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.
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.
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.
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.
FISHER — Thirteen new members were inducted into the Fisher High School Athletic Hall of Fame last Saturday.
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.
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
NAME SCHOOL YR. COACH
Abby Fisher St. Joseph-Ogden Sr. Jason Retz
Jessica Franklin Arthur Okaw Christian Fr. Jason Franklin
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.
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.