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Monday, May 19

Individual state champions
shine at East Peoria

Seventh-grade Hartsburg-Emden boys and
seventh-grade Chester-East Lincoln girls take second place

By Rick L. Hobler

[MAY 19, 2003]  Every May about this time some extraordinary events take place in schools all around Illinois. Graduations, school plays, musical concerts, "final everythings" and the like. All carry with them high emotion and drama. Most carry the weight of great expectations. Most recognize individual and collective achievement. All are significant to each person involved. None is more significant to the participants than the annual May pilgrimage to East Peoria for the IESA Junior High State Track Championships.

[Pictures to be posted Tuesday]

This last weekend was no exception to the annual drama of May. Around 2,000 boys and girls ages 10 to 14, along with innumerable parents, siblings, grandparents and anyone else who cared to come, journeyed from near and far in a sea of yellow buses and cars to the EastSide Centre so that these young people could "show their stuff." And what a show it was!

The mile record for girls was shattered and almost broke the five-minute mark. The pole vault record for boys was toppled at a height that required the IESA to find their biggest ladder just to set the bar. Numerous new records were set in all types of events. There were literally hundreds of stories to be told. I can share only a few.

That Logan County had its share of individual state champions should, of course, be of no surprise to anyone. There was Ashley Bonaparte, whose individual determination almost single-handedly carried her seventh-grade Chester-East Lincoln team to a second-place team title. There was Dakin Bolen, who did the same for the Hartsburg-Emden seventh-grade boys. Then there was Kate Schonauer from Carroll Catholic, who almost didn't get to run, when her name was inadvertently left off the official qualifier's sheet. She not only ran but ran to a first-place finish in the seventh-grade 200-meter dash. There was the consistently excellent Wes Umphreys of Hartem, who captured the eighth-grade high jump title.


Or I could tell you (as humbly as a proud dad can tell it) of the West Lincoln-Broadwell 4x100 relay team of Natalie Boward, Melissa Ramlow, Kylie Sparks and Hilary Hobler who, having been placed in the "slower lane" in the finals, not only weren't "slower" but repeated as state champions, blew away the competition and shattered the state record so that it now stands at 52.88 seconds. Or I could tell you of an almost identical dominating victory by the Chester-East Lincoln 4x200 relay team of Jamie McFadden, Bridgette Hyde, Ashley Bonaparte and Emily Berglin.

And how could I leave out the story of the ever-so-sweet-and-friendly Rachel Robertson from Mount Pulaski, who was everywhere for her team and was also the state champion in the seventh-grade long jump with a jump of 15 feet, 4.5 inches. And even telling you all that would still leave out too many untold stories of the effort and determination of all of the other Logan County athletes who qualified and gave it their all this weekend.

While no Logan County team brought home a team state championship, the seventh-grade girls from Chester-East Lincoln came close and the seventh-grade boys from Hartsburg-Emden came even closer with second-place finishes. C-EL garnered 33 points, compared with the 39 points brought home by this year's state champion, Champaign St. Matthews. The Hartem seventh-grade boys missed a state championship team title by ONE point, as Effingham St. Anthony squeaked out the victory with 26 points to Hartem's 25. Also, the Carroll Catholic girls managed a sixth-place finish in 7A competition.


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For their respective teams, the individual performances of Ashley Bonaparte for C-EL and Dakin Bolen for Hartem were impressive. Bonaparte was part of the state champion C-EL 4x200 relay team, jumped 15 feet, 1.25 inches to take home a second-place medal in the long jump and ran to third-place finishes in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash. Dakin Bolen was part of the first-place 4x200 relay team, won second place in the 200 and was fourth in the highly competitive 100-meter dash.

Obviously no one person wins his or her team a second-place title, and such was the case for both C-EL and Hartem. The remaining points for the C-EL seventh-grade girls came from the previously mentioned members of the 4x200 relay team and the 4x400 relay team of Desirae Lercher, Amy Fellers, Emily Berglin and Bridgette Hyde, who came in sixth. Hartem's other points came from Dustin Bolen in the seventh-grade high jump and the remaining members of the 4x 200 relay team, namely Tarel Stancle, Mitchell Gleason and Dustin Bolen. Dustin leaped to 5 feet, 2 inches before the high jump bar fell, winning him a seventh-place medal.

Additionally, in other events for 7A girls, the following competitors ran and jumped to receive medals: Kylie Sparks, WL-B, fourth place, 200 meters; Carroll Catholic 4x200 relay team of Kate Schonauer, Chrissy Schonauer, Abbie Feldman and Lexi Springer, fifth place; Kate Schonauer, Carroll Catholic, sixth place in the long jump; Chrissy Schonauer, Carroll Catholic, seventh place in the shot put; Mikel Reed, Mount Pulaski, seventh place, 200 meters; and the Mount Pulaski 4x200 relay team, fifth place.

In action for 7A boys, the C-EL relay team finished sixth in the 4x200 race.

Among 8A girls, the only medal winner other than the WL-B 4x100 state champions was a second place for the strong performance of Abby Olsen of Hartsburg-Emden in the shot put.

For 8A boys, the Hartem 4 x 400 relay team placed sixth, while Carroll Catholic's Justin Ritchhart threw to fourth place in the shot put with a best throw of 44 feet, 8.5 inches.


And those are just some of the stories. I can tell you all this, but you really do have to be there (maybe the pictures associated with this article will help) to capture the emotion of a very young person running in front of a crowd, sometimes almost as big or bigger than her or his hometown, realizing champion status or finishing last, but still finishing. Some collapsed from the effort. Others had the unsurpassed energy of children and ran all the way from their event to the medal tent to get and proudly display their accomplishment. For every victory shout of joy, there were several tears of loss. Either way, every young person who competed was a champion in the eyes of those in the stands who love them. And at this age level… that's really all that matters. Congratulations to all who gave it their all!

[Rick L. Hobler]

High school baseball

[MAY 19, 2003] 

At Stanford
Game 1

Lincoln      000 100 0 - 1-2-0

Olympia    000 000 0 - 0-5-2

Jason Fitzpatrick (W) and John Peters; Andrew Lee (L, 2-3) and Rush Olson.

Hitting stars - Olympia - Ross Thompson (2 hits).

Pitching star - Lincoln - Fitzpatrick (7 IP, 0 ER, 5 SO, 0 BB).

Records - Lincoln 14-13, Olympia 20-10

Game 2

Lincoln       000 000 500 - 5-10-1

Olympia     040 100 001 - 6-7-1

Brock Werner, Bob Maestas (7, L) and Peters; Ross Thompson, Zach Kufhuss (7), Derek Dudgon (7, W, 2-0) and Brad Brooks.

Hitting stars - Lincoln - Peters (2 hits), Harnacker (2 hits); Olympia - Derek Foley (2 hits, RBI).

Pitching star - Olympia - Thompson (6 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 SO, 0 BB).

Records - Lincoln 14-13, Olympia 20-10.

High school softball

[MAY 19, 2003] 

At Stanford
Game 1

Midwest Central     000 000 0 - 0-3-1

Olympia                  000 022 x - 4-7-1

Lewis (L, 9-5) and Livengood; Jessie Shay W, 23-2) and Amber Lessen.

Hitting star - Olympia - Tiffany Prager (2 hits, RBI, triple).

Pitching star - Olympia - Shay (2 hits, 2 strikeouts).

Game 2

Midwest Central      000 000 0 - 0-4-0

Olympia                   200 000 x - 2-4-2

Woiwode (L, 9-5) and Livengood; Lindsay Watkins (W, 5-0) and Katie Tucker.

Records - Olympia 31-2, Midwest Central 20-10.

High school track and field

[MAY 19, 2003] 

Mahomet-Seymour Invitational
At Mahomet

1. Olympia 89; 15. Delavan-Hartsburg-Emden

100 meters - 1. Joyce (O), 11.9

200 - 3. Joyce (O), 22.8

400 - 3. McClain (O), 51.7

300 hurdles - 8. Myers (O), 43.6

High jump - 1. Raes (O), 6-6 (meet record)

Long jump - 4. Raes (O), 20-2 1/2

Discus - 1. Schultz (O), 158-9

Shot put - 1. Schultz (O), 58 - 1/2 (meet record)

Pole vault - 6. Hish (O), 12-0; Slager (O), 12-0

400 relay - 2. Olympia, 44.2

800 relay - 4. Olympia, 1:32.8 (school record)

1,600 relay - 1. Olympia, 3:30.5

3,200 relay - 5. Olympia, 8:31

Articles from the past week


  • High school baseball

  • High school softball

  • High school track and field


  • High school softball

  • Augustine, Brown and Williams to attend national basketball team trials


  • High school baseball

  • Jay Price added to Illini hoops staff


  • Area junior high track teams bring home sectional titles
    West Lincoln-Broadwell girls and Hartsburg boys get first

  • High school track and field

  • High school softball

  • High school baseball

  • Basketball camp dates announced


  • High school baseball

  • High school softball

  • High school track and field


Cards and Cubs at it again

By Jeff Mayfield

[MAY 19, 2003]  ...And this time it's not just the game between the lines. Both dugouts are spending more time yakking at the umpires than Joan and Melissa Rivers do yakking about who's wearing what at the Oscars.

Speaking of Oscars, BOTH teams appear to be taking lots of acting classes. I know managers and pitching coaches always think that they're getting squeezed on the calls, but if you REALLY want something to complain about, look at the strike zone that Atlanta pitchers have gotten the last 10 years! I think even I could through a few strikes if you're gonna give me six inches on either side of the plate.

Also, if I were a manager I think I would be a lot more concerned about horrible base running and guys missing their cutoff men! As good as today's players are, sometimes the fundamentals that many of us were taught as kids just aren't there. How can that be tolerated by today's managers and front-office people? I just don't understand it. Especially when you've got pitchers on both teams going out there and busting their butts for six, seven or eight innings, and then to have a game thrown away because of an error… and not just any error, but mental errors… That's a killer!

Last live "FANdamonium"

…for the next couple of months is tonight. Greg and I will be discussing some of these issues as well as:

Greg ripped Tomko and Simontacchi the last two weeks on our show, and they've both fared well… We want to get Greg's take on that.

Even if the Cubs lose on Monday and go only 1-3, I STILL think they will be OK. They are so much more competitive with Dusty Baker at the helm, they seem to be in every game… and I've been saying all along that I think they will be there for the long haul. I think Greg will agree with us on that.

The Cubs are now 4-22 since 2000 in St. Louis… How will Greg explain that?

Lots of talk coming out of Chicago regarding the Cubs picking up a third baseman. The names I keep hearing are Aaron Boone out of Cincinnati and Mike Lowell out of Florida. We'll see what Greg's take is on that, or if the Cubs should even make a move at all. I don't even want to tell Greg what former Cubbie Bill Mueller is hitting over in Boston…


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Greg may have some questions for me too. Like what is up with the Cardinal bullpen? Will J.D. Drew get shipped or will he continue to battle injuries? What in the world is going on with Rick Ankiel? Should the Birds ship him, convert him to an outfielder or just continue to be patient with him and hope that the magic returns? What's up with the slumping bats of Jim Edmonds and Tino Martinez? And is Vina staying or going? And who knows what other stuff Greg will be masterminding before our last spring episode? Catch us at 6 tonight right here on the LDN live link, on CITV 5 or on FIX 96.3 FM radio or call us at (217) 735-3306.

And we will both lament what is happening to the Chicago White Sox.

CONGRATULATIONS to C-EL, Hartsburg-Emden and Carroll Catholic

…for their outstanding showing at last weekend's IESA 7A state track meets! Chester-East Lincoln girls took home a second place trophy, while Carroll finished sixth. The Hartem boys also brought home a second-place trophy. Congratulations to all of these students for representing Logan County so well!

Railers keep up winning record

The Lincoln Railers baseball team has fought off cold conditions, rain and untimely hitting to stay on the winning side of the ledger of late. After missing several good opportunities to take a game from Jacksonville last week and settling for a tie, Lincoln was able to split with Olympia on Saturday. Jason Fitzpatrick struck out five and limited last year's Class A state champions to one run on two hits in a 1-0 shutout. Olympia won the nightcap 6-5. The Railsplitters moved their record to 14-13-1.

Have a great week, everybody!

[Jeff Mayfield]


Basketball camp dates announced

[MAY 14, 2003]  NORMAL -- First-year Illinois State head basketball coach Porter Moser has announced his camp dates for the summer of 2003.

Moser and his Redbird staff will host three camps this summer, with a pair of day camps and one team camp.

The first day camp runs June 16-19 and is for boys entering grades 1-12. The second day camp is open to boys entering grades 1-8 and is scheduled for July 15-18. The day camps are designed for commuters only and focus on the basic fundamentals of dribbling, passing, shooting, rebounding, defense and game play.

The cost for either day camp is $170. Each camper receives a basketball and a T-shirt.


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The team camp, which caters to high school and junior high teams with boys entering grades 6-12, will be June 20-22. The camp format is round-robin and tournament team play.

The cost for the team camp is $170 for commuters and $205 for resident campers. Each will receive a camp T-shirt.

For more information about the basketball camps, call the Redbird men's basketball office at (309) 438-8681 or click here for an application form.

[Click here to download the Adobe Acrobat reader for the PDF file.]

[Todd Kober, director of media relations,
Illinois State University]

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