6 Wisconsin women dominating American sports

Six Sporty Wisconsin Women To Watch In 2024

Photo courtesy of Milwaukee XC/TF via Instagram.

By Good Info News Wire

April 1, 2024

From the college court to the Olympic stage, women are shaping the sports scene in 2024, which happens to be the 50th anniversary of official women’s sports at the University of Wisconsin (via Spectrum News).

Still, women often get left out of sports talk, which is why we’ve gathered some of the top female athletes of the year. Our goal? To give the state’s best the recognition they deserve. 

Sarah Franklin

Florida-born volleyball player Sarah Franklin is making waves at the University of Wisconsin. The graduate student has been playing volleyball for years, including on her high school team, and has earned high accolades. For instance, in  2023, the American Volleyball Coaches Association granted Franklin the title of National Player of the Year. 

Franklin is on the team in 2024 once more, so Wisconsinites can rest assured that their state university’s team is in good hands. Plus, she’s proud to represent the Badgers despite hailing from Florida. “I chose the University of Wisconsin because of the high drive of the team culture to be the best we can be every day,” Franklin said of her choice to enroll at UW.

Six Sporty Wisconsin Women To Watch In 2024

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Volleyball via Instagram.

Emily Sisson

Wisconsin is heading to Paris this summer. Milwaukee-born Emily Sisson qualified for the 2024 Olympics in early February, which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering she’s also a big record holder. More specifically, she holds the North American record for “fastest female marathon,” according to the official Olympics website. She also held the fastest half-marathon time for a period, though she no longer holds this title.

Despite holding impressive records, Sisson never wants to become stagnant in her craft. “I really want to learn and focus on racing and competing,” Sisson explained of her ever-evolving career (via the Olympics website). Her achievements date back to her early college days, like when she was named one of the Big Ten Freshman of the Year while on the cross country team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Though she didn’t stay at UW after her freshman year, Sisson is a Wisconsin native and undoubtedly one to watch in Paris this year.

Six Sporty Wisconsin Women To Watch In 2024

Photo courtesy of NBC Olympics via Instagram.

Grace Joyce

In another potential Olympic-level feat, Illinois-born rower Grace Joyce is representing the University of Wisconsin-Madison at the 2024 Olympic Selection Camp. Joyce has practiced rowing since the mid-2010s and is a member of the United States National Rowing Team. The Selection Camp runs until March 24 and could conclude with Joyce being chosen to represent the U.S. in Paris this summer.

This wouldn’t be the first time Joyce has represented the country, either. According to her LinkedIn bio, Joyce has competed in the U23 World Rowing Championships twice: in Poland in 2018 and in Florida in 2019.

No matter what happens at the Selection Camp, it’s clear that Joyce’s time at UW-Madison helped get her here. “Wisconsin rowing is a community, or for me, it is more like a family,” Joyce explained while attending the university. “Rowing allows me to push myself along with my other teammates and also creates a stable support system.”

Six Sporty Wisconsin Women To Watch In 2024

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Women’s Rowing via Instagram.

Serah Williams

This University of  Wisconsin player is bringing international flair to America’s Dairy Land. Basketballer Serah Williams (#25) is from Brooklyn, New York, but spent several years playing basketball in Canada, including in the 2022 All-Canadian All-Star Game, before beginning her academic and athletic careers at UW during the 2022-2023 school year.

Williams had an impressive debut at UW, becoming the second-best player on the team quite quickly and landing in the Big Ten Freshman of the Week three times (via the Badgers’ official website). Her success is only continuing in the 2023-2024 academic year. As of March 7, Williams holds the title of earning the “most consecutive double-doubles” in the Big Ten Conference. With Williams so young in her college career, her future is surely bright, and she’s one of the college athletes our eyes will be on the closest this year. 

Kirsten Simms

If you want to break the ice on your list of women athletes to support in 2024, look no further than the University of Wisconsin’s hockey team. There, you’ll find Kirsten Simms (#27), who earned the title of WCHA Player of the Year on March 7, UW announced in a press release. Simms is the latest Badger to be granted this honor by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, with only two of the last six years’ awards going to non-UW students. Moreover, Simms contributed to the team becoming national champions last year, as seen in a celebratory Instagram post from March 21, 2023.

Michigan-born Simms took her UW representation to the national stage in 2023, playing on the U.S. Women’s National Team in mid-December (via USA Hockey). She’s also competed on behalf of the U.S. at the IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship two times, earning medals both times. With credits like this, Simms is one hockey player you don’t want to overlook in 2024, lest your heart turn to ice.

Six Sporty Wisconsin Women To Watch In 2024

Photo courtesy of Kristen Simms via Instagram.

Natalie Block

Franklin, Wisconsin-native track and field star Natalie Block is having another great year on the, well, field. Those from Milwaukee are likely familiar with Block, as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student has been named the Alfreeda Goff Indoor Track & Field Women’s Athlete of the Year three times in a row, including the 2024 title as announced in a February 23 press release

She’s a local celebrity in her own right, and she’s one you’ll definitely want to keep your eyes on, especially since she’s a senior this year. This is likely her final year on the Panthers, but she could be the next local athlete to have a serious chance at the Olympics — you never know! Still, the biomedical sciences student will always be a Panther at heart, with her even explaining on the official Panthers site that she chose UW-Milwaukee, in part, for its “welcoming track program.”

Six Sporty Wisconsin Women To Watch In 2024

Photo courtesy of Milwaukee XC/TF via Instagram.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

This story was generated in part by AI and edited by The UpNorthNews staff.

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