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updated: 12/19/2012 10:55 PM

Local athletes continue to rack up the awards

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There were plenty more college achievers we couldn't report in last week's column ...

Since then, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches announced last season's best relay times. North Central College men ran two that topped Division III -- the 800-meter relay and also the shuttle hurdles relay, featuring Kalen Petty (Naperville Central) and Kyle Pembrook (Neuqua Valley). Augustana ran Division III's fastest 4-by-1,600, headed by Justin Smith (Fenton). Augustana senior Brian Pollastrini (York) shared "most inspirational" honors in cross country this fall, and Augie junior Isaac Trostle (Willowbrook) was voted by teammates as a 2013 captain.

Illinois Wesleyan's men's soccer banquet was a local smash. Senior Kyle Gorgol (Hinsdale South) took offensive MVP for a third straight season and ended his Titans career ranked first in shots and game-winning goals, second in goals, fourth in points and tied for 10th in assists. Brian Morefield (Benet) was "most improved" co-winner while Matt LaLonde (Downers Grove South) scored the "goal of the year."

On the women's side at Wesleyan, senior defender Jill Olliges (Benet) earned MVP honors and was first team in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin.

Last week we mentioned Devin Johnston (Lake Park), a second-team NAIA All-America from national runner-up Olivet Nazarene's women's soccer team. Also earning honors from that squad were NAIA Scholar Athlete Katie Dirkse (Timothy Christian) and Meghan Pipal (Glenbard South), an honorable-mention All-America and the National Christian College Athletic Association North Central Regional player of the year.

Along with Wheaton College receiver Mark Hiben (Glenbard West) and return specialist Justin Swider (Wheaton North), Thunder sophomore kicker Sam Cote (Wheaton Academy) earned first-team All-Conference honors in the CCIW. This means Cote -- who converted 50 of 52 extra points and 8 of 13 field goals this season -- is Wheaton Academy's first college first-team all-conference selection since the school initially disbanded football in 1989.

Junior Katie Kummerer (Hinsdale Central) was Carthage College's first female individual entrant into the Division III national cross country championship since 1996. All-regional and fourth overall in the CCIW, Kummerer finished 122nd nationally.

Millikin senior setter Brittany Cardott (Glenbard East), an honorable-mention all-Region pick by the American Volleyball Coaches Association -- as was St. Norbert's Catherine Guido (Immaculate Conception), who joined prep and college teammate Danielle Remy as all-Midwest Conference -- earned first-team all-CCIW honors for a third straight season. Cardott ended the season, and her career, with 1,070 assists, 308 digs, 148 kills, 63 blocks and 26 aces. Cardott's 64 assists in a five-game win over Illinois Wesleyan on Oct. 24 are the Big Blue record, and she ranks third all-time with 4,498 set assists.

Missouri senior midfielder Haley Krentz (Neuqua Valley) was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Tournament Team. Her 10 assists for the Tigers were the most for the program since 2007.

A home-schooled lass out of Carol Stream, University of Northern Iowa freshman swimmer Taylor Ostrowski was the Missouri Valley Conference swimmer of the week after a three-win meet in October. On Dec. 1 at the UNO Invitational in Omaha, Neb., Ostrowski set a school record, by more than three seconds, in the 200 butterfly.

We wrote about Drake quarterback Mike Piatkowski last week. His second-leading receiver this season is a former quarterback -- senior Kevin Marshall (Glenbard South), who shifted to tight end. Marshall caught a career-high 53 passes this season for 500 yards, 2 touchdowns.

Earlier this semester two local graduates were selected for Wisconsin-Platteville's 22-member Pioneer Student-Athlete Advisory Committee: junior cross country runner Olivia Bukowski (Glenbard East) and sophomore basketball player Jim Stocki (Neuqua Valley).

Outside linebacker Ryan Ferguson (St. Francis), a senior at Case Western Reserve, led the Spartans -- Case, not St. Francis -- in tackles a second straight season. He made 95 of them last year and topped that with 112 this season. Ferguson repeated as a University Athletic Association first-team pick and is a UAA President Scholar-Athlete.

We mentioned Illinois junior midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo last week regarding a third-team Division I All-America nod, but since then she's earned honors by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America as a First-Team Scholar All-America in the University Division. Florida State senior defender Casey Short (Naperville Central) and West Virginia senior midfielder Bri Rodriguez (Waubonsie Valley) earned second-team honors.

In a tie game in the second quarter Oct. 6 at Monmouth, Grinnell freshman quarterback Sam Poulos (Glenbard South) faded back from the 12-yard line. Poulos started to move the pocket right but felt pressure from the rear. He swam out of a tackle only to find another Monmouth defender on him. Poulos stepped out of that tackle and started heading to the right again when he saw teammate Cody Weber dragging the middle looking for space. Poulos tossed to Weber in the back of the end zone, the Pioneers went on to win 21-7, and the Poulos-Weber touchdown pass was hailed as the play of the week.

We look forward to more achievements in 2013!

Follow Dave on Twitter @doberhelman1

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