Cheering athletes

Student athletes post highest academic scores in conference

Elizabeth Frick is one of many UWL athletes to excel in sports and in class. She was recently nominated for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Woman of the Year Award, which honors female college athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service and leadership.

People will crowd the stands and sidelines this season to cheer UWL athletes as they score touchdowns and endure long distance runs. But UWL’s athletes are also performing when no one is watching — as they take notes, attend lectures and study for exams.

UWL’s student-athletes posted the highest combined grade point average among the eight WIAC institutions in 2016-17 at 3.230. It marks the 17th time in the last 18 years UWL has recorded the highest combined GPA in the WIAC.

May graduate Elizabeth Frick posted a 3.96 G.P.A. and was on the UWL’s Dean’s List every semester while also excelling as a distance runner. She was named 2016 WIAC Cross Country Athlete of the Year.

An exercise sport science and fitness major, Frick says being a track athlete gave her a chance to apply knowledge. While learning about topics like recovery, nutrition, muscular endurance weightlifting, she could adjust her own training.

“I learned so much about how incredible our bodies are, and it was exciting to see how my body adapted to running training stimuli over the course of college,” she says.

But the best thing about being an athlete, says Frick, goes beyond the classroom.

“The best thing is having a family that has your back and will support you and take care of you as you’re away from your immediate family back home,” she says. “The camaraderie, the bonding through tough races/workouts — all of it is irreplaceable.”

UWL senior Ryan Kruser, a psychology major who has played basketball and football, concurs. “The best thing about being involved in athletics is the relationships with all my teammates, coaches and fans,” he says. “If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be who I am today.”

Kruser played basketball the past four seasons and football the past two seasons. In addition to earning several athletics awards, he also has earned a 4.0 GPA.

Experience in sports and school blends nicely with his career goals to become a school psychologist and a coach for football or basketball, he says.

Frick starts a master’s program in kinesiology at the University of Minnesota this fall. She aims to one day be involved with the Paralympics and the Special Olympics. She’d like to do outreach in the community and serve as many individuals with all of their different abilities as she can.

Come see college sports

To see UWL athletes in action this season view the athletics schedule.