Posted 5/10/05

4 Share Athlete of the Year Award

Four standout Pioneers shared the 2005 UW-Platteville Athlete of the Year Awards, presented at the Athletic Honors Banquet Wednesday, May 4.

NCAA III track and field national athlete of the year Ryan Kleimenhagen and Brad Reitzner, who led the basketball team to the conference championship, shared the men's award, while all-American volleyball player Joanna Carlson and track and field/cross country all-American Marcia Taddy earned female honors.

Kleimenhagen, a senior from Oak Creek, won both the 800-meter and mile runs at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and NCAA III national championships. He finished his career with 13 all-America honors in track and cross country and four national championships. Reitzner led the Pioneers to their first WIAC basketball title since winning the conference and national championships in 1999. He scored 31 points in the 73-58 victory over WIAC co-champion and eventual national UW-Stevens Point. The senior guard from Stoughton earned all-West Region first team honors and finished his career with 1,204 points, good for 17th place in school history.

Carlson led the volleyball team to a 27-8 record that included victories over nine top-20 teams, including number-one ranked Washington (Mo.). The senior from Forreston, Ill. set Pioneer records for assists in a season and career while earning all-America honors. Taddy, a sophomore from Two Rivers, earned all-America honors in both the 800-meter and mile runs at the NCAA III indoor national championships and at the cross country national meet, where she placed 13th.

Cross country and track all-American Jackie Mulrooney won the Pat Doyle Female Scholar-Athlete Award, while Tom Venner, who earned regional and national academic recognition in both football and basketball, won the Male Scholar-Athlete Award.

Mulrooney, a sophomore from Hartland (Arrowhead), recorded UWP's best finish ever at cross country nationals, ninth, and earned all-America track honors by finishing sixth in the 5,000-meter run. She carries a 3.3 grade-point average, majoring in elementary education. Venner, a senior from Genoa (DeSoto), earned all-league honors in football and wrestling. He was a first team academic all-American wrestling and a third-team all-district on football with a 3.81 cumulative grade-point average in mechanical engineering.

Shannon Boatman (Sr., Darlington) earned the department's NCAA Woman of the Year nomination. She captained both the basketball and volleyball teams and earned first team all-WIAC honors in basketball.

Pioneer Career Achievement Awards were given to volleyball all-American Andrea Coffman (Sr., German Valley, Ill./Forreston), three-time all-conference soccer player Jessi Jones (Brookfield/East), the all-time leader in softball career home runs, Wendi Siedschlag (Monroe), two-time all-league basketball player Brandon Temperly (Hazel Green/Southwestern), and baseball player David Reifenberger (West Lafayette, Ind./Harrison), who has two of the top 10 hitting streaks in WIAC history.

The Pioneer Student-Athlete Advisory Council presented its inspirational award to volleyball player Pam Pustina (Sr., Livington/Iowa-Grant), while football student trainer Tia Slotterback earned the first Katie Vaassen Memorial Scholarship Award.

The department presented awards of thanks to Deb Knautz of the UW-Platteville Visitors Center, John Poller, who retired from the department in 2005, and current department employees Myron Tranel and Paul Erickson. Wrestling coach Dan Johnson earned the first Assistant Coach of the Year Award.

The UWP cross country teams won the community service award.