Six Blugolds Earn WIAC Athlete of the Week Honors

MADISON, Wis. ( – Six UW-Eau Claire student-athletes have been named Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Athletes of the Week, WIAC Assistant Commissioner for Media Relations Matt Stanek announced today.

Selected this week were men's cross country runner Jeremy Kieser (Sr.-Verona, Wis.), women's cross country member Ashlyn Mauer (Sr.-Sheboygan, Wis.), women's soccer players Gina Williams (Sr.-Madison, Wis./Verona) on offense and Nina Behrenbrinker (Jr.-St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall) on defense, along with women's tennis players Katie Gillman (Jr.-Red Wing, Minn.) and Taylor Heltne (Sr.-Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley) for their doubles play.

Kieser finished first out of 308 runners and helped lead UW-Eau Claire to a first-place finish out of 17 teams at the Blugold Invitational at Whitetail Golf Course in Colfax, Wis., on Sept. 21. He finished the 8,000-meter course with a time of 24:56, a lifetime personal record, and finished more than 22 seconds in front of the second-place finisher.

Mauer finished first out of 266 runners and helped lead UW-Eau Claire to a second-place finish out of 17 teams, behind Division I University of Minnesota, at the Blugold Invitational at Whitetail Golf Course in Colfax, Wis., on Sept. 21.  She finished the 6,000-meter course in a time of 21:43, a lifetime personal record.  Mauer finished more than five seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, who was from the University of Minnesota, and more than 10 seconds ahead of the other competitors from Division III.

Williams was instrumental in helping the Blugolds win two overtime contests at home during the week.  On Sept. 19, against No. 1-ranked Wheaton College (Ill.) with the Thunder up 1-0, Williams scored the tying goal at 86:09, sending the game into overtime.  Then, in the second overtime at 102:33, Williams scored again to lift the Blugolds to the 2-1 victory, their first over Wheaton in the teams' 13-game series.  It was also Wheaton's first loss of the season.  Facing UW-Stevens Point on Sept. 22, the Blugolds took a 2-0 lead but the Pointers tied the game with two goals in the second half.  Just 59 seconds into the first overtime, Williams scored on a penalty kick to give the Blugolds a 3-2 victory.  She finished the week with 10 shots, seven of them on goal.

Behrenbrinker played two complete, overtime games for the Blugolds during the week and UW-Eau Claire came away with wins in both.  Against Wheaton College (Ill.), ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division III, she stopped three shots and allowed just one goal against a team that had been averaging almost three goals per game this year.  The Blugolds won that game 2-1 for their first win over Wheaton in the teams' 13-game series. It was also Wheaton's first loss of the season. Against UW-Stevens Point on Sept. 22, Behrenbrinker made seven saves, while allowing two goals as the Blugolds won 3-2 in overtime.

Gillman and Heltne advanced to the semifinals of the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championship held Sept. 21-23 in St. Peter, Minn.  The pair won three matches with respective scores of 8-3, 8-3, 8-1 to get to the semifinals, but then fell to Michelle Schupach and Tai Lucero of Coe College (Iowa) in the semifinal match 8-3.