Prep pulse | March 12

Prep pulse | March 12

If you drove by The News-Gazette in downtown Champaign around 5 p.m. last Wednesday, you may have been a bit confused.

We had seven high school athletes post up by our front entrance for a photo opportunity. Almost all of them donned short sleeves and shorts, typical for spring sports competitors.

Unless it's below 40 degrees outside. Which it was.

Thankfully, they soldiered through to give us the cool image atop Sunday's sports section, an ode to the start of baseball, softball, track and field, girls' soccer and boys' tennis.

Each kid also provided us with some background about representing their respective schools. Here's just a sampling of what they had to say.

Cam Robinson, Central baseball

What's the best part about playing baseball at Champaign Central? The winning tradition and competitiveness that the program has every year.

Bailey Dowling, St. Joseph-Ogden softball

What was your favorite moment from last season? In super-sectionals, when we had our first at-bat, someone was on first (I think Kenzie Pence) and I hit a home run to start us off. After that, everyone was pumped!

Arielle Summitt, Uni High track and field

What's the best part about competing in track and field at Uni High? The best thing about Uni High track would have to be the people. I'm really close with everyone on our team, and we always have a lot of laughs.

Mason Barr, Ridgeview/Lexington track

What are your goals for this season? Run a 36-second 300 hurdle and break the state record. As a team this year, I am hoping to win 1A state.

Aliyah Welter, Monticello track

What made you want to compete in track and field at the high school level? I really enjoy the sport and knew that my gymnastics background would help me in my events. Also, my dad's the coach, so I didn't have much of a choice.

Meredith Johnson-Monfort, Mahomet-Seymour girls' soccer

What would make this season a success, in your mind? To have the most fun and make the most memories possible. Leaving this program better than we found it would be a great success for our whole team.

Jared Thomas, Centennial boys' tennis

What was your favorite moment from last season? Winning the sectional title for singles. The opponent was a good buddy of mine, so it was a very fun match.