When a high school athlete is named to an all-state team, it's a sign of a season well done. A top-tier award that recognizes hard work and individual achievement. But when an athlete earns all-state honors in not one, not two, but three different sports in the same school year, that's a sign of a truly special year.
Halle Jansen is an example of said athlete. Jansen, a junior at Eden Valley-Watkins, was named first team all-state in volleyball and basketball, and second team all-state in softball this past spring.
“I was really happy I could accomplish it, especially in my junior year,” Jansen said. “It's always important to be balanced, not just in one sport. … I think it'd be boring to just play one, so I was happy I was able to do it.”
It was a goal that Jansen first imagined near the end of her middle school days, which has kept her motivated as she moved into high school.
“I saw other girls, like basketball players, who got all-state and I'm like 'Oh, I want to do that,” Jansen said.
Jansen made the leap to an all-state athlete this year after not receiving any during her sophomore season.
“I think I worked a lot harder, I pushed myself in the offseason a lot more,” she said. “I told myself, 'You have to get better.' Working harder in the offseason was a big part of it.”
She credits her jump in performance to keeping busy in the summer with long hours of working out, which feeds her competitive nature.
“I spent a lot of time in the weight room and getting faster, stronger, stuff like that,” she said. “I always want to be the best I can be, try to outwork everyone and outdo everyone.”
The junior is taking her talents to the collegiate level after graduation, as she is committed to playing volleyball at Southwest Minnesota State University in the fall of 2020. With the start of her college career still more than a year away, however, Jansen has some unfinished business to tend to with the Eagles.
She is already rewriting the EVW career record book for her individual accolades, including leading the volleyball team in career kills, digs and blocks. She also helped the basketball team win 27 straight games this past season, but has yet to experience a state tournament. It's that last part that she'd like to change.
I hope to (earn all-state honors) again,” she said, “but more importantly I'd rather like to get to the state tournament in basketball and win conference in volleyball, more team-oriented my senior year. Accomplishing the all-state was great, but more team stuff is what really matters to me.”