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Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Updated: November 5, 1:15 PM ET
ESPN RISE Athletes of the Week

By Mark Tennis
ESPNRISE.com

Chelsea Wintzinger, one of the top volleyball setters in the nation, and Craig Lutz, one of the top boys' cross country runners, have been selected as this week's ESPN RISE National Athletes of the Week.

Craig Lutz
Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) junior Craig Lutz overcame a muddy course and fierce competition to win at the District 6-5A championships.

Wintzinger has been playing varsity at Huntsville (Huntsville, Ala.) since eighth grade, when she was voted MVP of the Class 6A state tournament. Last weekend, Wintzinger ended her prep career by leading Huntsville to its seventh state title in eight years. The Auburn recruit had 28 assists, five kills and three blocks in a 25-18, 25-9, 25-19 championship win over Grissom.

Lutz, a Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) junior, posted a major victory at the District 6-5A championships to earn ESPN RISE Athlete of the Week honors for the second time this year. Earlier this fall, he earned regional Athlete of the Week honors.

Lutz suffered his only loss of the season at the Southlake Carroll Invitational in September. He lost to another elite Texas runner, Connor Adams, by 15 seconds.

But this past weekend, Lutz recorded a time of 14:50.29 on a muddy course to beat Adams by 42 seconds. Lutz is now not only the favorite to take the Class 5A state title, but he has a chance to win a national title, too. He was fifth as a sophomore at the Nike Cross National in 2008.

This week's ESPN RISE Regional Athletes of the Week for fall sports (not including football):

East Boys
Travis Ives
Bridgewater-Raritan (Bridgewater, N.J.), Soccer
Ives was the Somerset County Tournament MVP as B-R tied FAB 50 No. 11 Pingry School (Martinsville, N.J.), 1-1, in the tourney final. In the three previous matches, Ives had three shutouts. Regarded as one of the top goalies in the region, Ives will play for West Virginia.

East Girls
Brooke Stretch
Archbishop Prendergast (Drexel Hill, Pa.), Field Hockey
With a Catholic League field hockey championship on the line against Cardinal O'Hara (Springfield, Pa.), the junior scored the game's only goal to give the Pandas their first league title since the late 1970s. It was also the second straight game-winning goal for Stretch, who ousted Archbishop Carroll in the semifinals. Stretch, who has 19 goals for the season, will lead Prendergast against the Philadelphia Public League champion, Northeast, for the right to represent District 12 in the Class AAA state tournament.

Southeast Boys
Kirubel Erassa
Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), Cross Country
Trudging through the mud and rain as Georgia runners have been doing all fall, Erassa came one step closer to completing an unbeaten season in the Peach State. The senior shrugged off the horrible conditions to win the Region 8AAAAA meet last weekend with a time of 16:43.10.

Southeast Girls
Chelsea Wintzinger
(Huntsville, Ala.), Volleyball
Also chosen as the ESPN RISE National Girls' Athlete of the Week.

Midwest Boys
Josh Barens
Holt (Holt, Mich.), Soccer
Barens, a Michigan State recruit, scored both goals as Holt advanced to the Division 1 state semifinals with a pair of 1-0 victories last week. In what amounts to the state quarterfinals, Barens' goal lifted Holt past two-time defending state champion East Kentwood (Kentwood, Mich.).

Midwest Girls
Kassey Kallman
Woodbury (Woodbury, Minn.), Soccer
The honors keep rolling in for Kallman, and she keeps producing. The Florida State-bound senior assisted on three goals as Woodbury advanced to the state semifinals with a 5-0 victory over Lakeville North. Coupled with Tuesday's win in state semifinals, where Kallman had a pair of assists, Woodbury is now one win away from securing the No. 1 spot in the fall ESPNRISE FAB 50 girls' soccer rankings.

Southwest Boys
Craig Lutz
Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas), Cross Country
Also selected as the ESPN RISE National Boys' Athlete of the Week.

Southwest Girls
Avery Clifton
Washburn Rural (Washburn, Kansas), Cross Country
Clifton completed another magical season in the Sunflower State last weekend by taking her second consecutive Class 6A state title. The senior blazed a 15:01.16 for 4K  the fastest time of the day  to win by 33 seconds. Clifton hasn't lost a race in Kansas since last year's regional meet. She is planning to compete for the first time at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional in late November with hopes of making it to San Diego for the finals.

West Boys
Barrett Miesfeld
Catalina Foothills (Tucson, Ariz.), Swimming
At the Class 4A Division I swimming championships last weekend, Miesfeld captured four first-place finishes and led his team to its 10th consecutive team title. Miesfeld set a meet record of 48.80 seconds in the 100-meter butterfly. He also touched first in the 200 individual medley and swam legs on two title-winning relay squads. Catalina Foothills won the team crown by a whopping 485-243 margin over second-place Sunnyslope.

West Girls
Kinsey Gomez
Couer d'Alene (Couer d'Alene, Idaho), Cross Country
Gomez showed she's a contender for the national finals with a big win at the Idaho Class 5A state meet. Her time of 18:09.41 allowed her to reclaim the state title she won in 2007, defeating last year's 5A champ -- Liz Brandon -- by more than 30 seconds. Gomez's time was also fastest for all classes.

For the fall season, the national athlete of the week honors will be given to those who participate in sports other than football. The ESPN RISE Athlete of the Week panel consists of Garland Cooper (softball), Andrew Drennen (baseball), Ronnie Flores (basketball), Doug Huff (multi-sports), Kristin Olsen (volleyball), Sheldon Shealer (soccer), Mark Tennis (multi-sports) and Steve Underwood (track and cross country).