Uni swimmers excel in finale
Despite not qualifying for state, Uni High had a series of banner performances in Saturday’s girls’ sectional swim meet at Unit 4 Pool.
The Illineks had season-best times in two relays. The 200-yard freestyle foursome set a school record, and the 200 medley unit posted the second-best mark in Uni High history (1 minute, 58.55 seconds). The medley swimmers were Claire Dickerson, Claire Michael, Sarah Lee and Madeleine Nelson.
The record-setting freestyle squad consisted of the same girls, in a different order.
In individual events, 11 of 16 Illineks swam personal bests. Two others had personal bests when their relay leadoff legs were counted.
“We only practice once a day (from 5:30 to 7:15 a.m.),” Uni coach Howie Schein said. “Some of the team does Iyngar Yoga two times a week at Uni. I changed our (swimming) workouts to be geared toward race pace as opposed to volume. We do a lot of sprinting in practice along with water work that is not swimming, such as carrying bricks, treading water holding weights over our heads, swimming with mesh bags full of tennis balls and swimming in jump suits.”
Helping Schein as the associate coach is Carol (Bossert) Hartman, who was one of the first 100 women to swim the English Channel. Now a mother of a student at Uni, she also has competed in the New York City Marathon.
Central athlete picks college
All-Area baseball player Kurtis Brown, from Champaign Central, will sign a letter of intent this afternoon to continue his career at Bellarmine University, a Division II school in Louisville, Ky. As a junior infielder, Brown was selected the Offensive Player of the Year in the Big 12 Conference after batting .468. He hit five home runs and drove in 33 runs.
EIU Hall adds ex-Hilltopper
CHARLESTON — Former Schlarman athlete Kyle O’Brien was one of three former athletes inducted into the Eastern Illinois University Hall of Fame on Saturday. He already was enshrined in the NJCAA and the Danville Area Community College halls.
At EIU, O’Brien was a three-sport Ohio Valley Conference Athlete of the Year. He won recognition in cross-country (2002), indoor track and field (2003) and outdoor track and field (2003). He helped the Panthers to back-to-back league crowns in cross-country.
In track, ranging from the 3-kilometer and 5K to the 10K, O’Brien was an eight-time OVC champion, either indoors or outdoors.
He still holds the school’s third-best time in the 10K race (29:36.36 in 2003) and the sixth-best 5K mark (14:21.64 in 2003).
Gosser to sign Thursday
FISHER — Senior Kalli Gosser will sign a letter of intent Thursday to play softball at Wisconsin-Parkside. The two-time All-Area infielder has a career batting average (.553) that ranks 10th on the all-time IHSA career list. In 317 plate appearances, Gosser has more home runs than strikeouts (12-10). As a junior, when she hit .624, she was a coaches association all-state third-team choice. Wisconsin-Parkside is a Division II university in Kenosha.
Ex-Viking headed to nationals
Freshman Michaleen Forman, from Danville, and her Lincoln Land Community College volleyball team are one of the 16 competing for the NJCAA Division II title this week, starting Thursday at Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio. Lincoln Land is 31-7 and seeded eighth. Forman has 224 kills, a .220 hitting efficiency, 70 blocks and 19 aces. She tied a school record with 10 blocks against Goshen College and had a season-high 17 kills against then-third-ranked Moraine Valley. The No. 3 seed at nationals is Parkland College.
Girls’ basketball elite to meet
One highlight of the first week of the girls’ basketball season will be a Saturday game in the sixth Blue Star Basketball Country Classic matching the area’s two premier programs, Centennial and St. Thomas More. They will play in the fifth — and final — game that day at 3 p.m. at Parkland College. The Blue Star event begins Thursday and concludes Tuesday. Games also are scheduled for St. Thomas More, Monticello and Mahomet-Seymour. Only the Saturday games are at Parkland.