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Caitlin Link selected as the 2018 female recipient of the Pat Richter Award for most outstanding three-sport athlete

06/27/2018, 11:15am CDT
By Norbert Durst

Madison Edgewood's Caitlin Link has been selected as the 2017-18 female recipient of the Pat Richter Award from WisSports.net as the Triple Threat Athlete of the Year.

The Triple Play Triple Threat of the Week is an honor given on WisSports.net to the top senior boys and girls three-sport athletes in the state. At the end of the school year, those awarded with the weekly honor are eligible for the Pat Richter Award, which will go out to the top boys and girls three-sport athlete of the season.

Hugh V. "Pat" Richter is one of Wisconsin's most storied student-athletes in state history. He was a three-sport athlete at Madison East High School, competing in football, basketball and baseball. He went on to fame at the University of Wisconsin, earning nine varsity letters in three sports and would later become the Athletic Director at Wisconsin.

Past winners of the award include Lexi Smith of Northland Pines (2016-17), Grace Mueller of Verona (2015-16), Megan Gustafson of South Shore (2014-15), Kennedy Blahnik of Algoma (2013-14), Jenna Orr of Rice Lake (2012-13), Kailee Kamps of Belmont (2011-12), Kendall Wienkes of Highland (2010-11), and Andie Varsho of Marshfield (2009-10). 

Link finished her high school career as an 11-time varsity letterwinner; earning letters in volleyball, basketball, and track & field.

Basketball was her focus for the next level and prior to her senior year she committed to NCAA Division I Southern Illinois University.

"Basketball is my favorite sport because I have played it for the past 11 years. I love the speed of the game and the team aspect of it," Link told WSN in her initial Triple Threat profile.

She helped the Crusaders, coached by coach Lora Staveness, capture the WIAA Division 3 State Title as a junior. Caitlin moved into a leading role as a senior and averaged 20.4 points, 7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.3 steals per game en route to earning unanimous first-team all-Badger South, Division 3 WBCA all-state, AP fourth-team all-state, and first-team all-area. Link netted a career-high 37 points in a game as a senior and finished her career with 1,241 points. 

Link would have had opportunities in track & field at the next level as well. She was a 10-time state qualifier and helped the Crusaders to state titles in the 3200-meter relay as a freshman and 800-meter relay as a senior. Caitlin finished fourth in the 800-meter run and helped Edgewood finish 6th in the 400-meter relay in her final season for coach Gary Thornton and the Crusaders.

In volleyball, she was a two-time Badger South all-conference performer for coach Steve Bleier and the Crusaders. She helped the squad reach sectional play as a sophomore.

What was the best advice she received from a high school coach?

"Be a special player by being coachable and playing defense." 

She told WSN in her initial profile that the best part about playing three sports us building many different friendships, and spending every day being active. 

Not only is Link an elite athlete, she's a tremendous student as well. Caitlin posted a 4.06 GPA and was a WIAA Scholar-Athlete recipient.

To view our initial profile of Caitlin as part of our Triple Play Triple Threat Athlete of the Week series, please click here.

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