Elite Group Battles for Top Spot in TIMESLandIssue Date: September 5, 2019
This years TIMESLand Atheles of the year have been announced and this year number one spot has been taken by last season's top athel;ete Crivitz's Chloe Gruszynski.
Chloe had an amaziing season with the Wolveriens. She started off with a great volleyball seasonn where she earned a first team election along with player of the year.
"Chloe has been a pleausre to coach over the past four years," said Cirvitz head Volleyball coach Molly Meyers. " She is a very consistant player who makes an impact when she is on the court. She is one of our top offensive players due to her serving and hitting skill set. In addtion, she also plays exceptional defense. She improves every year and the main reason for that is that Chole works hard both during the season and in the off season to become better."
Chloe ended her volleyball season with 53 aces, a 92% serve precentage, 262 kills, 15 blocks and 268 digs.
She also took part in the basketball season where she earned a first team spot along with another player of the year in the M&O
"Without a doubt I'm very fortunate to have Chloe on my team," said Crivitz Head Coach Brett Meyers. " She is truly the most talented athlete that has ever played for me and I'd have to say I've had some great players. I'm amazed at some of the things she does and how they seem so effortless. She is the prime example of how hard work does in fact pay off. I believe that she truly wants to do her best at everything she does. No matter what the sport is she is constantly pushing herself. I believe in addition to that, the opportunities that she has been provided, as well as taken advantage of, have definitely gotten her to the next level. Her family is one that has always said that if you get involved you will do your best and that has shown also. The support she has at home and how they handle her successes are nothing short of amazing. I hope to have another great year with her and see her grow even more as a player and a person. Ultimately I'd like that chance to compete for another conference championship. Our team has room to improve and I think they enjoy enjoy Chloe as a teammate. She will be the first to tell you that her team's wins are far more important than her individual successes. She has great teammates who are the ones pushing her as well. I have never seen such a gifted yet humble person in athletics in my entire coaching and playing career. She has played a big part in bringing success back to Crivitz Girls Athletics."
During her Track and Field season Gruszynski really established herself as a premiere athetle setting her schools triple jump record as well as winning her conference high jump and triple jump events. She ended her season at sectionals were she placed fifth, one spot away from a trip to state.
Coach Glen Treado commented on the excellent athelte," She is such a hard working dedicated athelte! She now holds our triple jump record and was very instrumental in our girls team winning the conferecne track meet for the past two years. She was conference champ in three events. And above all she is just a fanatsic person."
After two seasons, our number two pick, Gillett's Sylvia Hansen has made a name for herself as one of the top runners in the area.
Hansen burst onto the scene as a freshman, as she dominated area cross country and bolted to a third-place finish in Division III cross country with a time of 19 minutes, 35 seconds.
Later that season, she finished second in the state in the 1600-meter run.
This year, she came back looking stronger than ever, winning her second straight M&O Conference Cross Country Championship. "Sylvia finished first in four big cross invitationals and had the fastest time in the state in D3 with an 18:44", said Coach Bill DeJung.
That time that would have won her the DIII State race by 22 seconds and put her fourth in DII.
She had the pace to win the race, but hip pain that developed late in the season slowed her down enough to put her 27th at the 2018 State meet due to factors out of her control.
"Very, very proud of her," coach DeJung said after the race. "She had a great year. Unfortunately, the sore hips wouldn't let her finish the way she wanted to today."
Despite spending the off-season between cross country and track rehabbing, Hansen won conference track championships in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs. She also made state in both races, taking seventh in the 1600-meters by running her best time of the season with a 5:18.74 and placed 11th at 3200 meters.
She continued to battle hip injuries, but DeJung said Hansen has been "very diligent in the whole rehab process for a young athlete," adding, "the hip issue was a big test of patience and overcoming adversity for her."
Don't count out Hansen as she makes her return to the cross country course in 2019.
"She's feeling good as this cross season has started," DeJung said.
Competing in the tough North Eastern Conference, number three on the list, Katelyn Kitzinger earned all conference honors in cross country, basketball, and track & field.
Kitzinger is known by many as a great athlete, but she's also known by her coaches as a leader.
Kitzinger took 10th in Division II 400-meter dash at state this past season and has demonstrated qualities beyond just that of an athlete.
"She is a great example for the younger players in the program by putting the team first and doing whatever it takes to help the team," Marinette basketball coach Zac Barker said. "She had a learning mindset and is always asking questions about a new skill that can help her on the court. It is rare to see a player as talented as Katelyn that possesses her drive to improve her skills."
Track and field may seem like an individual sport, and in many ways it is, but Kitzinger impressed with her leadership there as well.
"She is definitely a leader on our team and shows our younger athletes what they need to do to be successful," track and field coach Bryan Lenzner said. "One of the things that I really like about Katelyn is that she is always striving to get better. Even with the final race of the season, she was not satisfied with where she finished and is determined to improve upon her performance."
She'll be looking to improve her performances, but that's not to say her performances across the board weren't impressive. "Kitzinger earned first team cross country honors and finished second in the 400 meters and 1600 meter relay on the track.
In addition to her running exploits, she finished North Eastern Conference basketball play last season with 11.9 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, 1.6 assists per game and 2.9 steals per game, earning honorable mention.
"She showed toughness battling through minor injuries and never wanting to take a breather. No matter the score of the game she always competed at a very high level," Barker said. "When she is on the court she plays with a passion for the game, coupled with her athleticism she is a difference maker on the court for the Marines."
She's also become a difference maker off the court: in practices and with her teams as she becomes a senior leader at the heart of three Marinette High School sports.
Wausaukee's Madelyn Schlies earned a spot in the top fifve for a great three sport season. Schlies started out the year playing in on the volleyball courts where she esratblished herself as a tough hitter.
After Volleyball Schlies took the court for some would agrue her strongest of her three sports, basketball.
During her basektball season she eanred a first team spot along with defensive player of the year.
Her final sport of the year was softball where she played an intergral role to her team's success. She earned a first team spot for her play. At season's end she had a .952 fielding percentage, 21 chances and 20 putout. along with registering just one error over the season.
"Madelyn is unquely gifted athelte," said Wausaukee head Coach Sue Stoltenberg. "She has fluid mobilty, quickness, and high intelligence for the game. Her "cat like" reflexes and speed has tracked down many hits in the outfield and has put pressure on defenses when she is running bases. Madelyn is an extremely hard worker and puts the entire effort into whatever sport she maybe playing at the time. She has been a joy to coach and is a top notch student athelte.
The number five athlete this year is Blue Devil Mara Allen. Allen has been a standout in Oconto for years now and the times has honored her with the selction into the top five.
Allen started her year on the volleyball court where she earned a first team spot in the Packerland, an undoubtly tough conference.
"Well, Mara is always a huge presence in that middle, she's so tall, right. Always just a workhorse in that middle," said Nancee Bucheger Oconto head volleyball coach. "A leader by action, and was my only senior last year, we are working to fill her shoes in the middle. She's really super intelligent, academically she was just a star in her class. She has a bright future."
After a great season of volleyball she quickly made her way into traning for the basketball season where she ended the year with a unaminous first team vote.
"Mara worked hard on her game to be the best post player she could be. As a senior, she spent time working with our younger players, teaching them the offensive and defensive concepts we used," said Mara's Basketball coach Russ Young. "An excellent student, Mara was able maintain her outstanding academics while earning all-conference awards in sports. In basketball, it was not uncommon to see teams double and triple team Mara in an effort to limit our ability."
To end the year Allen took part as a menber of the Blue Devil softball squad.
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