Ripon student-athletes sweep 2021 MWC academic awards

Ripon College student-athletes have swept the 2021 Midwest Conference (MWC) Awards for academic success. Payton Rahn, an English and politics and government double major from Omro, Wisconsin, received the Ruth Peterson Award, and Cormac Madigan, a chemistry-biology major from Rosendale, Wisconsin, received the Roy W. LeClere Award. The Peterson and LeClere awards are presented to the female and male, respectively, student-athletes who post the highest grade-point average during their junior year. Rahn and Madigan both posted a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average.

Rahn is a member of the Red Hawks track and field team. She is a three-time Academic All-Conference performer who also won the MWC Elite 20 Award during the 2021 outdoor track and field season. The Elite 20 Award is given annually to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating in his or her respective sport’s culminating championship or tournament event. She was part of Ripon’s conference champion 4×400 relay team at that event and also won the 400 meters at the 2021 Wisconsin Private College Championships.

Madigan is a member of the Red Hawks football team. He is two-time Academic All-Conference performer and a three-time All-Conference selection. He was named MWC Football Newcomer of the Year as a first-year student in 2018. This season, he was recognized three times as MWC Offensive Performer of the Week. Madigan ranks fourth in Ripon College football history for career rushing touchdowns (33), while also ranking fourth in all-purpose yards (2,979). The school record holder for single-game rushing touchdowns (6), Madigan also ranks fifth in program history for career rushing yards (2,871) and eighth in total offensive yards (4,474).

This marks just the fourth time that the same school has won both awards in the same year in the 36 years that both have been given out. Rahn is the sixth Ripon student-athlete to win the Peterson award in its 36 years of existence, and third in the last seven years. Madigan is just the second Ripon student-athlete to win the LeClere Award in its 37 years of existence, and the first since 2011.

Ruth Peterson is the former commissioner of the Midwest Athletic Conference for Women, who went on to serve as the co-commissioner of the MWC. Peterson, a Beloit College alumna and employee, died in October 2006. Roy W. LeClere was a collegiate sports enthusiast whose passion for the MWC led friends and co-workers to originally sponsor the award as a memorial in his honor.

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