“I was speechless. Quite stunned,” Laura Pastore Ziegler said of hearing the news that she was going to be inducted on the Wall of Fame here at UW-La Crosse on October 12. “I’m completely honored by this and proud of the time I spent at UW-L,” she reported.
Ziegeler made the UW-L gymnastics team in her freshman year in 1991, something she says she is extremely proud of.
Andrew Rock, a graduate of the class of 2004 who blew away the competition during his college years and went on to win gold in the Olympic Games, said he was very excited at the news, and accompanied with a certain feeling of gratitude and humility. The years at La Crosse still have quite a lot of meaning for him, with his fondest memories being focused on the relationships with teammates and support from his coach. Track and field is still a great passion of his, as he is the head coach at Bethel University in neighboring Minnesota, where he is hoping to provide the same great experiences he had playing the sport. He is honored that he is to be inducted this year.
Ziegler and Rock are a part of a group of seven UW-L Alumni athletes who will be given this honor as Wall of Fame inductees at a brunch in the Cleary Center on Oct. 12. The whole group includes Ziegler, Rock, Jill Jacobsen from the class of 1989 for tennis, John Janke from the class of 1993 for football, Mark Morehouse of the class of 1997 for swimming and Glenn Mueller for bowling, who graduated in the year 1970. They may not have attended school at the same times, but this gathering will bring them together for the expertise they have shown in their respective sports.
Even though these past students have been grown and graduated from La Crosse for different spans of time depending on the athlete, the years spent here at the university still hold fond memories for the alumni. Ziegler reports one of her best memories of her time competing on the gymnastics team was landing her vault at nationals her senior year.
Rock explains he is truly grateful that he was “surrounded by great people” for a “magical four years.” He said it was difficult to pinpoint one thing that he recalled to be one of the most significant memories here. However, one of the greatest memories shared by many of these successful athletes and definitely for both Ziegler and Rock is of standing on the podium along with their teams, coaches and friends, earning national titles.
Rock said, “It was a moment we (the team) all cherish still to this day.”
UW-L cherishes these alumni and will show the extent of their appreciation on Oct. 12, when they will be given a great honor with their names being added to the Wall of Fame.