MEQUON, Wis. – The 2015-16 athletic year saw more memorable moments from Concordia University Wisconsin athletic teams. As in years past, the Department of Athletic Communications tries to sort through all the great moments and give you, the fans, the top stories from the past athletic year.
The list of stories was compiled by the Department of Athletic Communications and, like all lists, is subject to debate. The top stories will be revealed over the next six weeks, with a story being released each Tuesday (exception: none on July 5). The top story of the year will be released July 26.
Individual success, accolades a big part of Falcons year
To be named a Player of the Year in a conference is a special honor for any athlete. In 2015-16, CUW saw several players earn Athlete of the Year recognition. All-in-all, the Falcons had six athletes named an Offensive or Defensive Player of the Year, or Athlete of the Meet (Track & Field) in their respective sports. Add in a few national qualifiers in Track & Field and Wrestling, and the Falcons had plenty of individual success this past year.
Leading the way was Allison Kurek, who was named the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year in the Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference. The sophomore midfielder, who is a two-time First Team All-Conference had another successful season in leading the Falcons to a second straight conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearance. Kurek was also named Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association All-Central Region Second Team.
In Men's Lacrosse, it was a rookie who brought home one of the major honors, as freshman Garrett Wohlford was named the Defensive Player of the Year in the Midwest Lacrosse Conference, as well as Rookie of the Year. Wohlford helped the Falcons to a second-place finish in the league.
Much like Men's Lacrosse, Men's Soccer had a standout freshman gain Defensive Player of the Year honors this past season. Rookie Gavin Falotico was named the Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference after helping lead CUW to its first NACC regular season title. He also earned Freshman of the Year accolades in the NACC.
Women's Soccer was also led by a standout defender as junior Faith Palmreuter was chosen as Defensive Player of the Year in the NACC. She helped guide the Falcons to an undefeated NACC regular season and the team's first NACC title.
In Track & Field, the Falcons saw plenty of individual success. Of course there was two-time All-American Nicole Larson (more to come on that in a later story), but CUW had a total of three national qualifiers and two Athletes of the Meet throughout the indoor and outdoor seasons. Karli Tatum was named Field Athlete of the Meet during the indoor season after winning a pair of titles at the NACC Indoor Championships. It was then sophomore Nora Imperl who captured Track Athlete of the Meet honors during the outdoor season, scoring 29 points over four events for the Falcons.
Track & Field also had two others qualify for nationals during the indoor season in addition to Larson. Senior Ariel Kinlow advanced to the meet in the 60-meter dash, while junior Tyler White qualified in the triple jump.
This past season was also another one which saw the Wrestling program send multiple athletes to the Division III National Championship. Mason Baumgartner and Pierce Holtfreter reached the national tournament this past year, marking the fourth-consecutive season CUW has had a national qualifier under head coach Corey VanGroll.
With another successful season for the Falcons, it is no wonder several individual accolades and success stories were a big part of the 2015-16 season.
2015-16 Stories of the Year Schedule
HM: Individual success, accolades big part of Falcons year
No. 5: June 21
No. 4: June 28
No. 3: July 12
No. 2: July 19
No. 1 July 26