Kersemeier dashes into Lawrence Hall of Fame

Updated 9/22/2014 7:18 PM

Students at Hersey High School in the 1990s trying to run away from the principal's office might have had a little problem.

The principal at the time, Don Kersemeier, was one of the fastest men in Lawrence University history.


Kersemeier set a trio of Lawrence dash records and won multiple Midwest Conference track and field titles.

On Oct 10, he will be recognized with the ultimate honor from the school in Appleton, Wis.

Kersemeier, a 1963 graduate, will be inducted into the Lawrence Sports Hall of Fame on Oct. 10 along with five other inductees.

A native of Wausau, Wis., Kersemeier was a four-time Midwest Conference champion, winning two titles outdoors and two more indoors.

He competed for only two varsity seasons, missing one season while studying for a year in India on a Carnegie Foundation grant and freshmen weren't eligible for varsity competition back then.

Kersemeier was a star on the freshmen team and came out blazing as a sophomore in 1961. He won the 60-yard dash at the Midwest Conference indoor championships. Kersemeier became the man to beat during the outdoor season as he ran the 100 and 220 and was a member of the 880 and mile relay teams.

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He broke a pair of school records while competing in dual meets against Ripon College in 1961.

In April 1961, he won the 100 in 9.6 seconds, breaking the 22-year-old record of 9.7 set by Joe Graf at the Beloit College Relays in 1939. Prior to Graf's record-setting time, the previous mark had stood for 41 years after Jay Merrill set the mark of 9.8 in 1898.

Competing against Ripon in May 1961, Kersemeier broke the record in the 220 as he blazed to victory in 21.0 seconds.

That broke the mark of 21.3 set by Bob Whitelaw in 1948. Kersemeier also teamed with Bob Buchanan, Joel Blahnik and Mike Ulwelling to set the school record of 1:35.2 in the 880 relay indoors.

Also highlighting the 1961 outdoor season was a victory in the 100 at the prestigious Beloit Relays and top-three finishes in both the 100 and 220 at the Midwest Conference Championships.

After studying in India in 1961-62, Kersemeier returned to Lawrence in the fall of 1962 and was unbeatable the following spring.

He started during the indoor season by breaking the school record in the 60-yard dash with a winning time of 6.4 seconds at the Midwest Conference indoor meet.


Kersemeier then piled up 14 event victories during the course of the outdoor season. He was unbeaten in the 100 and 220 during the season and ran on the mile relay team, which picked up multiple victories.

He capped his career by winning both the 100 in 10.1 seconds and the 220 in 21.5 seconds at the Midwest Conference Championships at Carleton College.

He was a two-time winner of the DeGoy Ellis Trophy, which goes to the track man scoring the most points during the season. He captured the award in 1961 and again in 1963.

Kersemeier, who earned his master's degree and doctorate from Wisconsin-Madison, spent his professional career as an educator.

Before becoming the Hersey principal, he was a teacher at Glenbrook North High School and the assistant principal for instruction at Glenbard East High School. He retired in 1997.

Kersemeier and his wife, Mary, have three children, Carolyn, Susan and Craig, and 11 grandchildren.

The Kersemeiers now split their time between Arlington Heights and Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

Women's soccer

Notre Dame junior defender/tri-captain Katie Naughton (Elk Grove) earned Primetime Performers Honor Roll recognition for her recent efforts.

Naughton was a key factor in anchoring the Fighting Irish back line during the pair of shutouts at Santa Clara and Stanford, skillfully sweeping a loose ball away from the goal line to steal a goal from the Cardinal late in the contest.

Naughton was also one of six finalists for the ESPNW Women's Soccer Player of the Week award.

Naughton was on the U20 Women's USA Soccer Team and participated in the 2014 World Cup in Canada.

• For a second time this season, DePaul midfielder Alexa Ben (Schaumburg) was named the Big East Conference Rookie of the Week earlier this month.

She scored two goals over the past week, including the tying goal in a 3-1 victory against Illinois State and another tying goal during the Blue Demons' 3-2 road victory against Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Those were Ben's first two collegiate goals.

"I look for help other people score more than me," said Ben (team-high 6 assists) on the school's soccer website. "It's a combination of anticipating a play and expecting my teammates to be there.

With a 8-0-1 record, DePaul is off to its best start in program history.

It is the longest undefeated streak in DePaul women's soccer history, eclipsing the eight-game streak from last season.

In the Blue Demons' 3-1 victory over Cincinnati, Sarah Gorden (Conant) provided the assist for Abby Reed's team-leading eighth goal in the 54th minute. It was a textbook cross from Gorden.

"We scored 3 great goals in the game," said DePaul coach Erin Chastain on the school's website. "And Sarah Gorden had her best game of the year."

• Augustana sophomore Jessa Rizzo (Fremd) scored a game-winning goal in the second overtime for the second match in a row to give Augustana a 1-0 win over Dubuque at Thorson-Lucken Field. She also had 2 goals and an assist in a 3-0 win at Principia for the Vikings (5-1).

Rizzo's 3 goals on the week gave her a team-high 6 this season. She is tied for the team lead with two others and she has 2 assists to account for 14 total points.

Women's volleyball

Augustana senior Emily Leazer (St. Viator) holds a 2.64 kill per game average with 87 in 33 games. She is also second on the team (10-1) in digs with 122 and has eight service aces.

• North Central junior setter Laura Kluk (Palatine) was named the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Volleyball Player of the Week.

Kluk was named to the all-tournament team at Aurora University's Jim Coleman Classic. She totaled 133 set assists (8.31 per set) and averaged 3.31 digs for the 3-2 Cardinals.

Kluk had 36 assists and 26 digs in a 3-1 win over Loras. She also had 26 assists apiece in sweeps against Franklin and Illinois Institute of Technology.


Augustana junior quarterback Sam Frasco (Prospect) threw a career-high 4 touchdown passes as the Vikings won their first game of the season 34-17 over visiting Loras.

Through three games, the Viking offense has produced 28.7 points and 403.0 total yards per game. The ground game, led by Frasco's 217 yards and 5 touchdowns, averages 200.7 yards per game and 4.7 per carry. Through the air, Frasco has connected on 48 of 79 attempts for 586 yards and 5 touchdowns with 3 interceptions.

Augustana sophomore linebacker Jack Asquini (Buffalo Grove) accounted for a pair of takeaways, recovering two fumbles to go along with a game-high 15 tackles (11 solo). The Augustana defense weathered an amazing 110 Loras plays from scrimmage, including 74 pass attempts.

Asquini has team highs of 28 tackles, including 21 solo stops and 2 fumble recoveries. Augustana junior Frank Kalble (Hersey) has recorded a team-high 6 tackles for loss.

Men's soccer

Augustana junior Anthony D'Angelo (Stevenson) scored twice and senior goalkeeper Brett Johnson (Zion Benton) recorded his third solo shutout in a 4-0 victory over Westminster in the Vikings' home opener at Thorson-Lucken Field.

D'Angelo leads the Vikings (5-2) with 3 goals.


The Arlington Stallions improved to 2-1 with a 20-5 victory over the Fox Valley Chiefs Rugby Club in the Busse Woods Forest Preserve.

Man-of-the-Match Zach Kaminski (Prospect) scored a try of his own as well as putting wing Christos Analitis (Prospect) away for two scores with his intelligent and timely passing. "Zach (Kaminski) has matured immensely since last spring in his reading of the game and his ability to assert himself both on offense and defense," said coach Paul Bergman. "He has really led the charge of turning defensive situations into offense and scoring opportunities for our side."

Bergman was also impressed by the performance of rookie players Erik Washer (Buffalo Grove) and Cody Bayless (Hersey). "Cody and Erik had moments of outstanding play that demonstrate that they are picking up the sport very well," he said.

• The Stallions class of 2014 alumni continues to prosper. Jack Tuttle (Prospect) earned a spot on the University of Colorado varsity side at wing and Cody Foss (Conant) has done the same at Purdue in the challenging No. 8 position.

Girls basketball

The St. Viator girls feeder basketball team tryouts are Sunday, Oct. 5 and Sunday, Oct. 12 in the Cahill Gymnasium. Times are 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for fifth and sixth graders, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for seventh graders and 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for eighth graders.

All girls who believe they may attend St. Viator High School are eligible to tryout.

For questions, contact the director or supervisor of the program Tom Hohenadel or John Moynihan (847-477-3919) at or

• The 2014 Prospect Junior Knights girls feeder tryouts are Sunday, Sept. 28 at the Prospect Field House for fifth and sixth graders at 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 19 for seventh and eighth graders 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Eligible players include fifth through eighth grade girls who live within the Prospect High School District 214 boundaries.

For further information contact Jim Rebecca at

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