It has been a year of great seasons, record-breaking performances and notable accomplishments for the Lawrence University Athletics Department. Throughout the year, student-athletes have been named to all-conference and all-region teams in addition to being recognized for their accomplishments in their scholarly work.
In the fall, the football team had five athletes named to the all-conference team. Senior Chris Shaw, who plays tight end, was named to the first team while junior tackle Gabe Baker, sophomore linebacker Wyatt Lee, junior defensive end Jasaad Graves and sophomore defensive back AJ Wansley were all named to the second team.
The men’s soccer team had two athletes who were named to United Soccer Coaches All-Wisconsin team. Junior Will Nichols and freshman Brendan Vellenga received honorable mention. Vellenga broke the school-record for assists in a single year, setting the new mark at 10. On the women’s side, freshman Wakana Komura was named to the All-Midwest Conference second team.
For the volleyball team, senior Arianna Neumeyer earned her fourth consecutive All-Conference honor as a second team selection. Neumeyer has had 1,094 career kills and 1,373 career digs and is only one of three players in Lawrence history to accomplish this feat. In the winter, Lawrence also hired Kim Falkenhagen as the new volleyball coach.
In cross country, senior Josh Janusiak won his third consecutive Midwest Conference Championship as he just held on to beat Mason Wicker of Cornell College. He then went on to qualify for the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships where he placed 32nd and earned All-American honors. Janusiak and junior Joe Kortenhof both won All-Conference honors at the Midwest Conference Championships and they both earned All-Academic honors from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Janusiak kept it rolling in the winter during indoor track as he won the 5,000-meter race at the Midwest Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships and placed third in the 3,000-meter race. He earned All-Conference honors for both performances. He then went on and qualify for the national championships in the 5,000-meter race and place 11th in the event. Also at the Midwest Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, both the men’s and women’s distance medley relay teams placed third, earning All-Conference honors.
In the winter, four fencers were named to the All-Midwest Fencing Conference team. Senior Nathan Schlesinger was named to the second team in foil, while junior Jakub Nowak and sophomore Vinzenz Mayer were both given honorable mention in epee. Junior Allison Kim was also given honorable mention in sabre.
As for the basketball teams, one man and one woman were named to the All-Conference team. On the women’s side, sophomore Kenya Earl was named to the first team after being a second team selection last year. Sophomore Brad Sendell represented the Lawrence men on the All-Conference team as he was named to the second team.
It was a widely successful year for the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams as well. Freshman Maddy Smith broke all of the school’s diving records, placed second on the three-meter board and fourth on the one-meter board at the Conference Championships, and placed 23rd on both the one-meter and the three-meter boards at the Regional Championships. The women’s team broke a number of records at the Conference Championships en-route to a second-place finish. The 100-backstroke, 100-butterfly, 100-freestyle, 200-butterfly and 400-freestyle relay records all went down. Sophomore Erin Lengel was named Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet and Coach Drew Fleek won Coach of the Year honors. On the men’s side, junior Liam Wulfman broke the 100-butterfly school record and the team finished fifth overall.
For the hockey team, senior Josh Koepplinger had another outstanding season. He was named to the All-Northern Collegiate Hockey Association team. He then went on to sign a professional hockey contract.
Despite the unseasonably cold spring, there were still some great performances. Sophomore softball player Ceara Larson was named Midwest Conference Player of the Year as well as being named to the All-Conference first team. Junior Emilia Jackson was also a first-team All-Conference selection while junior Amanda Karnatz was a second-team selection. For the baseball team, senior Nolan Spencer and junior Patrick McDonnell were named to the All-Midwest Conference North Division team. Spencer set the school record for runs scored in a season with 39.
Janusiak also continued to tear it up during the outdoor track season. He won the 10,000-meter race at the Conference Championships and was third in the 5,000-meter race, earning All-Conference honors in both events. Kortenhof placed third in the 10,000-meter race to earn another All-Conference honor of his own. Janusiak, with the 16th fastest time in the 10,000-meter race in the country, has qualified for the national championships in the event and is traveling to Geneva, Ohio to compete this week.
Finally, it was a widely successful year for the men’s and women’s tennis teams. On the women’s side, the No. 3 doubles team of senior El Goblirsch and freshman Morgan Fisher reached the semifinals at the Midwest Conference Championships. The men finished second in the Midwest Conference tournament losing a 5-0 match to Grinnell for the championship. This was the team’s best finish since 2013. At the Midwest Conference Championships, sophomore Matt Chan finished second at No. 5 singles and freshman Cam Strawn finished second at No. 6 singles. The No. 3 doubles team of juniors Andrea Arivella and Aidan Delgado also finished second. Junior Cade Francour also won the Midwest Conference Eilte 20 award.
Overall, it was a very successful year and the student athletes hope to build off of the success for years to come.