Student-Athlete of the Week

Aug. 27, 2012

Athlete of the Week

Makenzie Bartsch

Having grown up a couple hours from Laramie, did you attend Wyoming athletics events on a frequent basis? If so, what is your favorite memory?

We attended just a couple of games that I can remember. One memory that sticks out is when we came down to a football night game and it was one of the coldest on record. While we sat outside, shivering and waiting for the game, there was a huge power outage and the scoreboard was out and everything, so we ended up watching the game from Applebee's to avoid frostbite!

As your grandfather was on the 1943 national championship basketball team, was

Wyoming Brown & Gold a common presence in your life?
It absolutely was. Once Grandpa won the championship it followed him and garnered him recognition for the rest of his life. I have video of him holding me when I was just born giving me advice on basketball saying, "Keep your elbow in," and "It's not what you do; it's what you get caught doing." While he died when I was only 5, his win here and the University are still huge sources of pride for our family and it is talked about often. I have bled brown and gold since the day I was born.

Where do you fall in line with your siblings? Did you grow up playing sports with them?

I have an older stepbrother, Richie, and older stepsister, Jessica, that I call my brother and sister because we are so close! I also have a younger brother, Shea, who manages for the football team, and a younger sister, Sierra. We loved to play sports together and every weekend I can remember growing up was spent on the road as a family at one another's sporting events. Sports of all kinds are definitely a common denominator throughout our family.

What do you like most about your position as a middle blocker?

I love the challenge it presents. It is very physically demanding and there is always something to improve on. You also get to be a part of every block and a stuff block has the power to completely change the momentum of the game in just one play. I also love having a hand on that swing!

What has been your favorite memory with the team?

I loved beating BYU at BYU and then beating CSU at home this last year. Bringing these wins to the Cowboy state is a real source of pride for me and also something that the entire Cowboy Nation can boast about a little. We also got to go hot air ballooning this last preseason during a team retreat and it was incredible.

Do you have any superstitions or pregame rituals you do during game preparation?

As long as I get to wear grandpa's No. 24 I know I will be taken care of, so that is all I really need! I enjoy watching the team dance sessions before each game and participating on occasion.

What is your favorite meal?

Dessert!!! I have a huge sweet tooth, but I also love sushi and all sorts of fresh seafood.

What game are you looking forward to most and why?

The CSU matches both at home and in Fort Collins. We can't wait to prove that our win against them last year was no fluke, and winning those games really earns a lot of respect from other teams around the conference and around the country. This year we are very confident playing the best teams that the Mountain West and the country as a whole has to offer.

What has been your favorite class so far in kinesiology and health promotions?

I loved sports psychology! My teacher, Tucker Readdy, was so much fun and genuinely wanted everyone to succeed.

Where would your dream vacation be?

While I am not sure it counts as a vacation, I am planning on backpacking across Europe next summer with my cousin and I am so excited to explore the history and the adventures I am sure I will find! Going on this trip will truly be a dream come true.