Letterwinner Award is presented by the L Club to those outstanding seniors who have earned eight or more letters. The winners are:

Amanda Dwyer (Ralston, Neb./Ralston), cross country and track and field;

Cathy Kaye (Sturgeon Bay, Wis./Sevastopol), basketball, cross country, softball;

Sam Stevens (Suamico, Wis./Bay Port), cross country and track and field;

Rose Tepper (Mount Vernon, Iowa/Mount Vernon), indoor and outdoor track and field.

Stevens takes steeplechase title as Lawrence men, women take seventh at MWC Championships

BELOIT, Wis. — Sam Stevens won the title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to lead the Lawrence University track teams at the Midwest Conference Championships on Saturday at Strong Stadium.

Stevens won the title with a time of 9:34.42 to beat Carroll University’s Dakota Pruitt by nearly three seconds. Teammate Cameron Davies raced to a fourth-place finish in 9:47.58.

Stevens also grabbed a third-place finish in the 5,000 on Saturday with a time of 1:34.64. Stevens wasn’t able to defend his championship in the 1,500 meters on Friday and took fifth place in 4:00.64. Teammate Dan Thoresen was sixth in 4:03.42.

The Lawrence men finished seventh with 54 points, and Monmouth College won the title with 201. The Lawrence women also placed seventh with 39 points, and the Scots also won that team title with 244.5 points.

The other top finisher on the men’s side was freshman JP Ranumas, who grabbed second in the 110 hurdles in 15.49 seconds. Karston Anderson of Monmouth edged Ranumas by .18 seconds for the title.

Lawrence had two throwers place in the top five in the discus. Spencer Swick grabbed third with a throw of 142-4, and Nick Craker was fifth with a toss of 137-4.

Others placing on the men’s side were: freshman Ben Bard in the 400 hurdles (sixth, 1:00.38), sophomore Kyle Dockery in the 10,000 (sixth, 33:29.10), Tyler Herman in the 400 (eighth, 51.67) and the 1,600 relay team (eighth, 3:34.51).

Rose Tepper took second place in the high jump to pace the Lawrence women on Friday. Tepper, a former conference champion in the high jump, was the runner-up with a jump of 5 feet, 5 inches. Monmouth College’s Emily Tysma won the event with a jump of 5-7.25.

Freshmen Sofie Yang placed in three events, taking fourth in the pole vault with a height of 10-0.75, sixth in the 400 hurdles in 1:08.88 and sixth in the 100 hurdles in 16.46 seconds.

Anna Bolgrien wasn’t able to defend her title in the 400 hurdles and took fourth in 1:06.12. She also grabbed seventh in the 100 hurdles in 16:52. Also placing for the Vikings were the 400 relay (fifth, 51.40), the 1,600 relay (fifth, 4:14.26), Liza Girsova in the 100 meters (seventh, 13.03) and Genna Matt in the hammer throw (eighth, 121-7.25).


Tepper’s second-place finish paces Vikings on opening day of MWC Championships

BELOIT, Wis. — Rose Tepper took second place in the high jump to pace the Lawrence University track team on Friday’s opening day of the Midwest Conference Championships at Strong Stadium.

Tepper, a former conference champion in the high jump, took second with a jump of 5 feet, 5 inches. Monmouth College’s Emily Tysma won the event with a jump of 5-7.25.

Freshmen Sofie Yang and Genna Matt also placed for the Vikings on Friday. Yang grabbed fourth place in the pole vault with a height of 10-0.75, and Matt was eighth in the hammer throw with a toss of 121-7.25.

The Lawrence women are in eighth place with 14 points.

On the men’s side, senior Sam Stevens wasn’t able to defend his championship in the 1,500 meters. Stevens took fifth place in 4:00.64, and teammate Dan Thoresen was sixth in 4:03.42.

Sophomore Kyle Dockery took sixth place in the 10,000 with a time of 33:29.10.

The Lawrence men are in eighth place with 10 points.