KAUKAUNA, WIS. > CROSS-COUNTRY
Cazzola, a senior at Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a 27-year-old mother of two, won the NCAA Division III championship in Terre Haute, Ind., with a time of 20:53.30 in the 6K race, beating a field of 276 by 15 seconds. She was named the National Female Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Cazzola, who has four national track titles, also repeated as NCAA Midwest Regional winner.
December 31, 2012
PORT ALLEGANY, PA. > FOOTBALL
Matt, a senior quarterback at Port Allegany High, broke Pennsylvania career records for passing yards (10,949), touchdown passes (137), total offensive yards (13,263) and total TDs (177), and was named the state Gatorade Player of the Year. He also set a single-season passing yards mark (3,951) while leading the Gators (13--1) to the Class A state semifinal. Matt is the only QB in state history to throw for more than 10,000 yards.
CHESTERTOWN, MD. > BASKETBALL
Jasmine, a senior guard at Kent County High, hit a layup at the buzzer to cap a 35-point effort in a 79--78 victory over Kent Island High that helped the Trojans remain unbeaten (6--0). She opened the season with 43 points in a 72--58 win over James M. Bennett High to surpass 1,000 career points. Jasmine, who is averaging 34.8 points per game, helped her team reach last year's Class 1A state final.
TIPP CITY, OHIO > CROSS-COUNTRY
Sam, a senior at Tippecanoe High, won the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland by three seconds, finishing the 5K race in 17:06 over 195 competitors in muddy conditions. This season he also set a course record in winning Ohio's Division 1 state title (15:09), was runner-up at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional with a season-best 14:56 and was sixth at the Foot Locker nationals (15:19). He will compete at Stanford.
KANEOHE, HAWAII > OPEN-WATER SWIMMING
Skylar, a fourth-grader at Le Jardin Academy, swam the 8.8-mile Auau Channel between Lanai and Maui to unofficially become, at 10 years and two months, the youngest person to complete the crossing. She finished in 6:59.55, covering approximately 12 miles overall due to tides and currents. A member of the Aulea Swim Club, Skylar was the youngest finisher at the 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim this fall.
DRAKE HARRIS | JOEL SCHIPPER
GRAND RAPIDS > FOOTBALL
Drake, a junior wideout at Grand Rapids Christian High, set a Michigan alltime receiving yards record (2,016), and Joel, a senior kicker, extended his career extra points mark (172) as the Eagles won their first state title. Drake had a title-game-record 243 receiving yards and Joel booted a 29-yard field goal to send the game into overtime followed by a 27-yarder to win it, 40--37.
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RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS
After seven-year-old Connor Michalek, who suffers from brain cancer, made a plea on YouTube to meet his favorite pro wrestler, Daniel Bryan, the WWE star not only met him but let Connor put him in a No Lock hold before tapping out.