Cross Country

Cross Country

Bulletin board: Ex-Tiger takes over at Millikin

DECATUR — Urbana High School graduate Ryan Birt — who had more than 150 dual-meet wins in wrestling at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley — started Monday as the head wrestling coach at Millikin University, which is resurrecting its program after a seven-year hiatus.

His last day as associate head coach at Loras College, in Iowa, was Friday.

Bulletin board: Gross signs with Parkland

DANVILLE — All-Area standout Laura Gross, a 5-foot-10 middle hitter, signed a letter of intent Monday to continue her volleyball career at Champaign’s Parkland College. The three-time All-Area first-teamer set Schlarman school records for career kills (1,085) and career blocks (398). Gross helped Schlarman reach the Elite Eight in Class 1A for three consecutive years.

Centennial's Easter set to end run as AD

CHAMPAIGN — Centennial athletic director Brian Easter will leave the position at the end of the school year and return to teaching in the physical education department.

Easter, 43, replaced Stan Lewis as the Chargers’ AD following the 2005-06 school year and is in his ninth year on the job.

Best of Fred, No. 31: Trusting your senses

Retiring executive sports editor FRED KRONER has seen a lot in his 34 years at The News-Gazette. Each Sunday until his last day, he’ll share his most memorable stories:

It’s funny the things we remember with clarity and precision.

Bulletin board: Fisher adds to Hall

FISHER — Thirteen new members were inducted into the Fisher High School Athletic Hall of Fame last Saturday.

Davis completes national goal

SAN DIEGO — Jon Davis placed 37th overall — and eighth among juniors — in Saturday’s Foot Locker national high school cross-country championship race at Balboa Park.

His 5-kilometer time was 16 minutes, 28 seconds. The Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac athlete was part of the Midwest team that placed second in the four-region event.

N-G girls' cross-country rankings: Spartans best

TEAM (PREVIOUS)    COMMENT (in 3 miles)
1. St. Joseph-Ogden (1)    Six runners timed in less than 20 minutes
2. Urbana Uni High (3)    Five runners timed in less than 20 minutes
3. Monticello (2)    Five runners timed in less than 20 minutes

Girls' Cross-Country: Meet the first team, second team, special mention

First team
NAME    SCHOOL    YR.    COACH    
Abby Fisher    St. Joseph-Ogden    Sr.    Jason Retz
Jessica Franklin    Arthur Okaw Christian    Fr.    Jason Franklin

Girls' Cross-Country Coach of the Year: SJ-O's Jason Retz

Why he’s Coach of the Year: Guided the Spartans to a regional (first since 2012), a sectional (first since 2007) and a Class 1A state title (first since 1990) in his first year as coach. SJ-O had three runners — Faith Houston, Abby Gawthorp and Abby Fisher — finish in the top 25 at the state meet, as the Spartans won their state title by 84 points.

Girls' Cross-Country Runner of the Year: Uni's Arielle Summitt

URBANA — Doug Mynatt knew what to expect from Arielle Summitt in her freshman cross-country season at Urbana Uni High. He had coached Summitt as an eighth-grader and knew she was “a special type of runner.”

Mynatt got more this fall.