- Legends Division
Notre Dame Academy’s first ever state championship was won in the fall of the school’s first year in 1990. The NDA girls cross country team walked away with many titles that year. The most notable was the WISAA Division 1 state championship held at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside National Cross Country Course on Oct. 27, 1990. Seniors Sharon Malone and Linda Schmitt, junior Tricia Herald, sophomore Jessica Kapalin and freshmen Amanda Enscoe, Kelly Condon and Jamie Gilmore comprised the championship team.
In cross country, there are usually seven or eight runners competing in a varsity race. The places of the Top 5 of those runners are scored to come up with the team score. NDA’s 1990 WISAA state championship team scored five runners in the Top 19! Jessica Kapalin finished in fourth place, Amanda Enscoe finished in 11th place, Kelly Condon finished in 13th place, Jamie Gilmore finished in 14th place and Tricia Herald finished in 19th place for a team score of 61 points. The team was coached by Jenny (Everson SJA, 1979) Wallberg.
In addition to winning the WISAA state meet, the NDA girls cross country team was the dominant girls team in the area. The varsity team took home first place honors in seven meets and placed second in four others. NDA won the Green Bay City Meet which was the first time a team other than Preble won since the beginning of the meet in 1979. They also won the Brown County Meet with all of NDA’s varsity runners receiving All-County first- or second-team recognition. NDA’s Top 5 runners finished in the Top 10 in this meet, which was held at Shorewood Golf Course on the campus of UW-Green Bay. NDA’s talented team also won the Fox Valley Christian Conference Meet with a score of 19 points. Jessica Kapalin won the race, Kelly Condon was third, Jamie Gilmore was fourth, Amanda Enscoe was fifth, Tricia Herald was sixth and Sharon Malone was seventh. All the girls were selected to FVCC first team with Jessica Kapalin selected as runner of the year.
Dedication and hard work of both the varsity and junior varsity teams certainly were evident that first year of NDA. Grueling hill workouts at Triangle Hill in Baird’s Creek, Fireman’s Park and Colburn Park challenged the team physically and mentally but they rose to the occasion. LSD (Long Slow Distance) runs, interval practices between light posts along Ridge Road and multiple 800-meter repetitions at Colburn Park contributed to the success of the team. Natural talent of these girls didn’t hurt!
Ice cream runs to Baskin Robbins, cheering and supporting each other during practices and meets created a special bond between all 24 runners on the entire cross country team that first year of NDA.
The NDA girls varsity team was not ranked in any of the state polls all season long as many non-area schools/coaches had not heard of the new school yet. But as Green Bay Press-Gazette prep sports reporter Len Wagner wrote as a headline to his column after the team’s state championship win “Now they know the Tritons.”