The Waukesha area made headlines in a number of athletics ventures during the 2012 calendar year. A look at some of the biggest stories:
Path of most resistance
The Catholic Memorial football team recorded its first WIAA state championship, adding to decorated coach Bill Young's mantle with a 42-7 wallop of previously undefeated Waupaca in the title game. Along the way, the Crusaders knocked off undefeated Pewaukee and Wisconsin Lutheran (the latter on a last-second field goal) and also topped one-loss Mount Horeb/Barneveld in the playoffs.
The Crusaders finished the year 11-2, and running back Matt Hubley was named Associated Press Player of the Year en route to playing for the University of Wisconsin next year.
Hubley finished with 199 yards and two touchdowns in the championship game at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, the second visit to the title game in three years for the Crusaders.
You can't lose if you don't allow any goals.
The Catholic Memorial girls soccer team outscored its opponents in the WIAA playoffs, 26-0, and recorded its fifth state championship with a 2-0 win over Mount Horeb to finish 21-4-3. The Crusaders defeated Xavier in the semifinals, 2-0, with Anna Jurken scoring a goal in each game and other scores from Ava Olson and Cristina From.
Memorial has been to state every year since 2006, as well as 2004. It's been a similar run of success for Waukesha West, which qualified for the Division 1 state tourney for a sixth straight year.
Waukesha South/Mukwonago repeated as the WIAA Division 1 girls swimming state champion, once again edging out conference rival Arrowhead for the crown, 279-273. Abby Jagdfeld set the state record in the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.67), won the 100 free (50.54) and swam with Molly Manchon, Natalie Clausen and Kaersten Meitz on the 400 free relay title-winner (3:25.38). Meitz also won the 500 free (4:52.92).
On the boys side, South/CMH swimmer Noah Potratz won the 500 free at the state meet (4:38.83).
The never-ending hockey game
The Kettle Moraine Glacier, a co-op girls hockey team featuring players from Waukesha schools (among many others), made its first appearance at the WIAA state tournament, playing an incredible four-overtime game before falling to top-ranked Onalaska, 5-4.
Playing at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, the third-year program capped the year at 20-7. The Glacier rallied for three goals in the final period to force the tie.
Not going quietly
The run of state championships for the Catholic Memorial girls volleyball team ended at three, which is notable enough, but the Crusaders certainly didn't go down without a fight.
CMH lost to Kettle Moraine Lutheran in the sectional final, 27-25, 22-25, 26-28, 25-19, 18-16, after a thrilling five-set win over top-seed East Troy to win sectional semifinal.
On the boys side, CMH once again reached the state tournament but fell to Burlington in four sets in the quarterfinal at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Wauwatosa.
Waukesha West's girls basketball team has opened up the 2012-13 season as one of the area's best with two Division 1 recruits in Michelle Farrow and Kianna Keller. They springboarded into the new campaign with a stunning win over Sussex Hamilton in the first round of the playoffs in March. That same night, Catholic Memorial shocked a senior-heavy Pewaukee team in the first round for a big time upset in Division 2.
The Waukesha West baseball team had a chance to sample the new state-tournament locale in summer baseball, playing at Concordia University in Mequon. The Wolverines qualified for the third straight year (despite a field reduced from eight to four) and the eighth time overall, but it was a brief stay. Germantown rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to win the semifinal battle, 3-2, with West finishing the year at 22-10.
Catholic Memorial's Kaitlyn Hastings ran 14.70 seconds to win the Division 2 state championship in the 100-meter hurdles. Runner-up finishes at the state track and field meet belonged to Waukesha West's Hannah Rohde (24.56 seconds in the 200 dash) and Memorial's Sam Tiahnybik (49.05 seconds in 400).
The Waukesha South boys cross country team placed fifth overall at the Division 1 showcase in Wisconsin Rapids, with Brad Woodford (15:56) leading the way and taking 10th place. Vince Paikowski and Nathan Meints also posted top-50 finishes. Waukesha North, which also qualified for state as a team, was led by a 17th-place effort from Jacob Jodat (16:03).
End of an era
Waukesha golfer Emily Joers took second place at the state meet in Madison with a two-day score of 150, three strokes behind Jessica Reinecke of Verona. Joers finishes a decorated career with two state titles and two runner-up finishes.
In a controversial finish, Waukesha South's Bill Prochniewski was beaten in overtime by Bobby Nachreiner of Hartford in the 106-pound semifinal at the state wrestling meet in Madison. Prochniewski (49-1) battled back for a third-place finish. Nick Wall of Waukesha West, wrestling at 195, wrestled back for fourth place.
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- Football: Early deficit, long Homestead drive ends Waukesha West's title hopes
- Football: Mistakes haunt Catholic Memorial in heartbreaking title-game loss
- Football: Catholic Memorial cruises into state final with all-around effort
- Football: Waukesha West football rampages to state with 'unfinished business' in mind
- Girls volleyball: Catholic Memorial girls volleyball team maintains its grip with state title
- Football: Waukesha West unstoppable in slamming Waterford
- Girls volleyball: Catholic Memorial girls volleyball team earns chance to face fellow juggernaut in final
- Football: Momentum keeps building for Catholic Memorial
- Football: Waukesha West blanks Wilmot in Level 2 playoff clash
- Football: Catholic Memorial flexes its muscles against Cudahy