2011-12 Stories of the Year (Honorable Mention): Pawlak ends career at NCAA Championships
MEQUON, Wis. – The list could have gone on and on, and it is obviously longer than we thought it would be when we first started making it. The 2011-12 athletic year at Concordia University Wisconsin had many successful and inspiring stories, but we decided to limit it to five, but included today's honorable mention.
The list was compiled by the CUW Sports Information Department, and like all lists it is subject to debate. The list of stories will be revealed in stages. Stories 5-1 will be revealed individually over the next few days, with the top story of 2011-12 being released next Tuesday.
Fans will then have an opportunity to vote on their top stories of 2011-12 by e-mailing their list to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, June 15.
Pawlak ends career at NCAA Championships
Looking back at Alex Pawlak's senior season, it will be debated as to whether anyone will ever have another season like he had. The senior hurdler didn't just own the competition in the 55-, 60-, 110- and 400-meter hurdles during the indoor and outdoor seasons, he conquered his opponents to the tune of nine first place medals.
It wasn't shocking to see the Colgate, Wis., native placing in an event, or setting a school or Northern Athletics Conference record each weekend. In the end, Pawlak finished his career with school and NAC records in the 60-meter high hurdles (8.35), 110-meter hurdles (14.61) and 400-meter hurdles (53.29).
The exercise physiology student-athlete had many memorable moments this past season, including his performances at the NAC Outdoor Championships, which earned him Track Athlete of the Meet honors after winning the 110- and 400-meter hurdles, as well as being part of the 4x100 and 4x400 relay winning teams.
Pawlak's trip to the NCAA Championships wasn't as easy as you might think. The senior waited until the last possible meet to qualify and ran his best races of the season at the North Central College Gregory Final Qualifier, less than a week before the NCAAs. He set a school and NAC record in the 110- and 400-meter hurdles with times of 14.61 and 53.29 seconds, respectively.
While his first trip to the NCAA Championships didn't turn out as he wanted, placing 15th (400-meter hurdles) and 18th (110-meter hurdles), his career will be remember for years.