On campus, April 28, 2018

On campus, April 28, 2018

Contributor Troy Gentle catches up with ex-area high school standouts now excelling in college:

Freshman Nicole Bagwell, from Unity, has made her way onto the Illinois State women's track and field all-time performance list in the pole vault at the Redbird Invitational. Bagwell posted a personal best 12 foot, 1 / 2 inch mark, which is the sixth-best mark in program history as well as the fourth-best height in the Missouri Valley Conference this season. Illinois State is taking part in the Lenny Lyles-Clark Wood Invitational hosted by the University of Louisville this weekend.

Also posting a personal best at the Redbird Invitational was fellow Unity graduate and SIU-Edwardsville sophomore Austin Woodard, who won the 3,000 meters in 8 minutes, 58.34 seconds. It is the former Rocket's first collegiate win. The Cougars travel to Memphis, Tenn., for the Memphis Invitational this weekend.

Senior Cole Taylor, from Salt Fork, has started all 41 games at shortstop for Illinois-Springfield. The 2017 ABCA third-team All-American leads the Great Lakes Valley Conference with 19 doubles and is in the top five in with 49 runs scored, 62 hits, 10 home runs, 49 RBI, 14 stolen bases and 105 assists. The 37-4 Prairie Stars, who recently set a program record for wins, look to remain undefeated in conference play when they go to Louisville, Ky., for a doubleheader with Bellarmine starting at 11 a.m. today.

Senior Storm Joop, from St. Thomas More, has started 40 games for the University of Indianapolis. The first baseman currently leads the Greyhounds with a .338 batting average, 14 doubles and a .466 on-base percentage as well as a GLVC-leading 12 hit by pitches while also sporting a .994 fielding percentage. Earlier in the season Joop had a 15-game hitting streak that boosted his batting average by 82 points. Indianapolis looks to improve on its 24-17 record when the Greyhounds take on Wisconsin-Parkside in a pair of doubleheaders today and Sunday in Somers, Wis.

Four area athletes set season bests at the Monmouth Midweek Event held on Tuesday. Monmouth College senior Vaughn Gentzler, from Paxton-Buckley-Loda, won the 110 hurdles in a Midwest Conference-best 14.87 and finished second in the 100 in 11.04, which is good for fourth in the conference. Sophomore Aleeka Gentzler, also from PBL, finsihed second in the high jump at 4-113 / 4, tying her for second in the conference.

Illinois Wesleyan junior Rebecca Anderson, from Clinton, won the 100 in 12.56, which is good for fifth in the Collegiate Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin. Teammate Samira Kassem, from Mahomet-Seymour, came in second in the 1,500 with a collegiate-best 5:34.32.

Junior Dalton James, from Heritage, has appeared in 22 games with 21 starts for Knox College. In addition to leading the team with a .361 batting average and .932 OPS James is also in the Midwest Conference top 10 with a .479 on-base percentage and 11 stolen bases. The Prairie Fire will try to end a four-game losing streak when they take on Grinnell College in a doubleheader starting at noon today in Grinnell, Iowa.