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senior athletes on stage

Mound Westonka Celebrates 2024 Senior Athletes

By Lorrie Ham, 05/24/24, 2:45PM CDT


Mound Westonka High School held the annual senior athlete celebration on May 23.

senior athletes on stage

Each year, Mound Westonka High School celebrates standout athletes from the graduating class. This year’s celebration took place on May 23 in the MWHS cafeteria, with student-athletes and their parents in attendance. Included in this year’s recognition were the Yost-Haddorff-Leopold and Athena Award nominees and winners, as well as senior three-season athletes, declared college athletes, and state tournament participants.

Activities Director Jeff Peterson recognized and congratulated the senior athletes on their accomplishments. “This is an incredible senior class with tremendous leadership in and out of the classroom,” said Peterson. “They have left a positive mark as a White Hawk, and we are very proud of them!” 

Triple ‘A’ Winners

Principal Jolene Herfel introduced Cassie Nemecek and Cormac Schaefer, who were recognized as this year’s school-level Minnesota State High School League Triple “A” winners. The Triple “A” program rewards a senior boy and girl in each high school in Minnesota for outstanding achievement in Academics, Athletics, and the Arts.

[Read more about the 2023-2024 Triple ‘A’ winners]

Individual All State Academic Awards

Herfel also introduced the 2023-24 individual All State Academic Award winners.

  • Max Anderson - Academic All State Lacrosse
  • Colter Applegate - Academic All State Tennis
  • Jack Hall - Academic All State Track and Field
  • Camryn Hargreaves - Academic All State Tennis and Hockey
  • Samantha Krahl - Academic All State Tennis and Softball
  • Jack Markstrom - Academic All State Track and Field
  • Lucas Markstrom - Academic All State Track and Field
  • Natalie Miner - Academic All State Hockey
  • Marshall Morrison - Academic All State Lacrosse
  • Jack Nelson - 2x Academic All State Wrestling
  • Marissa Nelson - Academic All State Softball
  • Cassie Nemecek - Academic All State Dance
  • Charlie Paul - Academic All State Tennis
  • Isaac Paul - Academic All State Lacrosse and USA All Academic
  • Jillian Peterson - Academic All State Softball
  • Carter Reinbold - Academic All State Tennis
  • August Schaefer - Academic All State Nordic
  • Annika Weir - Academic All State Volleyball
  • Maisie Wheeler - Academic All State Dance
  • Camryn Winther - Academic All State Tennis and Softball
  • Anna Wood - Academic All State Tennis and Nordic
  • Ingrid Wulf - Academic All State Tennis and Nordic
  • Averie Zealley - Academic All State Nordic

State Tournament Participants

Peterson recognized seniors who competed at state tournaments.

Competing at this year’s boys’ state tennis tournament are Colter Applegate, Robert Davis, Sam Gaylord, Clark Hanson, Adam Kahmeyer, Charlie Paul, Jonny Range, Carter Reinbold, and Ian Santoski. Paul and Reinbold also competed on the 2021 state tennis team. In addition, Reinbold and Bryce Tappen were members of the 2022 basketball team which finished fifth at state.

Jack Nelson is a five-time state qualifier in wrestling. He was state champion for three years and state runner-up for one year.

Jack Markstrom competed at the state track meet in 2022 and 2023, where he was the runner-up in the 400M. He holds school records in the 100M, 400M, 800M, 4X100, 4X200, 4X400, and 4X800. Owen McCue was a member of the state 4X200 team in 2023 and is a school record holder in the 4X100 and 4X200. Luke Markstrom competed at the 2023 state meet in the 4X200 and 4X400 relay teams. Brett Bartkowicz also competed in the 4X200 in 2023 and is a member of the school record-holding team. Jack Hall, who holds a school record in the triple jump, went to state as an alternate.

Ada Bedell, Madison Bozikowski, Sophia Louricas, Marissa Nelson, Cassie Nemechek, Makenna Seitz, and Maisie Wheeler are members of the dance team, which went to state in both high kick and jazz events in 2024, medaling in jazz. Bozikowski and Nelson also earned spots on the All-Tournament Team, while Seitz was named to the jazz all state team. The dancers were also members of the 2023 High Kick State Championship Team and the 2023 third-place jazz team. Seitz was also a track and field state participant in the 4X200 in 2022.

Sage Finck, Camryn Hargreaves, and Natalie Miner were state competitors on the 2021 hockey team which went to state. Miner was also a 2023 track true team state participant.

Bryce Helms placed at the state swim meet in the 50 free and 100 free in both his junior and senior years. He set a school record as a senior in the 100 free. Marshall Morrison participated in the state alpine tournament, after finishing 12th in sections. Averie Zealley was a 2023 state participant in Nordic skiing.

Athena Award

Natalie Miner represented Westonka at the 52nd Annual Athena Awards, which recognized more than 50 senior women from public and private high schools in the Minneapolis metro area. Miner was recognized locally for winning both the Athena and Yost-Haddorff-Leopold outstanding female athlete awards. Hollenstein was a standout athlete in soccer, hockey, and track and field.

In addition to sports, Miner is a National Merit Finalist, junior officer of the National Honor Society, and recipient of Academic All-State and All-Conference Awards, and an Academic Excellence Award. Miner is Student Senate president and communications officer. She is also vice president of DECA, a two-time DECA state champion, an international finalist, and a six-time international qualifier. She is president of “Like a Girl,” a women's empowerment project.

Other finalists for the 2024 MWHS Athena Award were seniors Ally Eidsness, Camryn Hargreaves, Marissa Nelson, Cassie Nemecek and Camryn Winther.

[Read more about 2024 Athena winner Natalie Miner

Yost-Haddorff-Leopold Award

This year’s male Yost-Haddorff-Leopold Award winner is Jack Nelson. The other nominees for the annual outstanding male athlete award were Brett Bartkowicz, Connor Esposito, Jack Markstrom, Lucas Markstrom, Mikey Oftedahl, Charlie Paul, and Carter Reinbold.

The award began as the Yost Award in 1953, honoring the late Frank Yost—a local pharmacist and ardent community sports supporter, who died in 1952. In 1994, the award became the Yost-Haddorff-Leopold Award, also honoring the memories of Oscar Haddorff, who died in 1970, a year after retiring as a 25-year MWHS teacher, coach, and athletic director; and Cory Leopold, a 1988 MWHS graduate and standout high school and college wrestler, who was killed in a car accident in 1993. The scholarship component was added to the award at that time and is given to the school’s top male and female athletes.

During his high school athletic career, Nelson dominated the wrestling mat, setting a record in his senior year for most wins in a single season with 51. His career record of 195-22 is the second most wins in program history. A five-time state entrant, Nelson was state champion for three years and state runner-up one year. He also played football his senior year and earned three letters in baseball.

[Read more about 2024 Yost-Haddorff-Leopold winner Jack Nelson]

Declared College Athletes

Peterson introduced the following athletes who have committed to playing at the collegiate level:

  • Brett Bartkowicz – University of Minnesota Morris (Soccer and Track and Field)
  • Connor Esposito – GAC/Bethel (Baseball and Football)
  • Camryn Hargreaves – College of St. Benedict (Hockey)
  • Samuel Holmberg – Gustavus Adolphus College (Soccer)
  • Brandon Knock – University of St. Thomas (Club Lacrosse)
  • Jack Markstrom – Kansas University (Track and Field)
  • Owen McCue – St. John’s University (Track and Field)
  • Jack Nelson – University of MN Twin Cities (Wrestling)
  • Michael Oftedahl – St. John’s University (Football)
  • Carter Reinbold – Wartburg College (Football and Tennis)
  • Ava Sylvester – Concordia College Moorhead (Soccer)
  • Averie Zealley – University of Portland (Rowing)

The National High School Strength and Conditioning Award

The female All American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year awards went to Marissa Nelson and Kendal Richie. The male All American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year awards went to Owen McCue and Carter Reinbold. This award is given annually to high school athletes who have demonstrated outstanding achievement on and off the field/court/ice regarding strength and conditioning, athletic performance, academics, and leadership.

Three-Season Athletes

Also recognized were 11 MWHS senior three-season athletes: Colter Applegate, Sam Gaylord, Jack Hall, Clark Hanson, Samantha Krahl, Jack Moch, Marshall Morrison, Jack Nelson, Marissa Nelson, Cassie Nemecek, and Carter Reinbold.

“Good luck to the Class of 2024!” said Peterson.

View the slideshow that was presented at the celebration.