St. Francis' Hilary Halford earned some elite status a little more than a week ago.
The former Carmel runner now running for the Joliet university became an All-American in cross country in Spokane, Wash.
Contact information ( * required )
Halford placed 17th out of over 300 runners at the national meet, becoming the first All-American for cross country in St. Francis history.
She was clocked in 18:21 on the 5K course.
"Hilary ran awesome," said USF coach Jeff Barker of the Antioch native. "She made huge strides from one year ago to become an All-American."
The Saints' 12th-place finish came 12 days after they were ranked No. 19 in the final NAIA coaches poll of the regular season.
• Brooke Wolfe (Prospect) was the first finisher for Illinois in the Mid East Cross Country Championships. She placed fifth in 18:20 and was followed by Palatine's Tess Wasowicz in 18:52. Lauren Poplawski (Prospect) was the fourth Illinois finisher in 19:02 followed by Hanna Winter (St. Viator) in 19:18.
Illinois was also represented by Meg Tulley (Warren) in 19:57 and Kelly Breen (Fremd) in 20:28.
In the boys' race, Quentin Shaffer (Prospect) was third in 15:38. Ryan Burgoon (Barrington) came home in 16:09. St. Viator coach Jim Milner, a Palatine High grad, was one of the coaches for Team Illinois.
This year's Team Illinois was one of the strongest in the 26-year history of the meet. It marked only the second time in the past 12 years in which Illinois placed second or higher as a combined team.
The girls' team took third behind Indiana and Ohio. The boys' team tied with Michigan with 42 points, but lost the tiebreaker, placing them second.
Team Illinois has not placed as high as second as a combined team since 2005.
Wisconsin-Platville defensive back Tommy Magna (Carmel) was named Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic all-conference.
The Round Lake native led the Pioneers in interceptions (4), passes defended (6) and pass break-ups (10) and was fifth on the team in tackles (36).
He returned one interception 40 yards for a touchdown against Whitewater.
He was also captain for the past two seasons, as the team went 7-3 and 8-2 in 2012.
Magna played in 29 games for Platteville, starting at safety and cornerback in 20 of the 29. He also returned an interception in his first start (2010) at Platteville for a touchdown.
Men's cross country
Middlebury sophomore Kevin Wood (Stevenson) was part of the team that won the New England D3 regional for the frst time and went on to finish eighth at the national meet at LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind.
The eight-place finish was the highest for Middlebury and only its third trip to the national race.
Four Warren graduates are currently starting and playing major minutes in Division I men's basketball.
Brandon Paul, the 2009 Mr. Basketball in Illinois, starts at Illinois and is on the watchlist for the prestigious Wooden Award.
Ceola Clark is completing his final season at Western Illinois after being named the "Defensive Player of the Year" the past two seasons in the Summit League. Clark is a 2007 graduate who has missed two seasons due to injuries.
Nathan Boothe is starting as a true freshman at Toledo and Darius Paul is starting as a true freshman at Western Michigan.
Wisconsin-Parkside senior defender Alexandra Hauser (Carmel) of Mundelein closed out her career when the Rangers lost 2-0 to the No. 3 nationally-ranked Grand Valley State in the third round of the NCAA Division II championship.
The Rangers had a record of 61-13-7 in Hauser's career, making four trips to the NCAA Division II tournament while winning the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship in 2008.
Stevenson middle blocker Jenna Radtke of Buffalo Grove has signed her letter of intent with Northern Illinois,
Radtke didn't start playing volleyball until her sophomore year at Stevenson.
But she quickly adjusted and excelled at the game as a 6-foot-2 middle, earning the team's Most Valuable honor in her first season.
As a junior, she helped Stevenson to a 31-9 record and regional and sectional championships. She was all-area honorable mention, putting down 129 kills, 119 blocks, 12 aces and hit .294.
In her final season, she led Stevenson to a 34-4 record and regional championship as team captain. Radtke earned all-conference and all-area selections after totaling 192 kills, 146 blocks, 39 aces and hitting .449.
"Jenna is another tremendous athlete who will have a very strong presence at the net with her attacking and blocking," said NIU's Ray Gooden, the 2012 Mid-American Coach of the Year. "We hope she continues to keep the strong tradition of middle hitters at NIU."
"Jenna is one of the best athletes and middle hitters we have had here at Stevenson," Stevenson coach Tim Crow recently said. "She did not start playing volleyball until sophomore year. She has been a dominant player with both her attacking and blocking this season." Rugby
The Arlington Stallions Rugby Club will hold its Sign-up Day for the 2013 Spring 15-a-side and Summer 7-a-side (Olympic style) seasons on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Northwest Community Hospital's Wellness Center, located at 900 W. Central Road in Arlington Heights.
The Stallions Rugby Club offers competitive teams for boys from grades fifth through 12th. Membership Dues are $235 for high school players and $135 for players in grades fifth through eighth. Through the generosity of club sponsors, dues assistance is available to players on an as-needed basis. For more information about the Stallions, go to www.arlingtonstallionsrugby.com and to inquire about dues assistance call 847-845-4982.
The club announced the addition of local orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brian Moss, of Orthopedics Associates, to its staff. Dr. Moss recently completed a fellowship in sports medicine in which he provided care to the San Diego Chargers professional football team and the USA Rugby National 7-a-side team.
• Please email Sports Notes items to email@example.com or FAX to (847) 427-1173.