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Wilgren named WIAA Scholar-Athlete

Hudson's Anna Wilgren and River Falls' Samantha Krueger are two of four finalists for the prestigious Division 1 girls 2018 WIAA Statewide Scholar Athlete Award, the WIAA announced Thursday, April 19.

To determine the 32 finalists, four boys and four girls were selected from each of four WIAA divisions, based on athletic and academic achievement. Overall, 881 seniors were nominated by 455 high schools throughout the state.

"These extraordinary student athletes excel in both academics and athletics," said Tom Shafranski, Assistant Director of the WIAA. "Seventeen of this year's 32 WIAA Scholar Athlete finalists have a grade point average of 4.0 to date, while the average GPA is an amazing 3.93. All 32 scholar athlete finalists have already earned a total of 299 varsity letters during their first 3-1/2 years of high school. That's an average of nine letters per athlete, and we have not yet completed our spring sports season."

Wilgren has earned nine varsity letters in tennis, hockey and track at Hudson High school. She is Hudson's all-time leading scorer and a three-time all-state and four-time all conference selection in hockey. She has also qualified for WIAA state tournaments in tennis and track and has signed a letter of intent to continue her education and play hockey at Minnesota State University, Mankato this fall.

Krueger has won seven individual state gymnastics championships, including titles on the floor, vault, balance beam and all-around at the 2018 state tournament in March. She was a member of River Falls' back-to-back state qualifying volleyball teams the last two years, and qualified for the 2017 state track and field championships in the pole vault. She is one of just two athletes in River Falls history to qualify for state tournaments in three different sports in the same school year.

The other Division 1 girls finalists are Kari Brekke of Appleton North and Alexis Romero of Brookfield. Blake Kretovics of New Richmond is one of the four finalists for the Division 1 boys' award.

This year's WIAA Scholar Athlete finalists, along with their families and school representatives, will be honored at an awards ceremony May 6 at the Jefferson Street Inn in Wausau. Each finalist will receive a medal and certificate and will take home a plaque to be displayed in their school's trophy case.

The keynote speaker will be former Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers receiver Jared Abbrederis, who was named a statewide WIAA Scholar Athlete in 2009.

A webcast of the awards ceremony will be available at during and after the ceremony beginning at 1 p.m.

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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