Fritz Kauffman was a past president of the Hillstriders Running Club and the 1994 March Madness Half Marathon Race Director.  An avid runner, Fritz completed over 100 marathons, including the 1995 Boston Marathon.
A University of Wisconsin Badger alumnus, Fritz died unexpectedly during the Sunmart 50K in Huntsville, TX in 2001.  In his memory, the Hillstriders Running Club has designated a portion of the annual March Madness Half Marathon proceeds to fund this scholarship.
The Hillstriders Distance Running Scholarship was established in 2002 to assist McHenry County high school graduates with college expenses.  Applicants must be participants in high school cross country or track distance (800 meters or longer) events.
In 2002 the Hillstriders Running Club made an initial donation of $ 5,000.  Thereafter, a portion of the “March Madness Half Marathon” will fund at least three scholarships each year. Any additional earnings/contributions will help increase the current year’s scholarship or will be placed in the scholarship trust fund to grow in value.
The Hillstriders Distance Running Scholarship is available to all college-bound distance runners in McHenry County.  The scholarship is not based on academic or athletic accomplishments.  Our intent is to reward those runners who truly love the sport.  By supporting these runners we are encouraging healthy, productive and disciplined lifestyles.  

Donation:  Donations to the scholarship can be made through the Race Registration process (December to March)

Off season donations are made through PayPal: Note there is a credit card processing fee that is deducted from the amount entered.  

Checks can also be mailed to our PO Box if you prefer to make a check donation instead

Summary of Scholarship Criteria:

The Hillstriders Distance Running Scholarship is non-renewable award.  The scholarship is intended to help support the applicant in their pursuit of continuing education.  For that reason, anyone receiving fully paid tuition through the University Scholarships(academic or athletic).  Military Academy(Air Force, Naval, etc.) corporate sponsorship's or any other means will not qualify for the award.  Should the scholarship be announced and awarded prior to notice on any of the above, the achievement of their place within the scholarship judging will remain recognized in our records, however, the financial award will be redistributed.

To qualify, the applicant must be a McHenry County, IL resident and/or a graduating senior from a McHenry County High School in good academic standing.  The applicant must be a distance runner (800 meters or longer) on their school’s track or cross-country team. Applicant must have applied and been accepted at a college or university, and enrolling in the fall. Receiving the award does not preclude the applicant from applying for and accepting other scholarships, loans, grants or other aid.

The applicant must submit the following:
     1.      Hillstriders Scholarship Application
     2.     100 - 250 Word Essay
    In at least 100, but less than 250 words, describe on a separate sheet how running has impacted your life.  This is a critical portion of the application that sets you apart.  Fritz was always telling a joke or a story.  Have some fun - share your favorite story or memory.  
     3.     Recommendation from a teacher 

    A letter from a least one teacher verifying the applicant’s academic standing and discuss their leadership skills.
     4.     Recommendation from their cross country coach or track coach
    A letter from their coach should discuss the applicant’s contribution to sportsmanship, leadership, team spirit and their influence on the betterment of the sport of running.

The completed application must be submitted in the link above by the third Friday in April.

APRIL 19 2024

The Hillstriders treasurer will send the recipient a check payable to the school the student will be attending.  

Scholarship Acceptance:
A five-member Selection Committee will be appointed annually by the Hillstriders Board of Directors to review applications. The identity of the applicant will be withheld from the Selection Committee to assure complete objectivity.  The scholarships will be awarded each May.

Hillstriders Distance Running Scholarship
in memory of Fritz Kauffman

Hillstriders Distance Running Scholarship Past Recipients
Total Scholarship Money Awarded ($ 213,000)

Kimberly Jo Weidner, Marengo High School (Augustana College) $ 1,000
Christopher Stanich, McHenry High School (Iowa State) $ 1,000
Janelle Summerkamp, Jacobs High School (Elgin Community College) $ 250
Gregory Hamm, Cary-Grove High School (Undecided) $ 250
Stephanie McHone, Crystal Lake High School (Augustana College) $ 1,000
Steve LaBracke, Marian Central High School (Northwestern University) $ 1,000
Katie Birn, McHenry High School (Southern Illinois University) $ 250
Nick Fuhs, Crystal Lake Central High School (University of Illinois) $ 250
Katherine Anderson, Richmond High School (Eastern Illinois University) $ 2,000
Marty Ciszon, Cary-Grove High School (University of Illinois) $ 2,000
Ryan Kunde,    Marengo High School (Marquette University) $ 500
Megan Matteson, Harvard High School (Illinois State University) $ 500
Megan Hofstetter, Cary-Grove High School (Mars Hill College)  $ 2,000
Ryan Fuhs, Crystal Lake Central High School (University of Illinois) $ 1,250
Mike Lawson, Prairie Ridge High School (Georgia Tech) $ 1,250
Stephanie Erhard, Cary-Grove High School (University of Illinois) $ 500
Jill Weidner, Marengo High School $ 2,000
Joe Boyer, Marengo High School $ 2,000
Rachel Grammer, McHenry East High School  $ 500
Nic Aubert, Crystal Lake South High School $ 500
Caitlin Woolridge, Cary-Grove High School (University of Iowa)  $ 2,000
Brian Lane, Johnsburg High School (Bradley University) $ 2,000
Kristin Leonhardt, Cary-Grove High School (University of Illinois) $ 500
Mark Rivera, Crystal Lake Central High School (University of Illinois) $ 500
Chelsey Tyllia, South High School $ 2,000
Carson Sterchi, Crystal Lake Central High School $ 2,000
Michael McNamara, Cary-Grove High School $ 2,000
Molly Macinnes, Cary-Grove High School $ 2,000
Sarah LaRue, Marengo High School $ 2,000
Scott Meyers, Marengo High School $ 2,000
Ryan Alvarez, Crystal Lake Central High School (Oral Roberts University) $ 2,000
Edward Gibbons, Cary-Grove High (Notre Dame)  $ 2,000
Elizabeth Hiinley, Johnsburg High School (University of North Texas) $ 2,000
Monique Marchwianny, Jacobs High School (University of Illinois) $ 1,000
Taylor Miller, Crystal Lake Central High School (University of Wisconsin-Parkside) $ 1,000
Andrew Wozniak, Marian Central High School (St. Ambrose University) $ 2,000
Phillip Meyer, Woodstock High School (St. Olaf College) $ 2,000
Rachel Bush, Crystal Lake Central High School (Loyola University) $ 2,000
Marianne Collard, Crystal Lake South High School, Cornell University $ 2,000
Kathryn Sprague, Marengo Community High School, University of Colorado $ 2,000
Luke Wajrowski, Crystal Lake South ( University of Dayton)  $ 2,000
Timothy Semmen, Woodstock High School (Luther College)  $ 2,000
Kelly McNeely, Crystal Lake Central (Central Michigan University) $ 2,000
Katherine Wollney Cary Grove  (Miami of Ohio ) $ 2,000
Sara Lejsner Crystal Lake South  (DePauw University) $ 2,000
Madeline Lundin,   Cary Grove High School  (Miami University) $ 2,000
Jessica Stumpner,  Crystal Lake South  (Wisconsin Lutheran College) $ 2,000
Joe Cowlin, Prairie Ridge (University of Illinois) $ 2,000
Calvin Quarterman,  McHenry West (Drake University)  $ 2,000
Nick Kopp, Crystal Lake South  (University of Minnesota)  $ 2,000
Alexandra Sprague, Marengo High School  (University of South Carolin-Columbia) $ 2,000
Avery Robertson,  Crystal Lake Central  (Arizona State) $ 2,000
Erin Wagner, Prairie Ridge (University of Wisconsin-Madison) $ 2,000
Griffin Dempsey,  Cary-Grove High School (University of Minnesota)  $ 2,000
Tyler Splitt, Crystal Lake South  (University of Illinois)  $ 2,000
Nick Amato, Crystal Lake Central (University of Minnesota)  $ 2,000
Laura Van Vlierbergen, Jacobs (University of Michigan) $ 2,000
Sarah Semmen,  Woodstock (Butler University) $ 2,000
Andrea Shine, Prairie Ridge (University of Iowa) $ 2,000
Emma Baumert,  Marian Central (University of St. Thomas)  $ 2,000
Tyler Stordahl, Cary Grove (Gustavus Aldolphus College)  $ 2,000
Michael Saxon, Cary Grove (Boston College)  $ 2,000
Kate Mitchell, Huntley (Valparaiso) $ 2,000
Alexandra Lorenz, (University of Michigan) Jacobs $ 2,000
Madysen Gerlinger, (Iowa State) Prairie Ridge $ 2,000
Breanna Bogucki, (Harper College) Cary Grove  $ 2,000
Andrew Payton,  (Geirgia Institute of Technology) Marian Central  $ 2,000
Austin Albrecht, (Florida Gulf Coast University) Jacobs $ 2,000
Theresa Grimes (Marquette University)  Johnsburg  $ 2,000
Peyton Wood (Drake University)  Woodstock North  $ 2,000
Madalyn Weaver (Drake University) McHenry West $ 2,000
Molly Gniady (Lake Forest College) Crystal Lake Central  $ 2,000
Cole Barkocy (Bradley)  Crystal Lake Central  $ 2,000
Weston Sterchi (Illinois Institute of Technology) Crystal Lake Central $ 2,000
Ashley Molidor (Saint Norbert College)  Johnsburg  $ 3,000
James Lasak (Western Michigan) Prairie Ridge   $ 3,000
Rebecca Harder (Judson University) McHenry East $ 3,000
Katelyn Smith (Carthage) Crystal Lake Central  $ 3,000
Jonathon Lewis (Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis) Cary-Grove $ 3,000


​Morgan DeGroot (Illinois State) Richmond Burton $3000
Olivia Beckwith (Southern University, Edwardsville) Crystal Lake South $3000
Rebecca Orvis (Indiana University Purdue University ) Crystal Lake Central $3000
Justin Lorenz (Duke) Jacobs $3000
Thomas Roth (Marquette) Cary Grove $3000
Nate Kopp (Iowa State) Crystal Lake Central $3000
Nissa Lind (Burton Carroll) Richmond $3000


​Emily Jones ( Liberty University) Crystal Lake South $3000

​Connie Lin (Case Western Reserve Univ) Crystal Lake South $3000

Maddie Zinger (University of Illinois CU) Jacobs HS $3000

Maxum Caesar (University of Illinois Chicago) Cary Grove HS $3000

Dylan Jensen (McHenry Co College) McHenry East HS $3000

Timothy Lorenz (Knox College) Crystal Lake South $3000


​Meghan Easterday  (University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign) Crystal Lake Central $3000

Elizabeth Proctor (Loyola) Jacobs $3000 
 Aaron Moehrlin (Northern Illinois University)  Marengo $3000
Thomas Landt (Univ of Wisconsin - LaCrosse) Crystal Lake Central $3000
Carlos Montes (Duke) McHenry West $3000


​Emma Keesey (University of Colorado - Boulder) McHenry HS $3000

Allison Klauser (University of South Carolina) Prairie Ridge HS $3000

Delaney Cairns (Bryn Mawr College) Huntley HS $3000

Joseph Hissem (University of IL) McHenry HS National Guard

Steven Austin (University of Iowa) Harvard HS $3000

​Andrew Roth (Illinois State) Cary Grove HS $3000


​Alexis Soukup (Wheaton College) Prairie Ridge  $2,000
Gianna Pinta (University of Kentucky) CL South $2,000
Patrick Signore (Carroll University)  Marengo HS $2,000
Annette Ferrero (Colorado State - Ft Collins) CL Central  $2,000
Brittney Burak  (Indiana State) Huntley HS $2,000
Jackson Batt  (UW - Platteville) Johnsburg HS $2,000