Conference titles. National championship berths. Academic honors.
It’s been a busy and successful couple weeks for area college athletes.
Monmouth College’s Jake Barr (Sr., Mendota) won three conference titles at the Midwest Conference Indoor Championships Feb. 22-23. He won the 5,000 meters with a school-record time of 14:56.11, which beat the second-place runner by almost 20 seconds. He also set a personal-best time of 8:41.56 en route to the title in the 3,000 meters and was part of the Monmouth distance medley relay team that won that event with a time of 10:36.06.
He also placed fifth in the 5,000 meters (14:52.21) at the Wisconsin-Stevens Point Pointer Qualifier on Saturday.
William Penn University’s Kevin Fay (Jr., Putnam County/IVCC) scored 16 points off the bench and added three assists to help William Penn to a 104-81 win over Mount Mercy in the Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament championship game Feb. 24.
Fay is averaging 11.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game this season. He also has 51 assists, 19 steals and six blocks. William Penn (30-1) earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NAIA Division II National Tournament and will face McPherson (Kan.) on Wednesday.
Fay was also named honorable mention all-conference in the Midwest Collegiate Conference.
Iowa Western Community College’s Cody Taylor (So., BV) was part of the 3,200-meter relay team that placed eighth (8:01.97) at the NJCAA National Championships on March 1-2.
Olivet Nazarene University’s Alex Ortiz (So., Ottawa) was part of the 1,600-meter relay team that placed eighth (3:54.04) at the NAIA National Indoor Championships Feb. 28 to March 2.
The University of Illinois’ Hunter Mickow (Sr., Princeton) placed 14th in the 5,000 meters with a personal-best time of 14:19.82 at the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Feb. 22-23. The Illini placed second, their highest finish since 2000.
Mickow also earned All-Academic honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. To qualify, a student-athlete must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and have either earned USTFCCCA All-America status or finished in the NCAA region’s top 15 in 2012. Mickow, who was sixth in the Midwest Cross Country Regional in the fall, has a 3.75 GPA in the masters program in Accountancy.
Eureka College basketball player Kourtney Ewald (Sr., Ottawa/IVCC) was named to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Academic Team. In order to earn this honor, an athlete needs to have a 3.5 cumulative GPA and be at least a sophomore with at least one full year at his or her current institution. Ewald is a secondary education/English major.
She ended the year averaging 3.9 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. She also had 15 assists, five steals and a block. Eureka finished the year 16-9 overall.
Indoor track and field
Illinois State University’s Kendall Rush (Sr., Hall) placed eighth in the triple jump (39-4) and was 16th in the long jump (17-3.25) at the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships on Feb. 23-24. ISU placed third as a team.
Northern Illinois University’s Ellen Renk (Fr., L-P) placed 13th in the long jump (17-8.25) and 14th in the triple jump (35-5) at the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships on Feb. 22-23.
At the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Indoor Championships on Feb. 22-23, North Central College’s Adam Weidner (Fr., BV) placed third in the shot put (50-1.25) as North Central took the team title for the 13th consecutive year.
Also, North Park University’s Natalie Swanson (Fr., BV) placed ninth in the shot put (35-5) and 13th in the weight throw (36-5.5) on the women’s side. Augustana College’s Lorraine Stamberger (So., LaMoille) was 15th in the 800 meters (2:28.07) as well.
Weidner then placed 11th in the shot put (49-1.75) at the Wisconsin-Stevens Point Pointer Qualifer on Saturday. Swanson also placed 10th in the shot put (11.04m) at the Gill Athletics Final Qualifier on Friday.
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Anthony Urbanski (So., Hall) placed 10th in the 800 meters (1:56.34) at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Indoor Championships on Feb. 22-23.
Campbell University’s Evan Darm (So., Marquette) placed 17th in the 5,000 meters (15:41.12) at the Big South Indoor Championships on Feb. 22-23.
Greenville College’s Coree Woltering (Sr., Ottawa) placed 18th in the 5,000 meters (15:35.09) at the Pointer Qualifier Saturday.
Judson University’s Anthony Ahlers (Sr., Putnam County) led the team in both scoring (10.4 ppg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg) and had a team-high 13 blocks this season. He also finished the year with 26 assists and 12 steals. Judson finished 6-24 overall.
Elmhurst College’s Taylor Baxter (Jr., Fieldcrest) ended the year averaging 7.2 points and 3 rebounds per game. He also had 69 assists, which was second on the team, and 16 steals and seven blocks. Elmhurst finished 6-19 overall.
Sauk Valley Community College’s Jacob Fisher (Fr., Princeton) averaged 1.3 points and 0.8 rebounds per game this season and also had four assists, four steals and a block. SVCC finished 21-11.
Monmouth College’s Lauren Kellen (So., Mendota) finished the year averaging 4.2 points, 1.8 assists and 1.4 rebounds per game and also had 17 steals. Teammate Chelsea Gross (Sr., LaMoille) averaged 1.1 points and 0.8 rebounds this season as well. She also had five steals and one assist. Monmouth finished 20-5, which was the first 20-win season in school history.
Benedictine University’s Michelle Batty (So., L-P) ended the year averaging 2 points and 1.1 rebounds per game. She also was third on the team in assists with 43 and had seven steals. Benedictine finished 14-13.
Illinois Wesleyan University’s Emily Considine (So., St. Bede) averaged 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds per game and also had one assist. IWU finished 18-8.
St. Bonaventure University’s Kelcie Rombach (Fr., Ottawa) averaged 1 point and 0.6 rebounds per game this season. She also had two assists and a steal. St. Bonaventure finished 10-19.
Gustavus Adolphus College’s Kelle Nett (Fr., Hall) averaged 0.9 points and 0.4 rebounds in seven games this season. She also had one assist. Gustavus Adolphus ended the year 15-11.
Millikin University’s Rachel Kindred (So., Ottawa) averaged 0.5 rebounds in two games played this season.
Valparaiso University’s Karch Kowalczyk (RS Jr., L-P) has two saves and a 0.00 ERA in 3 2/3 innings pitched. He has two walks and one strikeout.
South Dakota State University’s Reid Clary (So., Princeton) is batting .429 with a double in seven at-bats.
Southern Illinois University’s Lee Weld (RS Jr., Fieldcrest) is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 2 2/3 innings pitched. He has allowed one walk while striking out three.
St. Ambrose University’s Michael Lynch (Fr., L-P) is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 1 1/3 innings pitched. He has one walk and three strikeouts.
Illinois State University’s Dave Suarez (Jr., L-P) is 0-0 with a 3.38 ERA in three appearances. He has one walk and two strikeouts. Teammate Matt Schmitt (Sr., L-P) is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two appearances.
North Park University’s Zak Worsley (So., Marquette) is batting .158 with a hit and an RBI in 19 at-bats.
Tiffin University’s Nick Hueneburg (So., St. Bede) is batting .071 with one hit in 14 at-bats.
Bradley University’s Brittany Burgess (So., St. Bede) is batting .326 with 15 hits, 12 runs scored and two RBI in 46 at-bats. Burgess was named to the all-tournament team at the Tiger Invitational hosted by Tennessee State University on Feb.23-24. Burgess went 8-for-11 with five runs as the Braves won all four games in the tournament.
Graceland University’s Alyssa James (Sr., Princeton) is batting .227 with three doubles, two RBI and two runs scored.
Western Illinois University’s Kelsey Michelini (Sr., L-P) is 1-3 with a 5.62 ERA in 28 2/3 innings pitched. She has 18 walks and 11 strikeouts.
Illinois Wesleyan University’s Aaron Guenther (Jr., Ottawa) earned a 3-6, 7-5, 10-7 win at No. 4 singles and an 8-2 win at No. 2 doubles as IWU swept Knox College 9-0 Saturday in its spring opener.
St. Louis College of Pharmacy’s Andy Sickley (Fr., L-P) picked up his first collegiate victory in a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 4 singles in STLCOP’s 5-1 win over Fontbonne University Feb. 22.
The University of Illinois-Springfield’s Nick Decker (Jr., L-P) is 0-1 in singles play and 0-2 in doubles action in the spring season.
Western Illinois University’s Patrick Hammers (Sr., L-P) is 1-8 at No. 1 doubles and 1-8 at No. 1 singles this season.
Jackie Pokryfke can be reached at 220-6939 or at email@example.com.