Men's track and field
Belleville West graduate wins 400 for Bearcats
LEBANON -- The McKendree University men's indoor track and field squad took part in the Indiana Relays, which were held Friday and Saturday in Bloomington, Ind.
The Bearcats recorded five top-10 performances in the two-day meet that was hosted by Indiana University. Leading the way for McKendree was junior Jordan Stark Belleville West), who won the 400-meter dash (morning section). Stark sprinted to victory in a time of 52.44 seconds, crossing the stripe .06 seconds in front of Christian Kolb from Eastern Illinois University to claim the title.
Junior Blake DeLong (Hillsboro) turned in his second strong performance for McKendree in as many weeks, taking sixth in the mile run with a time of 4:16.87. DeLong topped his previous personal best in the event by more than six seconds, and now sits in third place on the Great Lakes Valley Conference performance list for the event. Senior Josh Wilhelm (Wesclin) finished 10th in the 800-meter run as he registered a time of 1:56.26. That marked Wilhelm's personal best in the event, and also put him in third place on the GLVC performance list.
Junior Jordon Henderson grabbed 10th place in the morning section of the 200-meter dash, covering the distance in a time of 23.38 seconds. Freshman Donovan Friscia was right behind in 11th place at 23.44 seconds in the same race.
McKendree's distance medley relay team turned in an eighth place performance at the Indiana Relays. The squad of DeLong, Stark, senior Colin Voss (Breese Central) and junior Elkana Kipsangwas clocked in a time of 10:38.04.
In field events, junior E.J. Rahar (Triad) had the highest finish for a McKendree individual. Rahar took 12th place in the shot put with a toss of 12.79 meters (41 feet, 11 1/2inches).
The Bearcats will compete at the Keck Invitational on Saturday in Bloomington, Ind. The day-long meet is hosted by Illinois Wesleyan University.
Women's track and field
McKendree thinclads do well in field events
LEBANON -- The McKendree University women's track team was in competition last weekend at the Indiana Relays, a two-day event hosted Friday and Saturday by Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.
The Bearcats turned in a pair of top-12 performances during the Indiana Relays. Senior Kristin Wykoff (Triad) finished 11th in the women's weight throw. Wykoff gradually increased her distance on all three of her throws, and her last effort of 14.71 meters (48 feet, 3 1/4 inches) was her best of the meet. The throw of 14.71 meters allowed Wykoff to break her own school record in the event, which was set just last week at the Missouri Invitational. Wykoff now sits fifth on the GLVC performance list with her effort at Indiana.
Junior LaTia Jefferson (Belleville East) also placed 11thin her event, the triple jump. After a foul on her first attempt of the meet, Jefferson covered a distance of 11.24 meters (36 feet, 10 1.2 inches) for her longest jump of the day.
In addition, the McKendree women's distance medley relay team established a new team mark at the Indiana Relays. The quartet -- comprised of juniors Megan Doty (Triad), Lauren Ewart (Triad) and Hannah Inyart (Belleville East) along with freshman Kourtney Huelskamp (Breese Mater Dei) -- completed the race in a time of 13:06.50 and finished 13th in the field. The McKendree distance medley relay mark sits in fourth place on the GLVC performance list.
McKendree will return to action Feb. 2 at the Keck Invitational in Bloomington, Ill. The all-day meet is being hosted by Illinois Wesleyan University.
Cougar netmen snare South Dakota State Jackrabbits
EDWARDSVILLE -- The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men's tennis team opened its 2013 home schedule in style by cruising past the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 6-1 on Sunday night at the Edwardsville YMCA.
The Cougars improved to 2-0 on the season by winning five of six singles matches and two of three doubles matches against the Jackrabbits.
In singles action, Marten Jonsson, Nicolas Vincent, and Jacob Perkins all earned victories in straight sets, while Jacob Tanulanond and Nico Kuehn battled back to win the third set in their respective matches as well.
In doubles, the duo of Jonsson and Kuehn earned an 8-6 victory over SDSU's James Thorp and Parker Lawley, while Tanulanond and Stephen Washuta teamed up to defeat Andrea Boglic and Henrique Pereira by a score of 8-1.
SIUE has nearly two weeks to prepare for its next match, as they hit the road to face Kansas City on Feb. 8.
SIUE slips past South Dakota State
EDWARDSVILLE -- Sierra Halverson clinched the winning point Sunday as the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women's tennis team collected a 4-3 victory over visiting South Dakota State.
SIUE improved to 2-0 to start the season. It also was the home opener for the Cougars at the Edwardsville Y. South Dakota State fell to 0-2.
Halverson defeated Brooke Henry 6-4, 7-5 at No. 5 singles. The Cougar freshman was pleased to help the Cougars gain the victory.
"It feels amazing. Last week I was down because I lost in three sets," said Halverson, of Upsala, Minn. "It's a really good feeling to help the team."
SIUE coach Jason Coomer was excited for Halverson's first win of the spring season.
"Sierra is a great player and is going to have a very good career here at SIUE," he said. "We know what she is capable. She knows what she is capable of. We really look forward to having her here for four years because she is going to lead this program and do great things."
SIUE also picked up singles points at No. 1 with Kali Donner and No. 2 with Monique Krutak. Donner dispatched Jenny Blackburne 6-4, 6-1. Krutak ousted Beatriz Souza 6-1, 6-3.
"It's always nice to start the season with a few wins under your belt. It makes the team confident. It also makes your opponent a little nervous knowing you will be competitive. We're going to keep building from this," said Donner.
Coomer said the team is building confidence.
"We are such a close knit group that everybody supports one another. It's a family-type environment. When one of us wins, it gives all of us confidence," he added.
With South Dakota State picking up three singles victories, the doubles win for the Cougars proved to be the difference.
"It came out to be an important tonight. We played a little bit better tonight in doubles, but we're nowhere near where we will be by the time we get to the conference schedule," Coomer said.
Amanda Miller and McKenzie Thomas were 8-6 winners at No. 2 doubles over Floriencia Magni and Henry. Haley Ilcewicz and Halverson topped Tiffany Filipovich and Tacy Haws-Lay 8-6 at No. 3 doubles.
Cougar matmen pin Campbellsville
EDWARDSVILLE -- The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville wrestling Cougars won three of the final four matches but were held off by Campbellsville 20-19 Sunday at the Vadalabene Center.
Sunday's event was a rescheduled match from Friday because of weather concerns. The Cougars dropped to 2-11 overall. Campbellsville improved to 9-2.
SIUE coach David Ray said his team has to stay motivated.
"We just have to keep plugging away. This is a new game and another level. Now we're in it," Ray said.
Jake Residori and David Devine recorded pins for the Cougars. Devine, a heavyweight, struck hardest with a fall over Terrell Moore at 1:01. Residori, at 174 pounds, pinned Michael Johnson in 3:37.
Derek Nagel also picked up a 6-1 victory with a takedown and two back points coming in the final seconds of his 184-pound match win over Nate Knauf.
Patrick Myers was SIUE's only other winner with an 11-2 major decision over Tyler Alsip at 133 pounds. Myers used a pair of five-point moves to trip up Alsip.
Ray said the individual wins will come when the wrestlers focus on their own matches. "We know there are a couple of guys who aren't that confident right now," he added.
SIUE returns to Southern Conference wrestling with a 7 p.m. ET match Wednesday at The Citadel.
"They are a tough opponent. We have to get ready," Ray said.
The Cougars also stay out east for three matches Saturday. The Cougars have SoCon matches against Davidson and Campbell as well as a matchup with Duke. All three of Saturday's matches will take places at the Davidson Duals in Lenoir, N.C.
Bearcat grapplers fall to Central Missouri
LEBANON -- The McKendree University wrestling team dropped a 25-17 decision to University of Central Missouri in a dual match.
The Bearcats fall to 3-6 overall and will return to the mat on Friday. The dual at University of Indianapolis has a 6 p.m. start.
After forfeiting a match at 125 pounds, McKendree cut the deficit to 6-4 following a 9-1 major decision win at 133 pounds by Brenden Murphy over Hunter Neighbors.
The Bearcats wouldn't get back on the scoreboard until junior Isaiah Gonzalez pinned Jake Hawks in 3:41 at 174 pounds to make the score 21-10.
Sophomore's Julian Smith and Ross Janney earned back-to-back victories at 197 pounds and heavyweight, respectively, but it wouldn't be enough and McKendree fell 25-17. Smith earned a major decision win, 14-2, over Todd Brier, while Janney edged Tim Tuaquoi 3-2 in the final match of the evening.