The Brookfield East girls track and field team recently handed out its team awards following coach Lisa Foss' first season as head coach after four years as an assistant.
Sophomore Alisha Harper earned MVP honors while the Most Valuable Newcomer Award went to freshman Jessie Austin. There was a tie for the Most Spirited Award between juniors Julie Fuerbringer and Molly Niemi.
Harper was one of three school-record breakers. She broke the triple jump mark with a leap of 37-feet, 8¼ inches, Maddie Timm in the two mile in 11 minutes, 18.37 and Jade Race in the pole vault (10-feet, 6 inches).
"All three of these girls are examples of individuals who put in the time to achieve their goals," Foss said. "They were all focused and dedicated to achieve these goals."
Foss is losing three of her four team captains in seniors: Jenna Hatab, Tory Felker and Race.
"These girls are all going to (UW-) Madison where they will be successful in whatever they decide to pursue," Foss said.
That leaves behind returning junior captain Katie Schwarz and three new team captains - Harper, Brianna Mathison and Niemi.
"These girls are all very well deserving of the honor to lead the team," Foss said. "They were rewarded this honor based on their work ethic, attitude, passion and character."
Foss loses a large group of seniors - 16 in all.
Hatab (sprinter/hurdler), Felker (sprinter/hurdler), Race (pole vaulter, high jumper, sprinter), Timm (distance runner), Nina Dismukes (sprinter/hurdler), Elyse Linsmeier (sprinter/hurdler), Lauren Engelhart (sprinter/triple/long jumper), Mai-Lin Schuh (pole vaulter) Maggie O'Neill (pole vaulter), Kristin Fohr (distance runner), Kathleen Browne (distance runner), Julia Barnes (distance runner), Quane Carter (thrower), Shelby Jacob (sprinter/hurdler), Allison Kent (sprinter) and Grace Kopplin (distance runner).
"This group of seniors have been outstanding team leaders on a daily basis and will be sincerely missed as they begin the next chapter in their lives," Foss said.
Foss looked back at her first season at the controls.
"It is very exciting to finish my first year as the head coach, and I am so lucky to be blessed with such wonderful, talented athletes and coaches who are all focused on doing well as both team and individuals through hard work and fun," she said. "We truly grew into a track family this season. And while track has always been my passion, I found myself loving it even more at the end of this season."
Foss recalled some of the comments when she took the position.
"Many people congratulated me and immediately followed their congratulations with the comment, 'That's going to be a lot of work.' And boy were they right," Foss said. "But this is the kind of hard work that I love doing.
"I truly enjoy sharing my passion with the girls and coaches and deeply care about all of them. While we are losing a great group of seniors, I know that we have a bright future as a team in our conference and we will continue to grow."
Foss does see a bright future for her squad.
"I think that the girls surprised a lot of people with both their JV and varsity performances this season," she said. "If they continue that focus and dedication through the off-season, we can maintain that top spot for JV and achieve it for varsity in the conference next season."
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