Posted 5/11/03

Kleimenhagen, Kent, Skaden are athletes of the year

Cross country and track all-American Ryan Kleimenhagen and football star Matt Kent shared the UW-Platteville Male Athlete of the Year Award, while the Pat Doyle Female Athlete of the Year was awarded to catcher Michelle Skaden of the 2003 softball conference championship team.

The awards were presented at the athletic department's annual honors banquet Sunday afternoon.

Also honored were golfer Krista Puttkammer and runner Amanda Troy as the co-Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year, linebacker Mitch Repka as the Male Scholar-Athlete, and track and fieldıs Julie Korish as the school's NCAA Woman of the Year nominee. In addition, basketball star Tyler Selk was presented with a special Pioneer Career Achievement Award, and trackster Steven Ross earned the Pioneer Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Award.

Kleimenhagen, a junior from Oak Creek, won the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional cross country races then placed second at the national championships in the fall. It was the second straight year Kleimenhagen earned UWP's top honors. He is also a multiple all-conference and all-America athlete in track.

Kent, a junior from Gratiot (Black Hawk High School), became the first Pioneer receiver to surpass 1,000 yards in a season. He ranked third in the nation with 126 receiving yards per game and led the WIAC in receptions (65), yards (1,139) and touchdowns (13). Playing on a bad ankle against UW-Whitewater, Kent caught 13 passes for a school-record 288 yards and four touchdowns.

Skaden led the Pioneers to a 12-4 WIAC record and softball championship, a surprise since the team was picked for last in the preseason poll and had just two conference wins the previous year. Skaden, a senior from Lewison, Minn., came through with several clutch hits during the course of the year. A three-time all-conference selection, she is the Pioneers' all-time leader with 18 home runs.

Both Puttkammer and Troy earned the prestigious WIAC Scholar-Athlete Awards in their respective sports. Puttkammer (Sr., Camp Douglas/Tomah) has a 3.85 grade-point average while majoring in civil engineering. She finished the year ranked 10th in the regional golf rankings. Troy (Sr., Benton) has a 3.80 grade-point average, majoring in English Education. She earned all-conference and all-regional cross country honors.

Repka (Jr., Holcombe) has a 3.73 g.p.a. and majors in mechanical engineering. He has led the football team in tackles the past two years, ranking 17th nationally in tackles in 2002. Repka is a two-time all-WIAC player.

The NCAA Woman of the Year salutes seniors who have excelled in athletics, academics, leadership and community service. Korish, from Cashton, is a six-time NCAA III track and field national qualifier who has a 3.42 grade-point average in health promotion.

Selk was honored for his standout career which included three all-WIAC first team honors and two all-West Region selections. The senior from Randolph finished second all-time on the Pioneer charts with 1,621 points and 818 rebounds. He started 103 consecutive games, scoring in double figures 83 times.

Ross, a junior from Franklin, was honored by PSAAC for his leadership as the student-athlete committee president as well as his leadership to the track teams, despite having an illness early in the season. He recovered and placed third in the 110-meter hurdles at the WIAC outdoor championships.

Also honored Sunday were the men's and women's cross country teams as the Chamber of Commerce Director's Award for Community Service. Awards of Thanks were given to Pete Way, who volunteers his time with the softball program, Keri Pustina of the UWP Physical Plant, and Scott Abing, a student who has produced the department's highlight film for the past three years.