I will try to do periodic notes on athletes from our area who have gone on to compete at the college level. I’m hoping to concentrate on athletes from the Big Rivers, Middle Border and Dunn-St. Croix conferences.
This update will center around local athletes who are competing at UW-River Falls.
The UW-River Falls football team has seen top defensive efforts from Nate Smits and Chris Aeschliman. Smits, a junior linebacker from Hudson, led the Falcons with nine tackles in their season-opening loss to Trine. Aeschliman, a senior defensive end, produced three tackles and a fumble recovery against Trine.
Other area players on the UW-RF roster include Steve McCluskey, a wide receiver from Glenwood City; Matt Linehan, a freshman offensive lineman from River Falls; Alex Gilles, a freshman quarterback from Plum City; Cody Behrends, a freshman receiver from Baldwin-Woodville; and Rocky Larson, a sophomore assistant defensive coach from Somerset.
The UW-River Falls women’s golf team includes Mackenzie Casey, a senior from River Falls; Kate Gjerning, a senior from Rice Lake; and Caitlynn Singerhouse, a freshman from New Richmond. All three have been playing on the Falcon varsity this season.
The UW-River Falls women’s cross country team was led by junior Katie Rydeen of Osceola in the Falcons’ opening meet. Rydeen placed 13th in the Luther All-American Meet on Sept. 10. Other area runners on the Falcons include Anna Langer, a sophomore from St. Croix Central; junior Jessie Behrman and sophomore Faith Harris, both from River Falls; Senior Kaylee Nelsen from Menomonie; sophomore Amanda Rothbauer from Colfax; freshman Amanda Rolling from Osceola; and sophomore Chelsey Turner from Spring Valley.
Former Middle Border Conference cross country champion Jessop Keene of Prescott is running for the Falcon men’s cross country team this fall. Keene was the top local finisher in the Falcons’ opening meet, the Luther Invite, on Sept. 20. Osceola is well represented on the team, with senior Race Rolling, junior Jonathan Switalla and sophomore A.J. Hansen on the team. St. Croix Central grad Derrek Pedersen is also a member of the Falcons.
Jessica Williams, New Richmond
Jessica Williams is a redshirt freshman on the Alabama State University women’s golf team. Williams had strong showings in the Hornets’ first two rounds of the season. She finished 12th overall as the Hornets won their home invitational on Sept. 12-13. She had a two-day score of 172.
Monica Emerson, Somerset and Michelle Brunshidle, St. Croix Central
Brunshidle, a junior, and Emerson, a freshman, are members of the UW-Eau Claire women’s cross country team.
Joe Poulin, St. Croix Central
St. Croix Central grad Joe Poulin has made the UW-Eau Claire varsity football roster as a freshman.
Hannah Utzman, New Richmond
Utzman made the varsity seven for the UW-La Crosse women’s cross country team in their opening race of the season. Utzman was the seventh La Crosse finisher, placing 27th overall, at the Luther All-American Meet on Sept. 10.
Bryan Witzmann, South Dakota State
Witzmann is the starting left tackle for the Jackrabbit football team. SDSU started the season with a 1-2 record. Witzmann is listed at 6-7 and 300 pounds. He started all 11 SDSU games as a freshman and he’s considered one of the team’s top linemen.
Morgan Place, Ellsworth
Place continues to burn up the trails as one of the top NCAA Division 2 cross country runners in the nation. Last week Place was named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week. It’s the second straight week she’s earned that honor. Place is a senior at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where she’s won her first two races of the cross country season.
Ray Rolling, Osceola
Place isn’t the only former Middle Border Conference runner leading their team at UMD. Rolling was the top finisher for the UMD met in the St. Olaf Invitational on Sept. 17. Rolling is a junior from Osceola.
Katelyn Forsythe, St. Croix Central
Forsythe is a junior on the Winona State University women’s cross country team. Forsythe finished 19th in the St. Mary’s University Invitational, run on Sept. 3.