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Local Youth Athletes Shine at AAU Junior Olympics

Staff Contributor



PRESS RELEASE: Des Moines, IA Drake University AAU Junior Olympics

Day 3-Day 7 updates

AAU Junior Olympics are held in Des Moines IA at Drake University.
Monday, Day 3 started the running events for Illinois United. Athletes were welcomed by “The Greatest Olympian of All Time” Carl Lewis. No, he didn’t sing the national anthem, but it was great for the kids to be able to meet such a legendary American Olympian.

“At IU(Illinois United) we believe in a fun, family oriented environment for our athletes and parents. Regardless of placing results, the main thing we focus on are personal bests.” Coach Ronell Hawkins Robert Williams started the day off strong for Illinois United. Entering his race with the 3rd fastest time. Robert was pushed to not only PR 54.07 seconds finish a very close 2nd place in his heat. Qualifying for the finals with the 3 fastest time, and only .06 seconds from the nations fastest time. Robert had already accomplished goal 1, #1 hurdler in Illinois. Now time for the finals. Robert ran a great race, his best race of his 400m hurdle career (6 races). Finishing 3rd in the nation, with another PR and goal of breaking into 53 seconds, 53.81. Robert is the 1st top 3 national finisher for Illinois United, and 2nd All American in consecutive years. Lauren Ferguson, the programs 1st All American, and national placer, didn’t have the week she had planned for. She was in a very tough heat of the 400m hurdles, and expected to reach the finals as a high favorite. Unfortunately she placed 3rd in her heat and placing 24th overall, not making the finals.
On a brighter note, her college recruiting has started, with several coaches reaching out with great interest in bringing her talents to their beach, or farm land.

“I am very happy with the progress Lauren, and Robert are making in the 400 meter hurdles. This event is not ran in Illinois, and for them to come out and compete at a national level in the event shows the amount of talent these two have”-Coach Marcus Bates.

Jaylen Gary, class of 2019, placed 14th overall in 15-16 boys high jump. Coming in new and the youngest of the 17-19 group, Jay finished tied for 9th in high jump, and 1 jump away from being top 8, and All American status. Deja Anderson, of Springfield Grant had a tough week the national stage. She was the number 3 seed in her heat for the 13year old girls 100 meter dash, behind by .063 seconds from a 1 seed. She placed 2nd in her heat, but unfortunately the top 24 advance, Deja tied for 24th, but because of the wind aided times was pushed to 25th. Both ran 12.91, but Deja had a wind time of 1.9 and #24 1.8, pushing Deja to 25th. She was a heavy favorite in the girls long jump, but just could not stick 1 jump and scratched 3 jumps. Younger sister Jocelyn Anderson also jumped in the 11 year old long jump. In her 1st year in T&F Jocelyn placed 12th in the nation with a PR jump of 13’05’’ QaRon Hawkins also a 1st year qualifier in mens 17-19 Long Jump and Triple Jump had a good weekend of experience. Quoted saying, “Im coming back with vengeance next year” not placing where he wanted as a competitor.

William Crawford graduate of Lanphier High School, qualified in the mens 17-19 discus throw, placing in the top 50 national, at number 50. Will plans to attend Western Illinois this January. Nikeya Walker got her national wings clipped this weekend, competing as well in the 13 year old girls long jump. Nikeya jumped a PR 12’06’’ and looks to transition to middle school track and field this spring.

“I am extremely proud of our athletes, each one competed tough and gave it their all. I am proud to say we have the best hurdle crew in the State of Illinois, and any athlete looking to get better in the hurdles before next track seasons feel free to contact me. We will begin the schedule for our winter indoor season, which is open to any ages 5-high school. We have growth, which was the primary goal, luckily enough we have some dawgs in our program and have yet another All American hurdler in Springfield Il. Next year we are aiming for National Champion for a few athletes, and look again to take a bigger group. July 24th-Aug 3rd 2019 Greensboro, North Carolina look out for Illinois United” – Coach Marcus Bates



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Southeast seeking donations for e-sports team

Thomas Clatterbuck



Competitive video gaming, or E-sports, is one of the fastest growing competitive scenes in the world. And that scene is making its way to Central Illinois. The Illinois College e-sports team regularly competes against Big 10 schools and semipro teams. Southeast Springfield High School is looking to join the action. Southeast will be the first high school in Springfield to field an e-sports team.

E-sports, like any other team, is an opportunity to students to represent their school and get a real shot at a scholarship. But while e-sports don’t require the large facilities that other sports do, they do have equipment costs. Computers, mice, headsets, and the other kit necessary to take part can be out of reach for some students.

To make sure all students have the opportunity to showcase their talents, Southeast coach Dalton McGhiey is asking for donations on his go fund me page. You can learn more about the Southeast team on their campaign page as well.

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Abe’s Roundball Classic set for holiday week

Staff Contributor



Abe’s Roundball Classic boys basketball tournament is set for Tuesday, Nov. 20, Wednesday, Nov. 21, Friday, Nov. 23, and Saturday, Nov. 24, at Lincoln Land Community College Cass Gymnasium. This event will feature eight boys basketball teams from across the state, including District 186’s own Lanphier Lions. Green Family Stores is sponsoring the tournament.

The tournament is an opportunity for local student athletes to compete against teams they would not see in their regular season, and gives Springfield a chance to watch nationally ranked recruits and student athletes who have been invited to Olympic trials. Chicago Orr is the defending 2A state champion and ranked preseason number one, and North Chicago was 4th in the 3A state championship last year.

Tickets are $5 per person. There is free parking located in the Cass Gymnasium lot. Concessions will be available.

The schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018

Game 1       6:00 pm     Curie vs Cardinal Ritter
Game 2       7:30 pm       Chicago Orr vs. East St. Louis

Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018

Game 3      6:00pm     Peoria Manual vs. Chicago Brooks
Game 4     7:30 pm    Lanphier vs. North Chicago

Friday Nov. 23, 2018

Game 5     12:00 pm Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 3
Game 6     1:30 pm         Loser Game 2 vs Loser Game 4
Game 7     6:00 pm         Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 3
Game 8     7:30 pm         Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 4

Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018

Game 9     11:00 am     Loser Game 5  vs Loser Game 6
Game 10    12:30 pm Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
(Consolation Championship)
Game 11    6:00 pm     Loser game 7 vs  Loser Game 8
(3rd Place Game)
Game 12     8:00 pm     Winner Game 7  vs. Winner Game 8
(Championship Game)

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IC Esports Falls to Maryland, 2-0

Staff Contributor



The Illinois College esports team fell in Week 2 of the Upsurge Premier League to the University of Maryland, a team who reached the semifinals of Riot Games League of Legends Collegiate championship last season.

After an even contest in the first match that ended 18-13, Maryland had a dominant performance in the second match winning 25-10.

Illinois College falls to 0-2 in the Upsurge Premier League.

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