Bulldogs running to success
MAHOMET — One area of emphasis for Mahomet-Seymour boys’ cross-country coach Neal Garrison — whose squad is ranked third in Class 2A — is improvement, not just among his team leaders, but from any of the 31 runners on his team.
He tracks each athlete’s first 3-mile race time and compiles an all-time list for most improved. Four of his current runners rank among the top 20 on the career improvement charts.
Daniel Middendorf ran a 17-minute, 35-second time in the Bulldogs’ third meet, at Peoria last weekend, which placed him fourth on the career list. His improvement was 7:26. Nathaniel Cebulski ran an 18:19 time, also at the state meet course at Detweiller Park, which placed him eighth on the career list with an improvement of 6:40. Cody Jesswein ran a 22:43 the second week at Springfield, which placed him 11th on the all-time chart. His improvement was 6:05. Aaron Tandy ran 22:48 last week, which placed him 19th on the all-time list. His improvement was 4:39.
“Our team has really had a great season,” Garrison said. “Each meet they are faster than they were last year at those same meets. Alex Keeble (sophomore) and Jackson Powell (junior) really look like they have a good chance of being all-state this year. In our last meet (the team) beat all the 2A- and 1A-ranked teams and some of the 3A state-ranked teams. Hopefully the end of our season is as good as the start of our season.”
M-S placed 10th in the elite 63-school field last Saturday. Keeble’s time at Detweiller (15:05), Garrison said, was “the fastest sophomore time by any Mahomet-Seymour runner in over 40 years.”
Monticello announces Hall class
MONTICELLO — Five more members will be enshrined in Monticello High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame as part of the team’s homecoming festivities Oct. 4 when the Sages play host to Sullivan/Okaw Valley in football.
The additions are Lou Baker (1944 graduate), Arthur Sievers (1966), Mark Swarts (1973), Molly Lawhead (2003) and Elizabeth Piatt (2003). That raises the number of honored individuals to 28.
Baker was the football quarterback as a junior but missed most of his senior season with an appendectomy. He went on to play at Illinois State University, where he ranked 14th nationally in passing as a senior.
Sievers has been a behind-the-scenes contributor at Monticello for 50 years, excelling as a media services specialist. He has taken pictures, served as an announcer and statistician as well as operating the scoreboard and serving as manager at numerous meets. He has also worked as a press services manager at ISU since 1972, handling various duties at IHSA state tournaments.
Swarts earned varsity letters in four sports, including four in basketball. He was a four-year starter in basketball and scored what was a career-record 1,436 points by the time he graduated. He averaged 21.5 points per game as a senior.
Lawhead earned nine varsity letters, including four in softball. She was part of the school-record-setting 36-2 team as a senior, a squad that was ranked second in the state. She set the career record for pitching wins (65) and went on to be a three-year starter in softball at the Illinois.
Piatt was also a part of softball teams that won 117 games in her varsity career. She was The News-Gazette Area Player of the Year as a senior, also earning Chicago Tribune first-team all-state honors. She set school records for most hits and stolen bases. She played softball at Northwestern and was on the 2006 national runner-up team.
Unity inducts four new members
TOLONO — Terry Bagwell (1990 graduate), Jonas Dees (2001), Linda Sinder Miezio (1982) and Kenny Wood (1955) were enshrined into the Unity High School Hall of Fame last Friday.
Bagwell was the 160-pound wrestling state champion as a junior and a third-place finisher as a senior. His record in his final two years was 81-8, with 62 wins coming by pin.
Dees was a four-year letterman in both football and basketball and was a two-time All-Area selection in each sport. He graduated with school rushing records for a season (2,813 yards) and for a career (4,699).
Sinder Miezio set school track and field records in the high jump and 100-yard dash as well as with two relays. An All-Area hitter in volleyball, she played for teams that placed third and second at state. She joins Tom Sinder as the first brother-sister combination picked for Unity’s Hall of Fame.
Wood earned 12 varsity letters and, as a senior, was chosen to The Chicago Daily News Daily Little All-State team for football. He was a tight end and linebacker.
Watseka update: Honors, tournament
WATSEKA — Victor Sampson and Bruce Sullivan were honored, along with the 1962-63 Sweet 16 basketball team, with Watseka High School’s 2013 Athletic Inspiration Award. The presentation was part of last weekend’s homecoming events.
Sullivan went on to play football at the University of Illinois, where he earned first-team All-Big Ten honors and All-America recognition as a safety in 1966.
The 1962-63 basketball team was 25-4, coached by Arnold Stahl, and was the first one in school history to win a sectional championship.
— The 31st Watseka Volleyball Invitational will be Saturday, featuring action in two gyms starting at 9 a.m. The championship match will begin at 4 p.m.
Watseka is joined by Armstrong-Potomac, Salt Fork and Tri-Point in one pool. The other bracket features teams from Danville, Gardner South-Wilmington, Hoopeston Area and Peotone.
Area kids on campus ...
— Junior Albert Anastasio, from Urbana Uni High, has two top-10 finishes in his first two races for Centre (Ky.) College. On Sept. 6, he placed sixth at the Sewanee (Tenn.) Invitational with an 8-kilometer time of 28:09.55. The following week, he finished fifth in 27:18 in another 8K race. Centre College is rated first in the South/Southeast region of the USTACCCA rankings;
— Freshman Maddie Baillon, from St. Thomas More, won her first collegiate matches in both singles and doubles for Illinois State at last weekend’s Ball State Invitational;
— Junior Adam Blackman, from Urbana, is third in scoring with three goals for Wheaton College (5-2). He is one of five squad members who have started all seven matches;
— Senior Nick Malinowski, from Mahomet-Seymour, caught a 3-yard touchdown pass for Quincy in last week’s 42-39 loss to Northwood. For the season, he has seven receptions for 80 yards for the Hawks;
— Junior Cody Bly, from Sullivan, had TD receptions in each of Illinois College’s first two games. Overall, he has three catches for 57 yards for the 3-0 Blueboys;
— Senior Jamie Legner, from Mahomet-Seymour, was among 382 lacrosse athletes nationally named to the NCAA Division III honor roll for the 2013 season. Legner, an athletic training major, was a member of the All-Midwest Women’s Lacrosse conference academic first team for the second year in a row. She had two goals for a 12-5 team.