The 1969 State Championship Track Team and George Benz (’71) are the 2020 inductees to the Lourdes Academy Athletic Hall of Fame.
Both the 1969 track team and George Benz were scheduled to be recognized at the 10th Annual Lourdes Academy Awards & Recognition Dinner on April 24, 2020. While we weren’t able to honor them in-person this year, that doesn’t diminish the honor or their athletic accomplishments. Below are summaries of their achievements. Also save the date for next year’s Awards and Recognition Dinner on April 30, 2021, where both the 1969 track team and George will be publicly recognized.
1969 Track Team Earns First State Championship
When Coach Gordy Daniels and the Lourdes Academy Track and Field team began the 1969 season, they had four goals.
1. Go undefeated in dual meets,
2. Win the Wausau Invitational,
3. Finish first or second in the Conference meet, and
4. Win the school’s first state title.
The Knights went undefeated in dual meets, with only one blemish – a loss to Roncalli High School in the quadrangular meet. In the Wausau Invitational, the Knights defeated Roncalli by a point to secure the title.
The Knights secured a second place finish at the conference meet, scoring 51 points, a record point total for a runner-up team. The record-breaking season ended with the Knights capturing a four-point victory, again over rival Roncalli, to claim their first Track and Field State Championship.
During the season, numerous school records were set and broken. Among them, Fred Tatum long jumped 19’ 8″ to set a new school record, breaking the previous record set by teammate Tim Brooks; Val Zemke won the state pole vault competition, clearing 12’ 3″; Mike O’Brien set a school record in the discus at 149.5’; and Dick Sedlachek, the returning state champion, blew away the competition in the 100 and 220 yard dash and also won state in the 880.
Members of the 1969 Track team included:
Ken Boushele (’69), Tim Brooks (’69), Claude Collins (’70), Mike Demler (’69), Dan Jungwirth (’69), Armando Garza (Mexico), Rudolpho “Opo” Garza (Mexico), Ray Lewellyn (’70), Tom Marquardt (’70), Steve Martin (’70), Jim Muza (’71), Mike O’Brien (’69), Mark Pfeiffer (’70), Paul Pfeiffer (’69), Phil Schani (’70), Dick “Scooter” Sedlachek (’69), Tom Sundquist (’69), Fred Tatum (’69), Tom Wilber (’70), Val Zemke (’71).
George Benz (’71) – A Dedicated Multi-Sport Athlete
Benz was a multi-sport athlete, having received three letters in basketball and three letters in track and field.
During his senior season, he set the school rebound record with 255 and led the 1970-1971 basketball team to a 21-4 record and a runner-up finish in the state basketball tournament, the Knights first-ever appearance in the state finals. He also led the Knights to a conference title with a 12-2 record in the Fox Valley Catholic Conference.
Benz was also an outstanding track and field athlete and held the school record in the discus at 158 feet. At commencement Benz was voted the Class of 1971 Outstanding Senior Athlete.
Congratulations and welcome to the Hall of Fame, George and 1969 Track Team!