Menomonee Falls' Robertson will leave basketball for track, but not before leaving a mark

March 29, 2013

One way of looking at Mikayla Robertson's selection of the Air Force Academy as her college for next year is that it is a love story come full circle.

And that's the one the Menomonee Falls two-time NOW All-Suburban basketball choice prefers, because it makes her parents happy.

In a big way.

"Both (Troy and Felicia Robertson) had enlisted in the Air Force and that's where they met," Robertson said. "They were both pleased as punch that I chose the Academy but they left the decision fully up to me."

And though Robertson will be leaving one of her two sporting loves - basketball - behind when she does so, she will be able to engage fully in the other - track - as the Academy is looking for her to be a big part of that program starting next fall.

"I was a little nervous about it but then I took an official visit in January (to the campus in Colorado Springs, Colo.) and I wound up loving everything about it," she said. "The base, the traditions, everything."

She intends to major in biology, eventually leading into the medical field.

It was a tough choice, she said, because Wisconsin was also hot on her heels for track, too.

But at the Air Force, she will employ the character and team unity skills that she learned during this somewhat disappointing 13-10 season for the Indians basketball season.

Schedule, injuries derailed season

The Indians went into the season with high hopes with many experienced hands coming back off an 19-5 team of 2011-12, but a challenging schedule and untimely injuries, especially at the guard position, left Falls banging into a glass ceiling time and again.

They would come close to big wins but couldn't quite break through with the ultimate frustration being the season-ending seven-point WIAA regional loss to eventual state tournament qualifier Arrowhead.

But during all that time, Robertson said, the camaraderie, the level of commitment and the team unity never wavered.

"It was one of the most challenging seasons I've been in (in sports)," she said, "because we had one of our best lineups ever, but we had never played a schedule this hard before. We started out well, but then it got tougher, because we were playing these really, really good teams."

Tournament win

A high point was the championship in the Fort Atkinson Tournament but that holiday bounce didn't automatically transfer into any more wins in the top-heavy and talented Greater Metro Conference.

Still, nothing wavered.

"The best part of it was what happened to the team," Robertson said. "Even as we lost the first couple of games, we came together and stopped thinking negatively and we also tried to apply some of the lessons of what was happening to us.

"Through the best of times and the worst of times we stayed as a team," she added, "because we were going through them all together."

All the while, the athletic 5-10 Robertson retained her highly useful jack-of-all-trades status on the team, scoring, hitting 3-pointers, rebounding, passing and blocking shots.

Improved every year

A fact not lost on coach Craig Amundson as Robertson earned first-team All-GMC honors for the second year in a row.

"She improved statistically every year she's been on varsity," Amundson said. "She has also earned some kind of all-conference mention for three years running which is something I don't think we've ever had. She's going to go down as one of our most decorated basketball players in the last 25 years."

"I don't really try to focus on the individual stuff," Robertson said. "I'll take a look at the pamphlet (the team wrap-up book) at the end of the season but that's about it. I've always been about what I can do for the team. Is it enough?

"Still, things like this (all-conference and all-suburban) shows that I spent all summer living out of a suitcase (traveling with the Lakeside Lady Scholars select basketball team) for a reason," she laughed. "We had a lot of fun with that group."

Now she wants to make this final track season before college a good one, too.

She's off to a fast start, posting good marks in her specialties the triple jump (in which she is a two-time state meet place-winner) and in the 400-meter dash.

But Robertson will miss basketball.

"If I had to place them (track and basketball) on a scale I'd say they were about equal," she said. "I couldn't really pick one or the other."

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