MEQUON, Wis. – The list could have gone on and on, and it is obviously longer than we thought it would be when we first started making it. The 2011-12 athletic year at Concordia University Wisconsin had many successful and inspiring stories, but we decided to limit it to five.
The list was compiled by the CUW Sports Information Department, and like all lists it is subject to debate. The list of stories will be revealed in stages. Stories 4-1 will be revealed individually over the next few days, with the top story of 2011-12 being released next Tuesday.
Fans will then have an opportunity to vote on their top stories of 2011-12 by e-mailing their list to [email protected] by Friday, June 15.
CUW men best in the NAC
When it came to men's athletics in the Northern Athletics Conference during the 2011-12 athletic year, nobody was better than Concordia University Wisconsin. The Falcons finished with five championships, the most of any school in the league. The cross country, basketball, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track & field teams shined as they each were crowned champions.
CUW finished the athletic year with an 11.06 index score, edging Benedictine University by percentage points (10.75), to win its second NAC All-Sports Award in three years.
Head coach Russ DeLap's cross country program edged rival Edgewood College by five points to claim the NAC Championship this past fall. The Falcons placed an astounding seven runners in the top 33 positions, more than any other team. Sophomore Martin Hinze (Bourbonnais, Ill.) paced CUW with a fourth place finish after running 26:48.0.
During the winter it was head coach Shawn Cassidy's basketball team that captured the NAC North Division title after winning 14-of-16 games during the regular season. The Falcons defeated conference opponents by a 12.7 points per game average, the best in the NAC. They had many nail-biting victories down the stretch and were led by NAC Player of the Year Luke Doedens (senior, Cedarburg, Wis.).
The spring season was the most successful for those wearing the Royal Blue and White, as the men's tennis and indoor and outdoor track & field team's earned NAC titles.
Head coach Tom Weber's tennis squad breezed through the conference to finish with a perfect 9-0 record. CUW had seven of its nine matches conclude with an 8-1 or 9-0 score. During the season, the Falcons dropped just 22 sets (individual and doubles play) out of 107 total sets played. The team was led by senior Brian Tresedder (Kingsford, Mich.) who earned his second-consecutive NAC Player of the Year honors.
DeLap's student-athletes were again victories on the track and in the field during the spring, winning the NAC Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships. During the indoor season, the Falcons ran past the competition and finished with 126 total points, 16.5 points better than second-place Aurora University. Senior Justin Rogers was the highlight for CUW winning the 55-meters, 200-meters and triple jump events. Senior Alex Pawlak (Colgate, Wis.) won the 55-meter hurdles and CUW also won the 4x400 relay event. DeLap was named NAC Coach of the Meet for his title guidance.
The success carried into the NAC Outdoor Championships, as the Falcons tied for first place with Benedictine University at 135 points. Pawlak stood out for the Falcons after winning the 110- and 400-meter hurdles, which earned him Athlete of the Meet honors. CUW also won the 4x100 relay event.
The All-Sports Award is a ranking system that compiles the overall finishes of each team in the NAC and awards a point value based on their place in the standings.