It’s that time again to recognize two of our outstanding La Follette athletes. These achieving students have been chosen based on their dedication and performance on their respective fields, as well as in the classroom and their day to day lives. Among a list of candidates, Erik Olson and Audrey Burke have stood out, and this is why.
Olson, a La Follette student of four years, has made his mark on the track field, as he is a faithful participant of Boys Cross Country and Track and Field. Aside from lettering three years in cross country, the senior has gotten involved with Science Olympiad (though he has yet to compete), and helped spread the word of the March 14th Walk Out for Gun Control last year through social media. “Getting involved with political things is really important because standing up for what you believe in is really important,” Olson asserted. The athlete holds true to this statement by consistently vocalizing his opinions on social media regarding relevant issues in today’s society. In addition to his dedication to his sport and world views, Olson is committed. Maintaining a 3.75 GPA has paved the way for his welcoming into National Honors Society, and lended a hand in his acceptance to his top colleges. The soon-to-be graduate is still deciding which four-year university he will attend, but plans on residing in a neighboring state such as Illinois or Minnesota. In the facility of his choice, Olson plans to major in psychology. “I’m interested in how people think and why they act how they do. Also, how different mental health issues play out in the brain and why they’re caused. I feel like especially in this generation there’s a lot of depression and anxiety and I’d like to know how it’s caused,” he stated. Although he doesn’t want running to be his primary focus in his post-high school years, Olson hopes to stay involved by possibly joining clubs. His love of the sport is why the idea running in 10 degree weather isn’t so daunting, and encourages him to constantly “push and understand [his] limits” and know that he can do more than he ever thought. The miler can’t take all the credit for his accomplishments though, as he esteems Ms. Walters and Ms. Roe as instrumental people in his life. “Also, the people in my graduating class that take action. Last year especially they weren’t afraid to organize stuff on their own and do it, like the walk out,” he praises. While his high school years have been admirable, Erik Olson is ready for the next chapter in his life.
All four years of high school, Audrey Burke has been a Varsity Soccer player, becoming captain last year and upholding the position still. As a freshman, the young athlete won “Coach’s Player” award, and has continued to excelle since. “Soccer is important to me because I enjoy playing it and I enjoy making myself better. It gives me a good way to exercise and express the athletic part of me,” she tells. Her interest in the sport was sparked by a friend of her family’s. “She’s kind of like an older sister for us. She played soccer and we’d always go to high school and college games and I’ve always looked up to her,” the athlete exalted. Besides being inspired by her successful childhood babysitter, Burke's parents have encouraged her endeavors by being “super involved.” When she isn’t on the soccer field, the promising student is in SAAC, Lancer Squared (Project Unified), or serving as secretary for NHS. While being incessantly occupied, Burke has managed to preserve her 3.88 GPA. In fact, being busy is part of what has helped her stay on track. “I learned how to manage my time really well in order to get things done,” she explained. Furthermore, through these different activities she’s been able to meet new people and enjoy her daily pursuits. Due to her pronounced leadership skills, intelligence, and drive, one would expect that she’s on the radar of many colleges. Burke has chosen UW Madison as her educational facility for the next four years, and looks forward to having a “fresh start” and more freedom, yet still being close to home. “I’m also excited to meet new people and have a deeper education in what I enjoy learning about,” the college-bound senior exclaims. Like Olson, Burke aims to study psychology, but will participate in intramural sports to sustain her athleticism. Earning her bachelors (and eventually masters) degree isn’t her only goal succeeding secondary school. Burke hopes to one day study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country, preferably Spain, as she is proficient in Spanish and earned awards regarding the language.
These eventual Lancer alums have made it clear that great things await them in the near future, and we are so excited to see exactly what they are.