Nov. 2, 2011
MADISON, Wis. -- After the conclusion of an impressive conference season, freshman Gabrielle Anzalone looks to NCAA regional competition, but not before being honored by the Big Ten Conference as the league’s co-Freshman of the Year.
The Badgers freshman finished fourth for UW and 20th overall at the 2011 Big Ten Championship and was the first true freshman to cross the finish line, posting a time of 20 minutes, 51 seconds on the 6-kilometer course.
The Grand Blanc, Mich., native becomes the third Badger to win the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award in the last four years, joining teammate Caitlin Comfort, who won in 2008. Anzalone’s honor makes eight Freshman of the Year awards in total for Wisconsin since the award debuted in 1987.
Anzalone has been among the top three finishers for Wisconsin in four of her five races this season and was the Badgers’ leader in a pair of meets.
Anzalone shares the top freshman title with Michigan’s Taylor Pogue, the top-finishing redshirt freshman at the Big Ten meet, who came in 12th with a time of 20:41.
Also honored in the Big Ten postseason awards is senior Dani Fischer. Fischer was named the Badgers’ recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
A walk-on who joined the team early in the season, Fischer made a name for herself by finishing among the Badgers’ top ten in every race this season. Fischer was among the Badgers’ top six in each of her last four races, earning a spot on UW’s Big Ten championship roster. She finished sixth for UW and 41st overall with her 21:15 performance at the Big Ten meet.
The Badgers now focus on their NCAA ambitions as they head to the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in Toledo, Ohio, on Saturday, Nov. 12.
Big Ten Freshman of the Year
1987 Kim Kauls
1991 Jennifer Howard
1993 Nathalie Côté
1998 Erica Palmer
2006 Hanna Grinaker
2008 Caitlin Comfort
2010 Emily Sisson
2011 Gabrielle Anzalone