Presenting a college achiever roll call one final time for the 2013-14 sports year ...
We led the March 28 edition with an item on Iowa senior Tony Ramos (Glenbard North) winning a Big Ten and NCAA Division I wrestling title at 133 pounds. A three-time All-American, Ramos went to the World Team Trials in Madison, Wisconsin, May 30-31. He swept the competition 5-0, all on decision, and never trailed in the best-of-three championship finals against 2012 Olympian Sam Hazewinkel. Ramos will represent the United States at 57 kilograms at the 2014 World Championships in Uzbekistan, Sept. 8-14.
On May 12 the Detroit Athletic Club honored Michigan State senior volleyball player Kristen Kelsay (St. Francis) as its athlete of the year. A three-year team captain and two-time Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner, Kelsay led the Spartans to consecutive Division I Sweet Sixteen appearances and finished among MSU's top eight in matches, played, sets and assists. Among many academic and humanitarian causes, the MSU Student Advisory Council president and psychology major made the dean's list every semester and was named Academic All-America as a senior. Winner of the university's Provost and Community Service and Leadership awards, Kelsay was featured in the commercial campaign, "Faces of the Big Ten."
Along with Loyola sophomore Thomas Jaeschke (Wheaton Warrenville South) drawing American Volleyball Coaches Association first-team Division I All-America honors and Lewis University junior Greg Petty (Downers Grove North) earning honorable-mention selection, the Carthage College duo of junior Jon Storm (Neuqua Valley) and sophomore J.P. Tulaka (Downers North) each were named to the AVCA Division III second team.
In a sport dominated by West Coast athletes, Arizona State sophomores Abbey Kerth (Naperville Central) and Elizabeth "E.B." Keeve (Waubonsie Valley) helped the Sun Devils reach the Division I women's water polo tournament for the first time. Seeded fifth, that's where they finished May 11, defeating California-Irvine 6-5 when with 3:30 left Kerth drew a penalty shot and a teammate capitalized. A center, Kerth scored 22 goals for 17-11 ASU while goalkeeper Keeve started 25 games with an 0.63 save percentage.
With all the talent we're bound to miss one -- or 100 -- local athletes out there. An alert reader noted Lindsay Flanagan (Lake Park), who returned for a fifth season at Washington for just this purpose, qualified for her first NCAA Division I women's track championships with a 10th-place finish in the 10,000-meter run at the West Preliminary May 29 in Arkansas. She moves on to the national meet in Eugene, Oregon, June 11-14. Flanagan has also qualified for the Olympic Trials in marathon based on her time and fourth-place finish at the Big Sur Half-Marathon.
At the Division III women's track and field championships at Ohio Wesleyan, Macalester freshman Kimber Meyer (Naperville North) joined several women running below the course record with a fourth-place finish in the 1,500-meter run. Illinois Wesleyan sophomore Nia Joiner (Glenbard East) ran an All-America sixth in the 100. Nia is her middle name; her first name is Netherland. That's awesome.
Illinois Wesleyan senior Joey Pacione (Lake Park) won the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin outdoor triple jump competition a third straight year and for the first time earned all-conference finishes in long jump both indoors and outdoors. The psychology major was named CCIW field event athlete of the week April 15 after a personal-record triple jump of 47 feet, 2¼ inches at Benedictine University.
At the Missouri Valley Conference track championship, Northern Iowa sophomore Antwon James (Glenbard East) finished second in long jump, going 24-2¾ on his last effort. In triple jump Northern Iowa freshman Shawn Koch (Lake Park) took second at 48-10¾. Indiana State senior Kevin Piraino (Wheaton Warrenville South) took fifth in the 400-meter dash, seventh in the 200 and helped the Sycamores to second in the 1,600 relay. On the women's side academic whiz Rebecca Stearns (Downers Grove South), a sophomore at Loyola, placed second in the 800.
At the Drake Relays, Northern Iowa freshman Theresa Connelly (Montini) ran a personal-best 2:11 split to help her 3,200 relay team go 8:45.14, breaking the school record by more than three seconds. Placing fourth, the Panthers beat Arkansas, Illinois and Iowa among others.
Thrower Marckus Simmons (Downers Grove North) shared most valuable freshman honors on the Augustana men's track team. Most-improved honors went to sophomore sprinter Kyle Cluver (Waubonsie Valley) and junior distance runner Matt Simo (York). Vincenzo Dal Pazzo (Neuqua Valley) and Simo's pal Nick Gornick (York) were chosen among next season's captains.
We had them in last week, but ... Drake's Jeff Foreman (West Chicago) and Illinois State's Kelly McShea (St. Francis) each were honored with the Missouri Valley Conference Leadership & Service Award.
Northern Illinois senior soccer player Courtney Ksiazek (Neuqua Valley) won the "Ms. Victor E. Huskie" award at NIU's annual Victors Awards on April 28. Locals nominated for other honors included Ksiazek's Neuqua schoolmate, junior Lauren Noonan, and senior baseball player Connor Schomig (Hinsdale South).
Western Illinois junior shortstop Sammy Marshall (Naperville North) capped a third straight all-conference season by being named the Summit League player of the year. She led the Leathernecks with 8 home runs and in a five-game span collected 12 straight hits, one shy of an NCAA record. Ranked fourth among all NCAA teams with a school-record .478 batting average, she hit .625 in the league championship and on April 6 set a Summit League record with 108 career stolen bases.
Senior outfielder Bobby Czarnowski (Naperville Central), a first-team Central Region pick by D3baseball.com, was Illinois Wesleyan's co-MVP with Warren graduate Jon Frericks. Czarnowski tied for the team lead in batting average, .353, and led the Titans in home runs, runs, walks and slugging percentage. He finished in the top 10 in six all-time categories.
Aurora University junior midfielder Max Obriecht (Naperville North) repeated as an honorable-mention All-America, named by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association. Leading the Spartans to their most victories (16), a Division II Sweet Sixteen berth and an unbeaten record in the Midwest Lacrosse Conference, the 5-foot-9, 170-pounder led Aurora with 60 goals and added 37 assists. Named the MLC's offensive player of the year, on Wednesday he earned Aurora University's male athlete of the year. His prep teammate, Carthage senior midfielder Jack Meachum, made the Midwest Lacrosse Conference first team.
Concordia pitcher Steve Cox (Willowbrook) was named second-team All-Midwest by D3baseball.com. In 22⅔ innings the 6-foot-2 senior righty allowed 12 hits and .150 batting average, gave up just 3 unearned runs and zero earned, struck out 16 batters and recorded 9 saves. Concordia's career leader in saves, Cox converted his last 22 save opportunities the last two seasons while not allowing an earned run. Who was first team, Aroldis Chapman?
North Park senior second baseman Mike Coduto (Wheaton North) was among nine Division III ballplayers who earned an American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings Gold Glove. The all-CCIW player finished with career highs in fielding percentage at .982 and total chances at 244. In four years Coduto committed only 23 errors in 690 chances.
Sporting a 4.0 GPA, Southern Illinois sophomore infielder Kelsey Gonzalez (Naperville Central) bagged her first Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete honor. Fourth nationally in sacrifice flies and leading the MVC with a .500 batting average against left-handed pitchers, the marketing major ranked among her team's top three in hits, slugging percentage, batting average, multihit games and multi-RBI games. Salukis junior pitcher Alyssa Wunderlich (Naperville Central) had a spotless 4.0 GPA to earn her second straight honorable-mention MVC Scholar-Athlete nod.
Along with Augustana junior outfielder Laura Behnke (St. Francis), who we mentioned last time, Wheaton College's Katie Thornton (Glenbard North), North Park's Kaity Olson (West Chicago) and Elmhurst's Ele Walter (Wheaton North) all made CCIW first-team in softball.
Junior catcher Nick Tenerelli (Downers Grove South) is leaving Augustana for Illinois to pursue an engineering degree. He padded his resume with a D3baseball.com Central Region second-team berth. While hitting .356 and driving in 31 runs, in 38 games Tenerelli made just 2 errors for a .993 fielding percentage as the Vikings won their first conference title since 1974. He was named the team's outstanding defensive player and shared its leadership award.
Notching a school-record 39th win for Waubonsee Community College's baseball team, freshman pitcher Tom Colletti (Wheaton North) eliminated North Essex (Massachusetts) Community College 4-1 on a complete-game 3-hitter with 10 strikeouts and no walks in the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series. Third last year on the NJCAA Division III level, the Chiefs placed fourth this season.
Two Wheaton Warrenville South products on the Augustana women's lacrosse team, Nattali Shelton and Kelly Stelzer, earned first-team honors in the Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference. Helping Augie go 19-1 with its sole loss against defending national champ Salisbury in the Division III Sweet Sixteen, all-Great Lakes Region awardee Stelzer scored 44 goals with 22 assists while setting a program record for career minutes. Kendall Maduro (Neuqua Valley) extended her program record for career turnovers caused per game.
Freshman Tanner Obal (York) was named Augustana's most valuable male golfer, leading the team with 78.1-round average including a 69 at the CCIW tournament. Playing in all 13 events Obal had three top-five finishes and three top-10 finishes.
Caught between winter and spring reports, in gymnastics Illinois State senior Jenna Bossle (West Chicago) scored a season-high 39.075 points to win the all-around title at the Midwest Independent Conference in the last meet of her career. Bossle tied the school record with 9.900 points to win the uneven bars and was an all-conference performer in balance beam.
Illinois Wesleyan sophomore Kayla Palczynski (Wheaton Warrenville South) was named the Titans' most improved swimmer.
A couple late basketball honors: Senior Alison Seberger (Montini) earned Illinois State's Coaches Award for leadership on and off the court and for being, well, most coachable. And William and Mary senior Tim Rusthoven (Wheaton Academy) was named the Colonial Athletic Association scholar-athlete of the year in men's basketball.
Something different: Anthony Szymel (Naperville North 2006), a former four-year Great Lakes Valley Conference all-academic pick and three-time all-conference as Lewis University's soccer goalkeeper, has joined DePaul's coaching staff. He comes from four seasons as keepers coach at 2012 Division II champion Lynn.
Here's one of Szymel's quotes from the news release: "A school like Naperville North will always hold a special place in my heart, and you always want to bring over people from the place you played. The DuPage Valley Conference is always churning out talented athletes, and I'd like to bring them to DePaul."
Which will lead us to 2014-15.