A 5K's not a marathon -- until you run it with a sousaphone

Alex Kirkeeng has been training for the Illinois Marathon 5K for months, but he's been training for more than just 3.1 miles.

"I figure if I can run 5 miles, hopefully I can run 3.1 with a sousaphone," he said.

Transfer's signing a big deal for Groce

CHAMPAIGN — Speaking about newly acquired transfer center Mike Thorne Jr. for the first time on Thursday at the Ubben Basketball Complex, Illinois coach John Groce kept going back to the same word when describing one of Thorne’s main assets: size.

No rest for tourney's No. 1 seed

URBANA — Garnering the top seed at the Big Ten men’s tennis tournament comes with perks for host Illinois.

Sleeping in Friday isn’t one of them.

Coach Brad Dancer’s team was able to watch most, if not all, of Thursday’s first-round action at Atkins Tennis Center before getting in a late-afternoon workout.

Men's golf: Illini the team to beat at Big Ten tourney

The Illinois men's golf team is having fun. And winning, too. The Illini have won six tournaments so far this season. Mike Small’s group is going for No. 7 this weekend at the Big Ten Championships in Newburgh, Ind. Staff writer (and bad golfer) BOB ASMUSSEN caught up with the Illini: 


Tate: Jay an intriguing prospect for pro scouts

The temptation was alluring.

After two Illini seasons in the bullpen, southpaw Tyler Jay was intrigued by the prospect of starting. And what’s wrong with getting perhaps 100 innings out of a superstar as opposed to 40 as a reliever? UI pitching coach Drew Dickinson was among those enamored by the idea. 

Richey: UI baseball, by the numbers

Beat writer SCOTT RICHEY’s by-the-numbers look at UI:


The round junior closer Tyler Jay is projected to be selected during the 2015 MLB draft, and for Illinois’ place atop the Big Ten standings. The Illini hold a half-game lead on Iowa heading into this weekend’s series at Penn State.


UI roundup: Hambly selects new assistant

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois volleyball coach Kevin Hambly added his third new assistant in two years Thursday with the official announcement that former Saint Mary’s assistant Owen Monroy will replace Scott Leserman on the Illini coaching staff. Monroy, who worked with the Gaels’ indoor and sand teams the past two seasons, will serve as Illinois’ primary scouting coordinator.

Richey: Illinois-Penn State baseball preview

No. 8 Illinois at Penn State


Schedule: 5:30 p.m. Friday; 1 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. Sunday.

Site: Medlar Field at Lubrano Park (5,406), State College, Pa.

Radio: Dave Loane (play-by-play) and Matt Wille (analysis) will have the call on WDWS 1400-AM.

Marathoners running for their country

There are goals outside of winning the race for some runners in Saturday’s Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon.

In the men’s and women’s divisions of the full and half-marathons, there are pre-established times that will qualify elite runners for next year’s Olympic Trials.

“This race will just be a steppingstone,” said Shawna McClain Han, 32, of Broomfield, Colo.

SJ-O overcomes key injuries

ST. JOSEPH — Mady Poulter stands alone — but not apart — on the state-ranked St. Joseph-Ogden softball team.

The slick-fielding shortstop is the lone senior on the SJ-O roster.

She was understandably concerned when learning in the preseason that two teammates — including the other senior, Molly McElwee — were going to be sidelined all year with injuries.