CHRIS SOLINSKY-SPASH CLASS OF 2003
As a member of the SPASH cross country and track and field teams, Chris Solinsky won eight state titles: three in cross country and five in track. He also won 17 Wisconsin Valley Conference titles: three in cross country and 14 between indoor and outdoor track.
While on the SPASH teams they never lost a cross country WVC title and won several in track. Solinsky broke the state meet records in cross country and the 3,200-meter run. He holds the cross country and 3,200 overall state record and is second on the 1,600 list.
On the national level, Solinsky was an eight-time All-American, winning two national titles. In the fall of 2002, Solinsky won the Foot Locker National cross country title by a meet-record 21 seconds, a year after placing 3rd in the national meet. Solinsky had a string of runner-up finishes at the national level in track (2-mile indoors and outdoors in 2002, and outdoor mile in 2003) before winning the indoor 2-mile title in 2003. Solinsky was also part of the school record distance medley relay team along with Quinn Baumberger, Nate Olson, and Ryan Taggatz that placed 4th at the national championships.
Solinsky still holds the school records in the indoor and outdoor 800, 1,600, and 3,200, as well as the oudoor distance medley relay. He was voted team MVP in sophomore, junior, and senior years in both cross country and track as well as the Frosh MVP in track.
In college, Solinsky joined a very successful team, becoming part of a University of Wisconsin team that never lost a Big Ten Championship title in his four years competing for UW in both cross counrty and track. Solinsky was a member of the 2005 NCAA cross country team champions as well as the 2007 NCAA indoor national championship team. He was a four-time Big Ten champion (5K, 2x3K, 1,500), as well as a five-time NCAA Champ(3,000-meter run indoors, in 2005, 3,000-meter run indoors in 2006, 5,000-meter run in 2006, 5,000-meter run indoors in 2007, and 5,000-meter run in 2007).
Solinsky holds University of Wisconsin school records in the mile run(3:57.80), 3,000-meter run(7:36.90), 5,000-meter run indoors(13:30.74), and 5,000-meter run(13:12.24). His 3,000-meter and 5.000 metere times are also American collegiate records as well as his indoor 5,000-meter time being a Big Ten record. Solinsky was the 2006 Big Ten athlete of the year, and the 2007 NCAA track athlete of the year.
After college, Solinsky signed a contract to become a professional runner with the shoe company Nike, and moved to Portland, Oregon to train with his collegiate coach Jerry Schumacher and former teammates from UW. He broke the American 10K record of 27:13.98 with his 26:59.60 time in his first ever attempt at the distance. Solinsky also became second on the all-time U.S. list for 5K with his time of 12:55.53. He also holds three of the top five times ever run at 5,000 meters for an American. He is currently still training and pursuing his dream of not only making world championship and Olympic teams, but becoming a medalist in those events. He proudy represents his alma maters of SPASH and UW, but also Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and his country.
Solinsky is the son of Wayne Solinsky and Shelley Wheeler. His sister Megan was also a student-athlete at SPASH. Solinsky currently resides in Portland, Oregon with his wife Amy and dog Tucker, but when finished running they plan to move back to the Midwest.
1980 GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM
The SPASH girls ruled the state during the 1980 basketball season. Winning the WIAA Class "A" state championship was the "candles on the cake" for the team - after winning its first Wisconsin Valley Conference championship with a 15-1 record.
State championships are not uncommon in SPASH athletics history, but this one was extra special. It was the first state title for the school in girls team sports, and it also included a special relationship between the team and the community that grew with each game.
Following a 16-2 regular season, SPASH coasted through two regional and two sectional games to earn its first trip to the girls state tourney. SPASH faced Brookfield East in the first game at state. All 12 members on the team roster played in that game and SPASH won 44-35. The Panthers then beat Oregon 51-40 to set the stage for the championship game, a rematch with the No. 1-ranked Neenah Rockets. Neenah had defeated SPASH by 11 points in a non-conference game earlier in the season, but the Panthers came up with the best effort of their lives and beat Neenah 38-32 in a game that will be remembered by many for a long time.
Guiding the state champion Panthers were head coach Judie Janquart and assistant coach Marcy Mirman. The usual starting lineup consisted of seniors LInda Szymanski, Pam Suplicki, Tracey Skorseth and Liz Kennebeck, and Junior Kathi Bennett. Comprising a strong bench were seniors Donna DeDeker and Cathy Roman, juniors Dee Christofferson and Julie Fox, and sophomore Jan Maslowski. Joining the team for the tournamemt season were junior Lyndel Bohanski and sophomore Tammy Slowinski. Managers were senior Jackie Bemke, junior Vicki cobb and sophomore Lynn Gavol. Statistician was sophmore Kathy Turner.
MATT BUSS-SPASH CLASS OF 1989
Matt Buss was one of the finest all-around athletes to ever walk through the doors of SPASH. Buss received nine letters during his high school career(four hockey, three baseball, two football) and accomplished the rare feat of being named first team all-state in three sports in the same school year.
As a sophomore, Buss led the SPASH hockey team in playoff points on its way to a WIAA State Tournament appearance. That spring, he was a member of the 1987 WIAA state champion baseball team - one of only two sophomores on the squad.
During his junior year, Buss was named All-North Central Hockey Conference first team in hockey after leading the state in goals(44) and points(88). He was named Player of the Year in the NCHC and was selected team's MVP. Buss was also named to the All-Wisconsin Valley Conference first team and a Channel 7 All-Star in football after leading the conference in cathches(50), receiving yards(678), and touchdowns(8). Buss also led the baseball team in hitting as a junionr with a .409 average as the #1-ranked Panthers mad a return trip to the state tournament.
As a senior, Buss was a captain of the football team. He was named All-Valley first team, a Channel 7 all-star and Associated Press All-State first team in football after catching 64 passes of 878 yards and 8 touchdowns as SPASH returned to the playoffs for the first time in 11 years. During his two years on varsity football, the team compiled a 15-5 record and Buss had 114 cathces for 1, 536 yards and 16 touchdowns. He set school records in receptions and receiving touchdowns.
In hockey, Buss was a captain and once again led the team in scoring as the Panthers returned to the WIAA State Tournament. He was named All-Valley first team. All-State fist team and was named Mr. Hockey in the state of Wisconsin. Following the season he was chosen to play with Team Wisconsin, an all-star team of high school players who competed against the top players from other states. During his four seasons of varsity hockey, Buss scored 123 goals and had 243 points in 85 games, all of which stand as SPASH records. During his career, the Panthers went a combined 47-17-4 with 3 trips to the WIAA State Tournament.
Buss capped off his brilliant high school career by leading SPASH to the 1989 state baseball championshp. He was a capatain and led the team in hitting with a.406 average. He was named All-WVC first team and All-State first team by the Associated Press. Following the season, he was selected to play in the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Classic. During his three years of varsity baseball, SPASH had a record of 61-5 and won two state championships.
As successful as he was on the playing fields and ice, Buss also excelled in the classroom. Buss was a member of the National Honor Society and maintained a 3.975 grade point average, graduating 11th in his class.
Buss went on to play hockey at the University of Wisconsin where he was a member of the 1990 national championship team, as well as the 1992 national runner-up team and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Buss currently resides in Kansas City, Missour where he owns and operates three Jimmy John's franchises. He and his wife, Jessica, have two sons, Jack(9), and Luke(7).
1980 BOYS CROSS COUNTRY TEAM
The 1980 WIAA state champion SPASH Boys Cross Country team is still regarded as one of the finest in the history of Wisconsin high school cross country. Led by first team all-state runners Keith Hanson, Steve Cherney and Gary Anderson, they defeated top-ranked Menomonee Falls North at the state meet in Wausau by a score of 47 to 79. Their 47-point total still stands as the lowest score ever recorded in a 16-team state field while their average time of 16:27 per runner continues to be one of the best in the 97-year history of the Wisconsin state meet.