Athletics: Athletes in 3 Sports Take Top Honors – Brainerd Dispatch
Emma Storbakken was joking with Max Lelwica during a weightlifting session a few days ago.
The two seniors were discussing who could win Brainerd Warriors Athlete of the Year honors given each year to a male and female athlete who exemplifies the Warrior Way.
Storbakken was persistent, it would be Lelwica. The tri-sport captain brushed it off as humbly as possible. Little did they know both of their names would be called on Sunday, May 16 at Brainerd High School’s new Gichi-Ziibi Center for the Arts at Senior All-Sports Recognition.
“I knew he was going to get it,” Storbakken said. ” I called him. I told him he was going to have the athlete of the year. He said, “No, I’m not.” and I said, ‘Yes, you are.’ He’s such an amazing athlete. Just all around. He’s in three sports and he’s really good at all of them. Yeah, I knew he was gonna get it.
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Storbakken expected to hear the name of his classmate Taylor Larson, who excelled in soccer and hockey.
“I didn’t think I had a chance of getting it, so I was just super excited to be nominated since I’m not going to a D1 college or anywhere else,” she said. declared. “I’m just going DIII for my sports career. I was just super surprised that I was even considered.
Lelwica had many names that crossed his mind that he thought could receive the honor.
“Ryan Cady, Erik Stoxen, Griffin Rushin, I mean a lot of my friends that I know are really good athletes, so I was surprised,” Lelwica said.
Lelwica’s respect for his honored colleague was also evident.
“Emma is a terrific athlete,” Lelwica said. “I mean she totally deserved it. She totally deserved it. She worked very hard. I have also known his siblings and his family for a long time. She always had that in her. She always pushed herself and she’s super humble too, so I’m really glad she won because she’s not the loudest person, but she really deserved it.
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Lelwica and Storbakken are endangered species.
The two senior Brainerd Warriors are part of a rare class of athletes who not only contribute, but excel in three sports. This accomplishment was not overlooked by the college coaches who voted for this honor.
“Athletes from three sports are increasingly rare in today’s youth sports culture,” said Brainerd’s Director of Activities Charlie Campbell. “The demands placed on student-athletes and their families to progress to the university level are enormous. Today we honor Emma and Max with the Warrior Athlete of the Year award and both are outstanding athletes in three sports. It speaks to one of our deepest beliefs – that the multi-sport, multi-activity experience is good for kids.”
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Storbakken’s list of college accolades begins with four letters earned on the cross-country team. She was a captain, an all-conference scholar, and an individual section award winner.
Last fall, she placed 78th to help the Warriors take ninth place in the 8-2A Division Finals.
From there, Storbakken enjoyed a five-year college career in Nordic skiing, culminating in an appearance in state competition. Storbakken was Brainerd’s second goalscorer as the team finished 15th.
She got honors from all lectures and lectures. She was an All-Section 8 Dating winner.
“Emma Storbakken is an all-around athlete who demonstrates the ‘core values’ of Warrior athletics as well as any student-athlete,” said one of her coaches. “She would be a valued player on any team, in any activity and in any classroom because of her leadership, work ethic and maturity.”
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Storbakken’s fairytale athletic career will end this spring as a member of the women’s track and field team. She is currently Brainerd’s top 400-meter sprinter and is helping the Warriors succeed.
She is a four-time winner and captain.
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“Emma is a true leader on and off the track,” said one of her track coaches. “She consistently leads the peloton in practices and rises to challenges. She is a rock to her teammates, exemplifying hard work and perseverance. She is a well-rounded and quiet leader. As the anchor of the 4×400 meter relay (the last track event at every competition), Emma confidently shoulders the pressure to deliver a solid finish to her team at every competition. She has been captain in all of her sports, and has embraced her final season on track with a clear sense of goal that her teammates respect.”
And that’s exactly what she wants to be known for: creating a team atmosphere.
“Probably my inclusiveness and personality and just trying to bring everyone together as a team,” Storbakken said when asked why she wanted to be remembered.
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Not only is Lelwica an athletic specimen as he demonstrates every time he hits athletics, but he was also a three-sport captain and a good one according to all of his coaches.
“Max is the best team leader I’ve coached, hands down,” said one of his coaches. “He leads on the pitch, always doing his best, being the most coachable and holding himself and others accountable for their He leads off the pitch, being a great student, being kind, respectful and inclusive of everyone he meets.
“If we recognize a student-athlete who leads by positive example in practice, play and school life, there is no doubt in my mind that Max is worthy and deserving of this award.”
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Lelwica was the intimidating defensive leader of the Warriors men’s soccer team that helped Brainerd win the Central Lakes Conference title and a 9-1-2 overall record. In 12 games, Brainerd allowed just 0.5 goals per game while scoring 2.3 goals per game.
He was a two-time winner, team MVP, All-Central Lakes Conference captain, and all-conference varsity athlete.
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“It means a lot,” Lelwica said. “I love sports. They’re a very big part of my life and it’s something I’ve always loved doing and worked really hard for. It’s good to see it paying off. , but there are many other people who could have won it too.
The sky was the limit for the leaping Lelwica in basketball. The forward averaged 8.5 points per game and led the Warriors with 62 assists. He finished third on the team with 79 rebounds as Brained won 14 straight games and earned the No. 1 seed in the Division 8-4A playoffs.
He was a three-time Letter Winner, Captain, All-Conference Honorable Mention, and All-State Academic Athlete.
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On the track, he is a four-time letter winner, captain and all-conference athlete who excels in long, triple and high jumps and this year turned his talents to hurdles to help the Warriors fill a need. And that’s why he wants to be remembered.
“Just a leader, a winner, a good person and a good teammate,” Lelwica said. “I will do anything to win a game or win a competition. It is more or less that.”
JEREMY MILLSOP can be reached at 218-855-5856 or [email protected] Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.