Braves athlete a triple-threat

Kristen Stuckwisch hasn’t had much free time after school during her days at Brownstown Central.

Stuckwisch is a three-sport athlete at Brownstown, playing basketball and running track both for four years. She ran cross-country the past two years after playing volleyball for two years.

“I like spending time with my friends, and sports is a good way to stay connected with them,” Stuckwisch said. “Your teammates is what makes it fun. Sports will come and go but you’ll always have your friends.

“Practice is very important. That’s where you get better. That’s where you can learn different things, and try different things out to see what works for you. Every day in practice I think you should just go out and try our best.”

Stuckwisch began playing volleyball and basketball in elementary school, she began running track her eighth-grade year, but didn’t run cross-country until her junior year.

She is in her third season as a starting guard for the Braves.

“First of all I really like to look to see if I can push the ball,” Stuckwisch said. “I like to take it out and run with my teammates and try to fast break. I look at the defense and how they’re playing and see what kind of play we need to set up.

“I just look for the open man, and try to read the defense and predict what they’re going to do and base myself off that. I like to pass first and cut. I try to get the offense working so we can make the defense work.”

Her high-point game last year was 10 against Eastern (Pekin).

Playing good defense is important to Stuckwisch

“I really take pride in my defense,” Stuckwisch said. “Defense wins games, so if you can stop the main scorers from scoring they have to look for other opportunities and other people, so that is how I really like to help.”

She said she likes when the Braves press and trap at the mid-court line.

Stuckwisch think the Braves need solid teamwork to have a winning season this winter.

“A good goal for us would be to really play well together,” Stuckwisch said. “If we can get all these aspects of the game to start clicking together I think we’ll be a really tough team this year.

“Teamwork and communication are very important keys. Those are basic fundamentals. You have to be sound on that and on the same page so you know what’s going on.”

Stuckwisch said her favorite track events are the 400 and the relays.

Her career best in the 400 is 1:01, and she ran a minute flat in the 4×400 relay.

This spring, her goal is to break a minute in the open 400.

“I think you need a good foundation,” Stuckwisch said. “I think you have to start practicing early and really get that endurance, because I consider the 400 still to be a sprint, so it’s an all-out sprint the entire time

“To really get that endurance, I think, is in the practice and in the foundation to build your speed upon that. I would rather be on the inside than the outside, but whenever I’m on the outside I tend to run better.”

Stuckwisch helped the Braves win the 4×100 relay at the conference meet.

She qualified for the regional in three events last year.

“I just want to go out and compete,” Stuckwisch said. “This is my last year and I just want to make it good, and do my best every race.”

Stuckwisch said you have to stay positive in athletics.

“You have to be mentally strong in anything you do,” Stuckwisch said. “You can’t get down on yourself because then you’ll start performing bad. You’ve really got to keep yourself confident and up, and have confidence in your teammates to be successful.”

The senior has enjoyed attending Brownstown.

“It’s been a fun experience,” Stuckwisch said. “I like all the different opportunities that you get. There are a lot of different clubs and organizations you can be a part of, and the teachers are all very helpful.

“They’ll spend their extra time making sure that you understand the different concepts in their classes to help you get that good grade. I’ll look back at all the fun times I’ve had with my friends, and all the different experience you get to have.”

Stuckwisch senior focus

Name: Kristen Stuckwisch

School: Brownstown central high School

Parents: Eric and Marti Stuckwisch

Siblings: Miranda, Grant

Sports: basketball 4 years, track 4 years, cross-county 2 years, volleyball 2 years.

Athletic highlights: Basketball: most valuable player 2017, defensive award 2016, 2017, mental attitude 2016, 2017, MSC champions 2014-15; track: outstanding sprinter 2015, 2017, MSC champion 4×100 relay 2017.

Organizations: National Honor Society, student council, Booster Club, Lettermen’s Club, 4-H.

Plans after high school: attend college, study nursing.

Favorite food: pizza

Favorite TV show: Criminal minds

Favorite movie: The Last Song

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.