Watson, relievers answer the call in Illini win

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois held Quinn Snarskis out of Thursday night’s series opener against Nebraska.

The junior righthander was experiencing elbow soreness — a minor affliction — but having the Illini baseball team’s No. 1 starter 100 percent healthy for next week’s Big Ten tournament is more important than getting him one final start in the regular season.

HS Girls Track: 1A State Prelims

Class 1A prelims of the IHSA Girls Track and Field State Finals at O'Brien Stadium Thursday, May 17, 2018, on the Eastern Illinois University campus in Charleston.

Local stars from Day 1 of the girls' state track meet

Preps coordinator COLIN LIKAS weighs in on four area athletes who caught his attention on Thursday at the girls' track and field state meet in Charleston:

Hamilton's kick caps solid day for Spartans

CHARLESTON — Atleigh Hamilton didn’t have to respond to her opponent’s furious surge down the back straightaway of O’Brien Field’s royal-blue track.

Girls' state track & field notes: 'I've hit many hurdles'

CHARLESTON — Alayna Stalter knows quite well how cruel a beast the state girls' track and field meet can be.

Each of the last two years, the Fisher senior has placed third in the 100-meter hurdles during the Class 1A tournament. Across that pair of races, three of the four athletes she finished behind hailed from The News-Gazette's coverage area.

UI Baseball vs. Nebraska 2018

Illinois vs. Nebraska in a NCAA baseball game at Illinois Field in Champaign on Thursday, May 17, 2018.

Area girls' track and field state meet qualifiers

A list of local qualifiers for the girls' track and field meet:


Danville: Shanice Garbutt, Sr., (1,600, 3,200); Hallee Thomas, Fr., (100 hurdles); Ameia Wilson, Jr. (100, 200 long jump)


Clinton: Riley Prusser, Jr., (high jump); Payne Turney, Soph., (800); Kolby Weiss, Fr., (pole vault)

Prep girls' track & field state storylines: Sabers duo poised to place

CHAMPAIGN — NaKaya Hughes was stressed, yet focused.

The St. Thomas More junior faced her third and final high jump attempt at 4 feet, 10 inches in last Friday's Class 1A Salt Fork Regional. On the line: a shot at returning to the state meet.

Hughes took a few deep breaths, arched her back ever so slightly and took off for the bar.

Athletes of the Week: Austin Biehl & Emelia Ness

This school year, we're giving our weekly honorees a chance to show off their teammates.

Austin Biehl | Mahomet-Seymour baseball

Illini reach 11th consecutive finals

Hear more from Small Thursday at 5:10 on WDWS.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The bar has been set high for the Illinois golf team. And it gets a chance to jump over it.