Year in Review

201 1

Volume 13 Issue 10

Prose from the Pub
Positive Sports Stories in Iowa Garner National Attention to Highlight a Great 2011
the Big 12 and the rest With no room for any of the country that they doubt, 2011 has been are part of a program the best year in the that can’t be taken history of our firm. for granted. CyclONE We saw the launch of Nation has the most the, newly redesigned, to be proud of after a state-of-the-art terrific year. iowasportsconnection. At the Iowa Sports com and a new partnership with 1350 Mike Rickord ISC Publisher Connection, we are very excited to get KRNT of The Des 2012 off with a bang. If Moines Radio Group the stories of 2011 are any preview as the flagship station for the Iowa of what’s in store, then we had all Sports Connection Radio Network, better buckle in for quite a ride. which continues to be the most The Iowa Sports Connection, with powerful radio network in Iowa. its stable of multimedia products Part of what has sparked such ranging from mobile, to web, to a great year for the Iowa Sports radio and television, will continue Connection were the many positive to be your best source for stories stories about sports that emerged of positive participation in sports. from our state throughout 2011. We’ve made a New Year’s resolution With this issue of The Iowa Sports to take the success of 2011 and Connection magazine, we have transfer it to 2012 with even more captured all of 2011’s highlights, energy and expertise in all Iowa from Martensdale-St. Marys’ sports, “from the Pee Wees, to the national record-setting baseball Preps, to the Pros.” season, the Iowa Energy’s NBA Thank you so much for picking D-League championship, Iowa State up a copy of The Iowa Sports football’s whirlwind of a season, Connection magazine’s 2011 Year Jeremy Hellickson’s rookie of the in Review. We’d like to thank our year awards and so many more. great partners, Casey’s General Inside, you’ll find what we believe Stores and Scheels Sporting Goods, to be the best stories from the for helping us make our magazine past year. Every story promotes available to all Iowans, “from the something positive in sports. You’ll Missouri to the Mississippi,” by find Iowans have a lot to be proud of placing copies in every store across as we reflect on the year’s events. the great state. Many Iowa communities spent time Now that the winter sports in the spotlight — sometimes in season is in full swing, the awardthe national spotlight — and they’ve winning Friday Night Live, On the Tee shown everyone the best in sports. and The Iowa Sports Connection Just look what these stories can Show have made their transitions do for a community – for a state. and we hope you’ll join us by tuning The boys of the Martensdale-St. in on The Iowa Sports Connection Marys baseball team did so much Radio Network; on TV with WHO for their communities and the state 13.2 or KCRG 9.2; or online at of Iowa as a whole. Their story of determination and character was Once again, thanks for picking told across the country as they up a copy of The Iowa Sports reached their goal and set a new Connection. Have a Merry record for consecutive wins. And the Christmas and a Happy New Year! record is still alive! Maybe the best part of this story is that it isn’t even God Bless You and God Bless over yet. America! And, oh, man! How about Paul Rhoads and his Iowa State Cyclones! What a tremendous year they’ve had. From beating in-state rivals Northern Iowa, and of course, the Iowa Hawkeyes, to stunning the nation with the defeat of Oklahoma State, the Cyclones have assured
Volume 13 Issue 10 3

4 Pee Wee Profiles
Pee Wee Sports Year in Review
Paul Clinton’s and the Iowa ODP soccer program’s stories stand out as highlights of a fantastic 2011 youth sports season. Read about Iowa ODP’s historic season and Paul Clinton’s awesome dedication to little league baseball in Des Moines.

16 Prep Connection
High School Sports Year in Review
Iowa has much to remember after 2011. Turn to page 16 for a look at some of the top sports stories of 2011 in Iowa high school sports, including Martensdale-St. Marys, Des Moines East girls basketball, Dowling Catholic girls cross country, John Meeks, Cory Clark and more.

19 Collegiate Corner
College Sports Year in Review
Starting on page 19, we take you through the highlight stories in Iowa college sports that made 2011 so special. Read about Wartburg wrestling dominance, Drake football in Africa and relive Iowa State’s triple-overtime victory over Iowa.

26 Minor but Major
Pro Sports Year in Review
It may be considered the minor leagues but in Iowa it might as well be the professionals with the following these teams have. Read about the Iowa Energy’s NBA D-League championship, Jeremy Hellickson’s rookie of the year season and the Dubuque Fighting Saints’ USHL title.

MIKE RICKORD • President/Publisher

JOHN STREETS • Business Consultant

TONY ATZENI • Radio Account Manager JOE STASI • Sr. Sales Executive TIM WEIDEMAN • Editor

Cedar Rapids/Sioux City

ADAM OESTREICH • Graphic Artist

LISA PRINGLE • Sales Representative

LAUREN SMITH • Graphic Artist/Writer MIKE RICKORD JR • Marketing EDUARDO ZAMARRIPA • Staff Writer
Contributing Writers: Rodney J. Brown, Mark Adkins, Paul Kirk, Larry Happel, Blake DeRouchey, Joe Earp, Brian Werger, Jeff Davidk Contributing photographers: Roy Tucker (Pep Rally Photo), Charlie McCardle, Sam Taylor (Impact Imagery) Cover: Highlights of the 2011 Iowa sports season. Photo credit: Sam Taylor (Impact Imagery), Iowa Energy, Des Moines Register, Iowa State Athletics Communications

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The Iowa Sports Connection is published once per month with copies available by subscription. The magazine can also be found at all Casey’s General Stores across the state in addition to a few select locations in Iowa. All stories and pictures produced by ISC staff © 2011 Iowa Sports Connection. All rights reserved. Stories, pictures and other content produced by contributors © 2011 their respective owners, with limited reprint rights reserved by the Iowa Sports Connection. The Iowa Sports Connection logo is trademark ™ Iowa Sports Connection.

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Pee-Wee Profiles
Qwest Team of the Month: Iowa Soccer ODP
Jenny Wood Iowa Soccer
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 1

On Sunday, March 6, Iowa Soccer’s 1994 Boys Olympic Development Program (ODP) team captured the state’s first-ever National Championship of any kind at the youth soccer level by defeating California-South, 4-1. The win comes on the heels of taking down another warmweather state, Florida, 3-1 in Friday’s semifinal at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Arizona. To put into perspective the outstanding achievement, the team not only defeated teams that have been training outside during the winter, but also that come from state associations that have among the highest numbers of registered players in all of US Youth Soccer. “For a state the size of Iowa to beat Florida and Cal-South in the National Finals, and win a National tournament that started last summer with state teams from all 55 State Associations is a phenomenal achievement,” said Iowa Soccer Director of Coaching Ian Bradley. Coached by Andrew McKnight of Iowa City, the squad totaled seven goals in two matches, while giving up only two. In the victory against Florida, Gabe Christianson scored the opener at the 27th minute, with Tyler Chavez following at the 54th to open up a 2-0 lead. Florida scored in the 90th minute, but Iowa responded within seconds when Chavez struck gold a second time. In the Championship, Danton Irelan put Iowa ahead with a tally 26 minutes in. Christianson scored what ended up as the game-winner with 20 minutes to play on a penalty kick. Cal-South struck with 13 minutes to go to pull within 2-1, but Irelan and Quint Wickett shut the door on a comeback with goals in the final five minutes. Patrick Bunting tended goal for Iowa in both matches. McKnight shared his post-game reaction, “What a special moment at the final whistle, having the opportunity to see the reaction of the players, knowing how badly they wanted to succeed and knowing how hard they had to

work to do it. It was very special.” “For a state the size of Iowa to beat Florida and Cal-South in the National finals, and win a National tournament that started last summer with state teams from all 55 State Associations is a phenomenal achievement.” — Ian Bradley, Iowa Soccer Director of Coaching The Iowa team is no stranger to the National Championships, having competed there in 2010 after winning the 2009 Region II ODP Championships -- or to international competition - taking on Brazilian youth teams during a two-week tour there in 2009. The team also won the 2008 Region II ODP Championships, but at that time, no National competition was conducted for that birth year group. Age group winners from each of the four US Youth Soccer Regions (Regions I, II, III and IV) are determined in summer preceding the National Championships. The ‘94 Boys’ bracket was rounded out by Eastern Pennsylvania, another “large state” association. Team members include Austin Bergstrom (Cedar

Rapids), Patrick Bunting (Ankeny), Tyler Chavez (Iowa City), Gabe Christianson (Cedar Rapids), Joshua Dicken (Johnston), Juan Carlos Espinal (Muscatine), Chad Gilmer (Cedar Rapids), Ryan Hall (Tiffin), Danton Irelan (Ottumwa), Cody Jacobson (Johnston), Paris Martins (North Liberty), Austin Reutzel (Swisher), Muengnenshime Sunday (Iowa City), Konnor Tranoris (West Des Moines), Jonah Waldron (Adel), Quint Wickett (Bettendorf). Of the players, McKnight stated, “The players were very aware that they were representing their families, their club coaches and the state of Iowa. They represented you all very well in every department.” Iowa ODP teams are formed when players try out and are selected to compete on their age group team that represents the state at ODP events. Various additional competitions and training offers those players exposure to the nation’s best coaches, trainers and facilities, as well as opportunities to advance up the ODP ladder. Last July, Bunting, Chavez, Christianson, Dicken, Irelan, Reutzel and Sunday all were selected to the Region II ‘94B ODP pool.

Want to nominate an M.V.P to be feature in the ISC Magazine? This “Most Valuable Player” or “Most Valuable Parent” is recognized for what they’ve contributed to a team, organization or community, besides statistical performance. If you would like to nominate an MVP for our MidAmerican Engery Most Valuable Parent or Player, please contact us at or call 515-283-1933.


Volume 13 Issue 10

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Pee-Wee Profiles
M.V.P: Paul Clinton, Grandview Little League
Tim Weideman Editor
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 8

Paul Clinton has seen the benefits of organized little leagues so he does what he can to help out Grandview Little League in Des Moines. First of all, little leagues give kids a place to go for much of their summer breaks from school. But it’s the kids and everyone else involved that are important to Clinton. “It’s just enjoyable,” says Clinton. “You meet a lot of parents, grandparents, kids.” Clinton says he’s now coaching kids whose parents he also coached when they went through the Grandview program. The league features tee-ball, coach pitch, intermediate levels and all-star teams. Aside from being a coach for one of Grand View’s younger team’s, Clinton is also a player agent, assistant treasurer for the league and a consistent volunteer whenever he’s needed. As a player agent, Clinton helps arrange teams by meeting with coaches for the league’s drafts, formulating tryouts and managing the entire league. He also helps put the all-star team together. Clinton has been around the program for a while and has seen the league grow and improve. “It’s really gratifying because you can see, from the late 80s all the way through this year, all the changes and all the things that

you helped build and made the little league a better place, as far as the playing grounds, to the equipment, to just helping out in the concession stand to raise money,” says Clinton. Even though Grandview’s upper levels compete on a regional, and sometimes national stage, Clinton says he likes to see the smiles on the faces of kids who aren’t as athletically gifted. He likes to see how they react when they succeed. “It’s keeps you going,” says Clinton. Clinton says little leagues such as Grandview offer more of a family atmosphere, rather than the ultra-competitive leagues that are starting to grow in number and popularity. The family atmosphere offers many benefits, says Clinton. “When we have fundraisers or when our teams make it to these regional games all the parents pitch in, even (the parents of) the kids who didn’t make it on the all-star team,” says

Paul Clinton Clinton. “Everybody’s willing to help out, willing to donate, whereas at your AAU tournaments they charge you to play and sometimes you have to pay for each tournament you get in.” Clinton adds that raising money together brings all the teams in the league closer. “You play hard against each other all year and you’re all one family at the end of the year,” says Clinton.

In each magazine we feature a Team of the Month. The Team of the Month is recognized for its success, growth as a team, support of the community, etc. If you know of a youth sports team that deserves to be recognized for its achievements and would like to nominate the team for the MidAmerican Energy Team of the Month, please contact us at or call 515-283-1933.


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en Mart


ar St. M le-


Prep Connection
Martensdale-St. Marys Wins No. 84; Remains Focused on the Goal
Tim Weideman Editor
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 5

Martensdale-St. Marys made history July 19 when the team won its 84th straight game, setting a new national record. The win beat the old record of 83 games set by a team from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. That streak is still active but for now the Blue Devils are on top and the school is on the high school baseball national map.

night, just as two excited players doused him in water. “Our guys are well-aware of the fact of what they just did,” said Dehmer, now soaked. “I know there’s going to be a celebration tonight and we’re going to be all excited but we know we’ve got business to take care of Monday and on to hopefully the end of (the week of the state tournament).” Dehmer also said that the record does mean a lot for the team, even if they are focused on a The record-breaking victory came against JD Nielsen connects with a ball. Nielsen hit a solo home run in the state championship. “It means that bottom of the fifth inning. (Photos by Sam Taylor/Impact Imagery) Twin Cedars of Bussey in a Class 1A substate we’ve done something that nobody final game in Indianola. ever else has to watch the team play and said the style of Martensdale-St. Marys done,” said Dehmer. “When baseball has changed so much since when he defeated the Sabers, 10-0 you sit there and think played. “I would’ve given my right arm if I could’ve in six innings. The intensity about that, you know, it’s played ball like they do now,” said Martens. “We with which the Blue Devils pretty special.” didn’t have summer baseball at that time and played the game and Those in attendance on we played maybe seven or eight games plus the somewhat subdued that hot July night realized tournaments, then our season was over.” celebration aftwerard—as they were watching Now, teams play far more games than they far as record-breaking something special. Parents did in Martens’ time. Martensdale-St. Marys celebrations go, at least— were proud that their kids improved its record to 41-0 after the win, in reminded those watching had achieved something search of its second-consecutive perfect season. that this team is on a Mel Martens watches the Blue Devils. Martens so amazing and friends If that happens, we could be talking about this mission. That mission played for Martensdale’s 1941 state championwere excited to share the team for a while. never truly included ship team. (Photo by Sam Taylor/Impact Imagery) moment with the players. Martensdale-St. Marys’ baseball team isn’t breaking a national high Some, such as Mel the only reason for the school to get excited. school baseball win Martens, didn’t even know the players but The softball team is also undefeated and, at streak record. That was just a byproduct of wanted to support the Blue Devils. Martens press time, was making a run in the Class 1A the team’s real goal to win a second-straight was a catcher on the 1941 Martensdale state State Softball Tournament. If the Lady Blue Devils state championship. The record and the perfect championship baseball team. Martens admitted and the baseball team run the table, it would season, if it gets to that point (it’s hard not to that he didn’t even know the current players’ be the first time a school has had undefeated say “when” after watching this team play), will be names. He just wanted to see them play ball. In champions in both softball and baseball in the wonderful side notes. one of life’s funny coincidences, the location of the same year. game was perfect for Martens, who was able to see his former school’s team break the record. “I live in Indianola so they couldn’t be any closer (to me),” said Martens. Martens was excited to have the opportunity

“It’s nice but it’s not what we’re after. We’ve got three more games to play.”
- Justin Dehmer, Martensdale-St. Marys baseball head coach

After junior Brad Nauman knocked in the game-winning run on a single that rolled to the fence, the Blue Devils received their State Qualifier banner. The team gathered around the banner, hoisted it up and let out a few excited whoops and hollers. Then, head coach Justin Dehmer reminded his team: “It’s nice but it’s not what we’re after. We’ve got three more games to play.” Still, this was a game that the team will remember and even Dehmer admitted that there would be plenty of celebrating later that
8 Volume 13 Issue 10

The team poses for photos with its State Qualifier banner. (Photo by Sam Taylor/Impact Imagery)
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Prep Connection
Linn-Mar’s Kiah Stokes Sets Eyes on Next Level
Tim Weideman Editor
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 1

the opportunity to compete Kiah Stokes wants to win a for a title at a national level national championship. She’s made Kiah Stokes (40) means a lot. all the right moves to put herself in “I can only imagine because a position where that’s a possibillast year (2009-’10 season) ity. The Linn-Mar girls basketball we won the state championstandout will compete for NCAA ship and that’s just in our powerhouse University of Connectistate,” says Stokes. “So I can cut next year. only imagine what it would be Stokes didn’t even realize right like to be the best team in the away that she had the potential to whole country, which I would be on a perennial contender such love to do. I love playing and I as UConn. love competing.” “It was definitely exciting but Stokes added that she nerve-racking at the same time befound a great fit in UConn cause I didn’t really know what I was because the program’s goals looking for in a college and I didn’t and attitude mirror her own. know what they were looking for in “They like to compete a player,” says Stokes. “I’m happy to too, so I think I will fit in well,” get the opportunity.” says Stokes. “It would just Stokes has taken care of busibe amazing to win a national ness on her end of assuring herself championship. To call yourself a chance to be a part of a national the best in the whole country, I title team at UConn. mean, I think that’s amazing.” Stokes was recently named the Gatorade Iowa Girls Basketball Iowa’s high profile recruits Player of the Year for the second With Harrison Barnes, and now Marcus Paige, year in a row. The award is given to Iowa’s best girls attending North Carolina, Iowa has started to surprise basketball player. the nation with how many high-quality athletes can be This season, the 6-foot-3 center averaged 25 found in the state. After this year, the amount of highpoints, 14.9 rebounds and 5.6 blocks per game and profile girls basketball recruits from Iowa schools could shot 72.1 percent from the floor for the Lions. Stokes have schools turning here for student-athletes. helped lead the Lions to the Class 4A semifinals where Stokes is No. 42 on ESPN’s Top 100 girls basketball a young but talented Iowa City West squad defeated recruits list. She’s not the only Iowan that appears on them. the list. Harlan’s Taylor Greenfield is the highest Iowan Next fall, Stokes will get another go at a championon the list at No. 31. She has committed to play at ship, this time on the national level. Stokes says that

Stanford, another top women’s basketball program in the nation. Viriginia Johnson of Iowa City High, who has committed to Iowa, is No. 62 on the list. Not on the list but committed to a strong program is Markisha Wright of Des Moines East, who will attend Notre Dame. It’s clear that Iowa has a wealth of high school talent and programs from around the country have taken notice. Stokes is excited about what that means for future Iowa recruiting classes. “I think people will just stop saying, ‘Oh, they’re from Iowa,’ and more like, ‘Oh, they’re from Iowa!” Developing talent Like every recruit, Stokes chose UConn because it was the best fit for her. She says the coaches and the probability of developing her talent are important to her. “I really love all the coaches,” Stokes says. “I think (head coach Gino Auriemma) is a great coach. He knows what he’s doing and I love his supporting cast. All the assistant coaches are great and I get along with them really well, so I think that was one of the main things.” Plus, the Huskies’ coaches know what they’re doing when it comes to developing players’ talents. “They know how to develop post players, which is a big thing because I want to play basketball as long as I can,” says Stokes. “I know that with the help of the coaches, they could help me reach my full potential.” As one of the top programs in the country, Stokes is right on the money in believing the UConn coaching staff will help her become a great basketball player—in college and perhaps afterward. Like Harrison Barnes, Iowans will want to follow Kiah Stokes’ collegiate career.

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Volume 13 Issue 10 9


Prep Connection
Gochenour Aims for Iowa High School Track History
Tim Weideman Editor
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 2

Losing stings. Especially when Gochenour is on it. She’s living her childit’s not supposed to happen. hood dream. Alex Gochenour is not used “It’s really cool,” Gochenour says of to losing but the sinking feeling the opportunities she’s had. “When I isn’t unfamiliar to her. The was little I always dreamed of being Logan-Magnolia senior had to where I am but you never know if you’re face it during the past indoor actually going to get there and being track season when she lost a there is just amazing, especially next 60-meter dash. year.” She hates losing. Though for Gochenour says she’s always her it’s rare, when it happens, it dreamed of being an Olympic athlete keeps her humble. and 2012 is right around the corner. It keeps her hungry. She says her dad, Jeff, thinks she “Losing, obviously, is a tercan do it but Alex is still focused on the rible feeling, but you’ve got to World Junior Championships. lose every once in a while,” says “I’ll be 19, maybe get a title (at Junior Alex Gochenour leaps over a hurdle at Gochenour. Worlds), but the Olympics are definitely last year’s Drake Relays. She won the 100- and 400-meter hurdles last year. For her, losing that race was on the horizon,” says Gochenour. probably a good thing. Before she heads off to Baton “Instead of going home and Rouge, Louisiana, to become a Tiger, crying over it, it made me hungry,” says Gochenour. Gochenour has unfinished business left to take care “It made me want to get my starts down. It made me of in Iowa. want to accelerate faster.” Logan-Magnolia moved up to Class 2A this year. For Gochenour’s opponents, that’s a scary thought. She won the Class 1A 100-meter dash, 200-meter Gochenour is a world-class athlete. She won the dash, 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles last heptathlon at the 2010 USA Junior Outdoor Track & season. Her time of 14.07 in the 100-meter hurdles is Field Championships and finished 10th in the event at the Class 1A record. the IAAF World Junior Championships that year. Gochenour is aiming to become the first four-time She’s the No. 1 multi-event recruit in the United 100-meter hurdles state champ since Debbie Esser— States. She’s taking her talents to LSU next year, the former Iowa State and Woodbine star. She’s also where she’ll be able to train with top track and field aiming to win four more individual titles, which would athletes, such as Lolo Jones. give her 13 and tie her with Esser for the state record. If there’s a sure road to success in track and field, As of April 20, Gochenour held the top times in

the state in the 100-meter hurdles (13.97) and the 400-meter hurdles (1:03.53). She’s second in Class 2A in the 200-meter dash (25.67) behind Brooke Wolterstorff of Western ChrisGochenour points to the stands at tian (Hull), but the 2010 State Track Meet. Gochenonly by a tenth our won four individual titles. of a second. Her 100-meter time of 12.25 seconds is good for third. She’s also third in the long jump (17’5.5’’). Gochenour says she is looking forward to returning to Drake Stadium in Des Moines. She says she looks forward to both the Drake Relays and the state championships every year. She’s the defending Drake Relays high school champion in the 100- and 400-meter hurdles. She says the Blue Oval is one her favorites. “I love running at Drake,” says Gochenour. “I just feel so awesome because the people I’m running in front of, they know me. They know my story—most of them.” Though Gochenour has many fans in Des Moines, she’s commonly seen searching the stand for her biggest fan after she wins a race. “Usually when I’m looking up, I’m looking for my dad,” says Gochenour. “I’m looking to point at him.”

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Prep Connection

Champions Across Iowa





Name: Megan Gilbe School: Tripoli Class: 1A


r Name: Nate Meie ills Fremont-M School: (Tabor) Class: 8-Player

e Name: Seth Tuttl ol: West Fork Scho Class: 2A

uley Name: Jessie Pa School: OA-BCIG Class: 2A

ce again has Megan Gilbert on year for d an outstanding ha r d Tripoli. The senio top-ranke ss 1A with 443 star leads Cla ntage of kills and a kill perce its fourth3. Tripoli will seek .46 ball ht Class 1A volley straig hip. champions

r Senior Nate Meie leading trucked his way to ont-Mills (Tabor) Frem te to the 8-player sta t pionship. Meier se cham championship new 8-player 218 game records of five yards rushing and ns. touchdow

lped lead Pauley, a junior, he thur/Battle Senior Seth Tuttle Odebolt-Ar m-high the Class contributed a tea Creek-Ida Grove to est Fork’s 27 points in W pionship. Named am Western 2A ch yer of the 60-56 victory over ISC’s Class 2A Pla ) in the Class Christian (Hull uley was second pionship Year, Pa game 2A boys state cham in 2A in points per d ’s performance game. Tuttle , 3-pointers (61) an (21.2) lete a in steals (135). lped the team comp he led the state 27-0. perfect season at

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Volume 13 Issue 10 11

Prep Connection
Shelby Houlihan: Ready to Become a College Star
Eduardo Zamarripa, Iowa Sports Connection
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 5

If you know something about Iowa high school sports, you have probably heard the name Shelby Houlihan pop up frequently. Her favorite subject is math and she enjoys playing soccer in her spare time. And she has also had quite the track and field and cross country high school career at Sioux City East, amassing victory after victory and breaking an array of different records. This should not come as a surprise. Houlihan is a hard worker who truly enjoys running and has had several positive influences in her life that have gotten her to where she is today. Houlihan’s mother, Connie Prince-Houlihan, is a former world class marathon runner. She has been Houlihan’s mentor and has pushed her to become a better runner. “She always told me too keep at it and keep working hard,” Houlihan said. “She always gets on me on things like how much I’m sleeping or what I’m eating.” For years, Houlihan’s mother has been her running partner and has taught her to appreciate and enjoy the sport. “You just have to be very committed to what you are doing,” Houlihan said. “I would do workouts on the weekends. You have to love it in order to have fun doing it.” And while Houlihan has been running since she was five years old, she did not actually join the team until the eighth grade. “In sixth grade I didn’t go out for track (or cross country), I kind of regret that,” Houlihan said. “I kind of knew about it but I didn’t think about doing it. Houlihan would instead try luck in gymnastics

State University. and soccer when Being so far away from home she was younger will be a challenge for Houlihan, but and even played either way, she can’t way to become basketball her a collegiate athlete. freshman year of “I am extremely really excited. I’m high school. kind of nervous,” Houlihan said. “It’s “That didn’t going to be a lot of fun and there’s work out so well. going to be a lot of good athletes.” I had to sit on the Houlihan has been busy this bench the whole summer working out and preparing time,” Houlihan herself for the challenge that she said. “I liked it but has not really thought about what it was not very school is going to be like. fun.” “I’m more focused on cross It’s safe to country now. I haven’t really thought say that Houlihan Shelby Houlihan has had a summer to found her niche at remember, breaking records and competing in about the whole school part yet, “Houlihan said. “I’m really focused on the track thanks national competitions. the whole sports aspect. I haven’t to her love for (Photo by Iowa Sports Connection) signed up for classes yet, which I the sports and have to do.” the coaching Arizona State Cross Country Head Coach influences she received. Along with her mother, Houlihan speaks fondly of Louie Quintana is very excited to have Houlihan join the program next season. all the coaches she has had in her life. Her middle “We are extremely excited to add Shelby school coach always pushed her to succeed; always Houlihan to the Sun Devil Track made her workout to the fullest. Her high school and Field family,” Quintana said. “She has coach was always very supportive and a terrific mentor. Her personal coach, Tom Greene, has been exhibited a tremendous competitive spirit during her highly decorated high school career coaching her since the sixth grade. and we can’t wait for her to get down to Tempe “He has been very important and helpful,” to get to work.” Houlihan said. “He works with me too throughout And if her high school career is any the high school season.” indicative of how hard Houlihan works, she will But Houlihan is ready to take on a new have no problem succeeding at Arizona State. challenger after high school: being a part of the She’ll have to sign up for her classes first. cross country and track and field team for Arizona

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Student Athletes

of the Year

Kevin Lewis

Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 2

Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 4

Jadyn Spencer

High School: Ottumwa Class: 2011 GPA: 4.0 Sport: Cross Country and Track
How can you show that you are serious about academics?
4.0 GPA and qualified for a state math competition in Iowa City.

High School: West High School Class: 2011 Grad GPA: 4.0 Sport: Softball, Basketball and Track
Academic Honors:
West High School Valedictorian, Governor’s Scholar Award, National Honor Society Member, National Honor Society Executive Board Member, Academic All-State Basketball, KBBG Radio Scholar of the Year, Student Senate Member, West High School Student of the Month

How would people in the community describe you?
Hard working

Athletic Honors:
Softball: All-Metro, All-Conference, All-District, All-State Selection: 8th-11th grade, MVC Athlete of the Week, Team Captain, holds multiple WHS Softball School records. Basketball: All-Metro, All-Conference, AllDistrict: 9th-12th grade, IGCA-INA-IGHSADMR-KGRG All-State selection: 10th12th grade, MVC Athlete of the Week, Team Captain, 1000 point club, Track: 7-time State Qualifier and 8-time Drake Relays Qualifier, WHS School Records in Shot Put and Sprint Medley Relay, Track Meet Records in 55M and Shot Put: Luther College, Wahawk Relays & Cedar Falls Invite, MVC Shot Put Champion

Athletic Honors:
Class rank of No. 1, Elite All-State cross country two years, cross country state champion, All-State track and field two years

Plans after High School:
Attend the University of Iowa and major in engineering, run track and cross country

Quick Facts:
Favorite Food: Chicken Alfredo

Community Service:
Allen Women’s Health Department Volunteer, Food Bank Volunteer, Community Meals Volunteer & Youth Sunday Participant - Zion Lutheran Church, Salvation Army volunteer, Volunteer Coach for 12U Cedar Valley Blackhawks Softball Team and Volunteer at Together for Youth Service Learning Projects

Likes to hunt and fish

College Plans: Attend University of Alabama and play softball

Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau

Prep Connection

Prep Pics
Photos by
Roy Tucker, Pep Rally Photo; Sam Taylor, Impact Imagery; Iowa Sports Connection

Megan Hummel & Madison Heidbrink, Cherokee; Erin Kommes, LeMar Hannah Schueder, South O’Brien

Jessie Pauley (O-A/BC-IG)

Dallas Center-Grimes

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A quick look at some of the state’s best performances from the Missouri to the Mississippi

1 2 3 4 5 6

Cedar Rapids Xavier Girls Soccer: The Saints
have been dominant in girls soccer. They posted their sixth straight title and have now won 18 straight state tournament matches, dating back to 2005. Annie Dale was named the all-tournament captain in Class 2A. Muscatine Boys Swimming: It was 1960 the last time the Muskies won a boys state swimming championship. Muscatine captured the title this season, led by Calegan and Travis Greenwald. Sarah Dalton (Dubuque Wahlert, Senior) : Dubuque Wahlert’s Dalton captured her third consecutive Class 1A singles tennis title. Davis County (Bloomfield): After bowing out in the semifinals in 2010, the Mustangs elevated their game to capture the title this season at Principal Park in Des Moines behind Calvin Mathews and Josh Martsching. Beth Wagner (Ankeny, Senior): After always being close, Wagner, a senior from Ankeny, won the Class 4A individual medalist honors at the girls state golf championships at River Valley Golf Course in Adel. Wagner finished third in 2010 and fourth in 2009 and 2008. West Fork: Behind Seth Tuttle’s 27 points and 12 rebounds, the Warhawks captured the Class 2A boy’s state basketball title with an overtime thriller over perennial power, Western Christian (Hull).

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Volume 13 Issue 10 15

Cory Clark, John Meeks Seek Wrestling History
Southeast Polk senior Cory Clark and Des Moines Roosevelt senior John Meeks will try to add their names to one of the most legendary lists in Iowa high school athletics: four-time state wrestling champions. There are only 11 names on that list right now but Clark and Meeks both hope that changes. After winning their third state titles this past season, Clark and Meeks are poised to write a bit of history. Clark competes at 126 pounds and is 129-0 in his high school wrestling career. Meeks competes at 138 pounds and is 123-0 in his high school wrestling career.

Des Moines East Goes Undefeated
The top ranked Scarlets of Des Moines East completed a perfect 26-0 season by defeating Iowa City West, 52-40, in the Class 4A state championship game last March. Des Moines East fans packed Wells Fargo Arena to show their eastside pride. Des Moines East had not won a girls basketball state championship since 1979. Four Scarlets from that team are now playing Division I basketball: Markisha Wright (Notre Dame), Sharnae Lamar (Northern Iowa), Shronda Butts (Bradley) and NiJay Gaines (Missouri State).

Alex Gochenour, Shelby Houlihan: Two Track Stars to Remember
Last season, Gochenhour was part of the USA Track and Field Championships and was the heptathlon junior champion for those 19 and under and qualified for the IAAF World Junior Championships where she finished 10th in the world. Alex qualified at the Drake Relays this past season in the 100 and 400 meter hurdles and the long jump and 100 meter dash. Alex won the 100 hurdles and long jump titles. At the state, meet Gochenhour won all four events she entered, which included the 100 and 400 meter dash and 100 and 400 meter hurdles in Class 2A. Shelby Houlihan (Sioux City East) capped off a terrific senior season by claiming three individual titles in Class 4A at the state co-ed meet, winning the 400 meter dash, 800 meter run and 1500 meter run. In the process, Houlihan set a new state meet record in the 800 and the 1500. Houlihan also won the 800, 1500 and 3000 meter run titles and was named the “Iowa High School Outstanding Female Athlete”.

Martensdale-St. Mary’s Completes Perfect Season; Sets Consecutive Wins Record
The Martensdale-St. Marys Blue Devils ended their historic season with a national record of 87 consecutive wins. Ask any of the Blue Devils, though, and they’ll tell you that the goal they accomplished which they’re most proud of is the state championship hardware they earned at the end of the season. Martensdale-St. Marys was a complete team with excellent chemistry. They’ll rely on experience and chemistry to extend the win streak as far as they can in 2012. Opponents beware: the Blue Devils only lost two seniors to graduation. The win streak could last quite a while.

Solon Continues Athletics Dominance
Solon High School athletics have always had an impressive resume. Add baseball to the list of recent championships for the Spartans. Solon was led by seniors Derrick Loveless, Brandon Shulista and Nick Day as they earned a Class 3A championship. It was basically back-to-back for the Spartans, who won the Class 2A title in 2010. Loveless was named the Iowa Sports Connection’s 2011 Class 3A Player of the Year, while Brandon Shulista was named the Pitcher of the Year. Day earned firstteam all-state honors. Solon coach, Keith McSweeney, was named the Iowa Sports Conneciton’s Class 3A Coach of the Year. Just to give you an idea of the talent that was on this Spartan team, Derrick Loveless was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 27th round of the Major League Baseball Draft.

Maddie Bro, Taylor Flummerfelt Anchor Ames Swimming
Senior Maddie Bro and junior Taylor Flummerfelt led the Ames girls swimming team to back-to-back state titles in dominating fashion. Flummerfelt took individual medals in the 50 Freestyle and the 100 Freestyle. Bro added a 100 Backstroke title and runner-up honors in the 50 Freestyle. Bro and Flummerfelt were also on Ames’ championship 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay teams. Both relay teams set new high school records. Ames finished with 336 championship points, 90 points ahead of second-place, West Des Moines Valley.

Dowling Cross Country Does It Again
Dowling Catholic made it a sweep as once again the Maroons girls won the Class 4A title. The Maroons were led by freshman Grace Gibbons who won the individual title in a time of 14:00. Karissa Schweizer joined her in the top-ten with a seventh place finish. Dowling Catholic won the Class 4A Iowa High School Boys Cross Country Championship in Fort Dodge behind Cole Decker and Jason Thomas, who finished third and seventh individually in the state meet.

Tripoli Continues Reign Under Megan Gilbert
Megan Gilbert made it a perfect four-for-four. The Tripoli senior earned all-tournament captain honors for the fourth-straight year with 22 kills, four blocks and eight digs to lead the Panthers to the Class 1A championship with a 25-14, 25-21, 25-12 victory over second-ranked LeMars Gehlen Catholic in the Class 1A State Volleyball championship match. The win marked a fourth-straight title for Tripoli, joining Western Christian (2001-04), Dike-New Hartford (1985-89) and Dubuque Wahlert (2000-05) as the only schools to win four or more consecutive championships. The title was the 10th in school history for Tripoli, who end the year with a 40-3 record. Gilbert was also named the Iowa Girls Coaches Association’s Player of the Year and was selected to the IGCA Elite Volleyball Team.

Four First-Time Football Champions Crowned
Four of the six Iowa high school state football champions were first-timers. You definitely don’t see that too often. In 8-Man, Nate Meier led Fremont-Mills to its first ever state championship. Meier carried the ball 12 times for 218 yards and five touchdowns — both were 8-man state championship game records. Meier was named the Iowa Sports Connection’s 8-Man Player of the Year. Ben Knake and the Lisbon Lions edged West Hancock, 14-12, in a defensive battle that came down to the wire for the Class A championship. Knake recorded a team-high 143 yards rushing and was 7-for-12 passing for 97 yards. In Class 1A, Saint Ansgar upset No. 1 St. Albert (Council Bluffs), 25-15, for its first title. John Sievert led the Saints’ effort with 126 yards on 26 carries. He also recorded two touchdowns in what was a hard fought game for nearly all four quarters. Union Community (La Porte City) edged the Decorah Vikings, 21-14, in the Class 3A championship game for its first title in school history. Sophomore quarterback Jay Scheel had a breakout day, Scheel led what would be the winning drive in the third quarter, throwing a touchdown and scampering in for the two-point conversion. Senior running back, Wes Burnside, finished with 127 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries. Burnside was named the Iowa Sports Connection’s Class 3A Player of the Year.

John Sievert (1A)

Collegiate Corner AIB Women Aim to Reclaim Elite Basketball Reputation
Rodney J. Brown AIB Communications Specialist

could also be an advantage, because our The women’s basketball program at AIB College opponents will underestimate us.” of Business is hungry to win in what is the fifth Most teams AIB plays have a height season of its modern incarnation, the second year advantage, Hagarty says. “But we do our of its participation in the NAIA and the first full best to keep them out of the paint,” she season of its associate membership in the Midwest says. Collegiate Conference (MCC). The Eagles hope to Kindhart is also counting on his junior match last year’s winning record and improve upon point guards, India Shivers and Ashley it by qualifying for the MCC tournament. Larson, to be floor leaders. He likes The team also wants to recapture the richness Shivers’ fiery team spirit, as well as the of the history of the AIB women’s basketball team, spark sophomore Megan Howard brings says Coach Jerry Kindhart. to the floor when she enters the game. “I try to impress players with the fact that our This season is key for AIB’s blossoming goal is to build this program into one that lives up program. to its tradition,” Kindhart says. “Up until the 1950s, “We’ll be able to measure ourselves this was one of the most elite basketball programs with the teams in this conference, in the United States, not just Iowa. We’re trying to because most of these teams are pretty get this program back to where it was 50 years good,” Kindhart says. “We’ll have a better ago. I want it to be one of the best programs. We indicator as to what we need to do for may not be on a national level with the Division I recruiting down the road, if we need to get different schools, but we want to be the best we can be in caliber players.” the NAIA division we’re in.” The early assessment is But it’s going to take mixed. The Eagles started the tremendous effort – especially season strong, winning three of for a team tied for last in the their first four games, but they preseason coaches’ poll, Kindhart have fallen to 5-7 after the start says. of conference play. They logged “There are just some really three losses in their first MCC good players in this conference,” games against Iowa Wesleyan, he says. “It will be a challenge to a NAIA Division II championship win the games in this conference, qualifier last year, St. Ambrose, but hopefully we’re up to it.” last year’s MCC regular-season Kindhart has posted the and conference-tournament unflattering poll results on the champions, and Ashford locker room bulletin board and is University. using them to get his team fired “But you never know what’s up. going to happen late in the year,” “Let’s prove these guys wrong,” Kindhart says. he tells his players. Kindhart doesn’t have the To meet the ambitious goals Jerry Kindhart, AIB women’s luxury of focusing solely on the for his third season with the basketball head coach current season. Part of his Eagles, Kindhart is relying on his responsibility is strategize for the co-captains, senior forward Caitlin future of his program. Recruiting is a year-round Hagarty and junior guard McKinsey Nessa. effort, and the results shape the team for years to “Those two are our leaders,” Kindhart says. “They come. came the same time I did, and they have become That new form is apparent in his line-up of four the foundation of the team.” freshmen players from Arizona, Michigan and Nessa is determined to push the Eagles up in the Texas. Kindhart receives inquiries from high school conference rankings. players across the nation as awareness of AIB’s “We are coming into the season with everyone athletic programs grow. thinking AIB is no competition,” she says. “This

AIB women’s basketball team
Kindhart is glad to have more options available to him, but he has a clear preference in his recruits. “I like to keep as many Iowa natives on this team as I can,” he says. “I like Iowa players because I know they’re going to work hard for me and for the team. Very seldom, do I have to say, ‘We’re not working hard enough.’ They generally get out on the floor and work like crazy for the coach. You can’t ask for more than that.” Regardless of where they come from, Kindhart wants to build his roster from 13 players to 18 so he can begin a JV team and get his underclassmen more game time. Kindhart anticipates more interest from players who participate in more than one sport as AIB expands its athletic programs. Soccer launches in 2012, followed by baseball and softball in 2013. The Eagles volleyball team just wrapped up its inaugural season. ”I think we’ll end up getting some recruits as a result of some of the other sports, certainly,” Kindhart says. “I just signed a player from Washington, Iowa, who is also an all-conference softball player.” AIB became more attractive to recruits with the recent $1.5 million expansion to its Activities Center. “Our new addition is definitely an advantage,” Kindhart says. “When new players come in, they see the new locker rooms and that new weight room upstairs. Facilities are not the most important thing, but players like to have a place that’s clean and neat.”


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Collegiate Corner
Wartburg Wrestlers Claim Eighth NCAA D-III Title
Mark Adkins Warburg Sports Information Director
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 1

With two matches remaining in the 2011 NCAA Division III Championships, Coach Jim Miller and the Knights were looking for a way to put an exclamation point on the program’s eighth national title. They got it in the form of two individual national titles from junior 197-pounder Byron Tate of Clinton and senior heavyweight John Helgerson of West Union. “It was awesome to get the team title wrapped up early, but those two wins for Byron and John were sort of icing on the cake,” he said. “I am so happy for those two. I think I jumped 10 feet when John won, too. “This entire team got up here and earned this championship,” he added. “I’m very proud of these guys.” Tate’s second national title was paved with a flurry of second period takedowns to defeat Jared Massey of Augsburg 9-4. Helgerson took his first trip to the top of the awards stand with a thrilling 3-1 win over Elmhurst’s Mark Corsello. He caught Corsello’s legs towards the edge of the mat and scored the winning points with three seconds left. “It just feels unbelievable right now,” Helgerson said. “I can’t even put it into words how this feels for me and for the entire team. We’ve been battling back and forth the past few years with Augsburg, and we knew coming into this weekend it was going

to be a battle. That was one of our biggest goals this year was to get the title back in Waverly. We knew, as a team headed into the final session tonight, we had a pretty good hold on it all. On the individual side of things, to cap off my career with a national title feels absolutely amazing.” “I am honored to be a part of the Wartburg wrestling program,” Tate said. “We took it one match at a time this year. First, I wanted to give my entire effort to win a team title, and then focus on my individual title here at La Crosse. I feel like I have accomplished a lot this season.” Junior 174-pounder Bradley Banks of Stockbridge, Ga., who hoped to join Helgerson and Tate on the top of the podium, ended as a national runner-up. Wartburg ended the meet with 117 points, besting the field by 28.5 points.

NOTES – Wartburg’s seven individual All-Americans (senior 125-pounder Mark Kist of Eagle Grove – third; sophomore 133-pounder Tommy Mirocha of Davenport – fourth; senior 149-pounder Jacob Groth of Marshalltown – sixth; senior 157-pounder Carrington Banks of Stockbridge, Ga., fourth; Bradley Banks second; Tate and Helgerson national champions), crowned at the end of Friday’s session, continued a string of 16 years of five-or-more such honors. … The Knights’ two individual champions marked the eighth consecutive championship in which the Orange and Black have had at least one. … Helgerson ended his Wartburg career on a 21-match win streak, while Tate’s roll now stands at 50 wins in his last 51 matches.


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Collegiate Corner
Northwestern College Wins Second-Straight NAIA Championship
Tim Weideman Editor
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 1

Northwestern College capped off a 35-1 season and repeated as NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship in the best way possible Tuesday Night. The No. 2 Red Raiders defeated top-ranked Davenport (Mich.), 88-83. Davenport was the only team to beat Northwestern during the regular season. The Panthers topped the Raiders, 89-80, in Grand Rapids, Mich. earlier this season. “I just think that Davenport’s an outstanding team and it’s a tough spot for them to be in because there’s a little more pressure on them having won that game, coming in undefeated,” Northwestern head coach Earl Woudstra said after the game. “It’s got to be incredibly difficult.” The Red Raiders faced some extra adversity in the championship game. Starters Kendra De Jong and Mel Babcock did not play because of injuries they suffered against GPAC foe Morningside in the semifinal matchup Monday night.. Senior guard Becca Hurley knew the team would be ready for the game even without the two starters. “We are a very deep team,” Hurley said. “We’ve relied on each other all year. No matter who’s on the court, you just play with who’s out there. We trust each other all the way down to the last person.” Northwestern got an all-around effort from the team, helping fill De Jong’s and Babcock’s shoes. Senior Allison Hulst and freshman Samantha Kleinsasser filled in for the injured starters. Kleinsasser played a valuable 19 minutes for the Red Raiders, while Hulst contributed 17 points for Northwestern. Frehsman Mackenzie Small came off the bench for the Raiders and scored 10 points in her 27 minutes of play. Kami Kuhlman scored 21 points for the Raiders. “It was a total team effort today, just rebounding, defending and fighting,” Hurley said. Hurley definitely didn’t show any worry on the court.

The veteran recorded a double-double with game-highs of 32 points and 14 rebounds. She also had seven assists. Hurley came up big from both the free throw line and the 3-point line. She was 9-of-10 shooting the freebies and sank five of her 11 three-point attempts. Small ended a 13-4 Davenport run with a pair of free throws to bring the score to 69-63. That’s when Hurley came through with back-to-back three-point shots that tied the game at 69 with 8:15 to play. It was the Raiders’ first lead since earlier in the half. “We’re never going to think that the game’s over until the buzzer sounds, so we just kept fighting back,” Hurley said. The Raiders finally took the lead with two free throws from Hurley at the 3:59 mark, 77-75. Davenport was not done, though. Kallie Benike answered with a three-pointer of her own to put the Panthers back up, 78-77, with 3:08 to go. Benike led the Panthers with 22 points and nine rebounds. The Panthers also recieved 16 points from Kristi Boehm, 14 points off the bench from Abby Neff and 11 pooints from Riana Hensley. After some more back-and-forth action, Northwestern freshman Alli Dunkelberger scrambled for control of the ball with a Davenport defender and forced a jump ball with 1:39 to play. Davenport was still up, 80-79. Small then came through for Northwestern with a basket that gave the Raiders an 81-80 lead with 1:18 to play. Hurley made 7-of-8 free throws from that point on to assure a Raider victory. She took home the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award and was also named the NAIA Player of the Year. Both teams shot the ball well. Northwestern held a slight advantage, shooting 44.4 percent to Davenport’s

41.4 percent. The Raiders also out-rebounded the Panthers, 46-36. Northwestern out-scored Davenport, 12-2, in second chance points. The championship game drew an attendance of 4,982 at the Tyson Events Center. Most of the fans were Northwestern supporters. “We just had incredible fan support,” Woudstra said. “There was a time when our fans just really got behind our kids and that really gave us the energy to finish the game.” “It’s just a tribute to the great kids that have been able to play basketball at Northwestern,” Woudstra. “We are just really blessed to have quality kids. Woudstra is not only proud of how the Raiders performed all season but also how they’ve carried themselves throughout the success. “Winning is awesome but it’s the kind of character you see in the kids that’s the most important,” Woudstra said.


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Collegiate Corner
Drake Wins First Official American Football Game in Africa
Paul Kirk Drake Athletics Communications Director
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 3

The Drake Bulldogs defeated a team of collegiate all-stars from Mexico’s CONADEIP Conference 17-7 Saturday in the Global Kilimanjaro Bowl, the first organized game of American football played on the continent of Africa. The game kicked off at 1:15 local time in Arusha (5:15 a.m. CDT) and concluded at 4 p.m. (8 a.m., CT). Trailing 7-3 after CONADEIP’s first scoring drive early in the fourth quarter, Drake rallied for two touchdowns in the final period behind freshman third-string quarterback Nick Ens (Grand Rapids, Mich.), who was replacing injured starter Mike Piatkowski (Wheaton, Ill.) and backup Tyler Castro (Aurora, Ill.). Ens led the Bulldogs on a touchdown drive immediately following the CONADEIP score to reclaim the lead, 10-7. He found wide receiver Joey Orlando (Park Ridge, Ill.) for a crucial first down, and then came back to him for an 11-yard touchdown pass. CONADEIP responded by driving to the Drake 2-yard line, but the Bulldogs’ defense stiffened and limited the threat to a potential game-tying field goal attempt, which was botched on a fumbled snap. The all-stars from Mexico reclaimed possession but with four minutes remaining fumbled at their own 19-yard line to set up Drake’s final scoring opportunity. Senior

Patrick Cashmore (Kansas City, Mo.) ran it in from 2 yards out for a 17-7 lead that would hold up as the final score. CONADEIP’s final possession ended when Drake’s Matt Buckley (Oak Forest, Ill.) intercepted a pass attempt with 2:03 remaining, and the Bulldogs then took a knee to run out the clock. A low-scoring game through three quarters turned exciting in the fourth period as the teams scored all three of the game’s touchdowns in the final frame. The CONADEIP All-Stars closed the third quarter with a 49-yard pass play to the Drake 11-yard line and then scored the game’s first touchdown early in the fourth on a rushing play up the middle to take a 7-3 lead. Prior to that point, the game’s only points came via a 27-yard first-quarter field goal by Drake’s Billy Janssen (Round Lake Beach, Ill.). The first half saw each team turn the ball over by defensive takeaway (Drake recovered a fumble; CONADEIP intercepted two passes) and on downs (Drake was stopped on 4th-and-goal inside the 1; CONADEIP failed to execute a fake punt and botched a field-goal attempt). CONADEIP also was whisteled for a variety of penalties in the first half as neither team established a rhythm offensively.

Billy Janssen (kicker, fifth-year senior) models Drake’s uniform for the game (courtesy Global Football).

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Collegiate Corner
Pioneering Success — and Scoring Records — at Grinnell
John Martenson ISC Contributor The numbers are rather impressive, staggering, eye-popping. Numbers reflective of the run-and-gun game the Grinnell College men’s basketball program calls simply “the system.” The 89-point effort turned in by Pioneer junior Griffin Lentsch in Grinnell’s 145-97 win at Principia established a new NCAA III record for points in a game, the NCAA’s third best regardless of division, eclipsing the old record of 77, set by Jeff Clement, also of Grinnell in 1999, ironically in his junior year. Some of the numbers that jump out include 15 made 3’s, a school record 20 of 22 free throws, all in 36 minutes, rather unusual as Grinnell substitutes five-in and five-out quite frequently. But overall, not bad, considering Lentsch’s prior game high was 36 points on three different occasions. Not bad, considering this was GAME ONE of the Pioneer’s 2011-2012 season. Lentsch’s efforts has brought about plenty of national recognition. Among them, a spot for Lentsch in the “Faces In The Crowd” section of the December 1st edition of Sports Illustrated; and Dan Patrick bantered about the feat on his syndicated radio program the following Monday. The win for Grinnell was its first of seven straight, the best start for the program since the 2003-2004 season going into their December 10th contest against Carroll University. That game, according to coach Dave Arsenault, Jr., was a great tone-setter for the season. “I know that it jump-started Griffin in particular that he’s started to play better,” says Arsenault. “Just in terms of getting that big of a number now he’s starting to make shots that…I don’t think he could make at a regular percentage.” Added Arsenault,“It’s been good for the team, of course with all the press that we’ve generated from that kind of scoring outburst has been good. “Griffin shot the ball a little bit better, It’s gotten the guys more excited at least in terms of percentage from about what we do. It’s gotten them the field, but we certainly didn’t need all to really buy into what we’re trying those points to win,” says Arsenault. “It’s to accomplish as a team.” nice that he was able to put on such a Since that time, the Pioneers spectacular shooting display.” have been under 100 once, still a Arsenault said the Forest City, victory at Knox, while Lentsch has Minnesota native wasn’t taking time off scored anywhere from 12 to 29 on defense. “I was impressed with how points in a given game. “It was hard he did play, he was getting after really special to be part of,” says it, he was getting to traps, getting back Arsenault. He actually got off to across half court defensively, getting a slow start. He may have gone some deflections. 1 for 5 to start the game off. We Lentsch has his feet back on the knew that he had the chance for ground after his individual scoring a big number just because we’re effort. “It’s still sinking in,” said Lentsch, going to play him more minutes, “I can’t believe that I would score that but didn’t think 89 points was in many, its been crazy, especially the week the realm of possibility. He got after. He’s not complaining about not things going midway through the scoring as much since that contest. “It first half, took a look at the stat proves were not a one man team. My sheet at halftime and he had 43 teammates are pretty good, too.” At and thought, ‘oh crap, he’s got a Forest Lake, Lentsch averaged 13 points, Griffin Lentsch, Grinnell chance(at the record).” his high being 25. Photo courtesy of Grinnell Arsenault was a student in the What brought Lentsch from just Sports Information Grinnell-Newburg school district north of the Twin Cities area to Grinnell when Clement went for 77 points, College? “My high school coach got me and recalls some of the parallels of the two individual in touch with Coach A.(Dave Arsenault, Sr,), then scoring events. “When Clement scored 77, they I learned more about ‘the system’ and I just fell in needed every single one of those to win the game, a love with it, and decided to come here for that. The 149-144 win against Illinois College,” says Arsenault. best part of attending events on the Grinnell College “He also spent a little more of his time resting. When campus, include Pioneer basketball games is that all we were on defense, and the ball went over half court events are free of charge to the public. There are he really just stayed at one end of the floor. Part of plenty of chances to see Grinnell College games in that was because he was working so hard off screens 2012. You never know what kind of scoring record on offense that he had to break somewhere.” the Pioneers will go after next.


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Volume 13 Issue 10

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Collegiate Corner
Rhoads, Jantz Heroes after Cyclones Defeat Hawkeyes in Triple Overtime
Tim Weideman Editor
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 7

With wins against Nebraska and Texas in his first two years of coaching the Iowa State Cyclones, Paul Rhoads had become a hero to Cyclone Nation. After the Cyclones defeated archrival Iowa, 44-41, in three overtimes, Paul Rhoads stirred something new in Ames. By beating the Hawkeyes, Rhoads and his team gave a proud fan base something to believe in. Most importantly, Rhoads gave Cyclone fans what they’ve been waiting for since 2007 — a win against Iowa. Rhoads believed in his team and now Cyclone Nation does too. After the game, Rhoads wasn’t able to put into words how it felt to defeat the Hawkeyes. Words weren’t necessary for anyone who watched an excited Paul Rhoads lead the student section and fans on the field in a chorus of whoops and hollers that were probably heard from miles away. That and all the high fives after the game probably spoke for themselves. “(In) high school, college you’ve got a student body and those students are out there early, camping out by the gates and they stand up the whole game and support their fellow classmates,” Rhoads said. “They share in this rivalry. They share in this passion. It’s important for our kids to go over there and celebrate with them. It’s important for me to acknowledge them, in my opinion.” Rhoads also said it was hard to find the words to tell his team in the locker room. He said his postgame speech probably wasn’t going to go viral on YouTube anytime soon. “It was probably a downer for the kids,” Rhoads said. “I couldn’t go there. There’s too many things that were emotionally packed into this game to go there.

If I had tried to do that for them it would have been a mess, especially when you’re looking at 100-some kids and half of them are balling because of what they just gave up for you.” Emotions were certainly high in the Iowa State locker room after the game. Most of the players had never beaten Iowa before. Only those who redshirted in 2007 would have experienced the last time Iowa State defeated the Hawkeyes. The Cyclones weren’t supposed to do much in 2011, mostly due to a tremendously tough schedule. But on an afternoon in Ames, with the entire state fixated on what was happening at Jack Trice Stadium, the Cyclones gave their fan base reason to believe in their team. “Our football team overcame unbelievable adversity,” Rhoads said. “You don’t turn the ball over three times twice inside your ten (yard line), miss two field goals against a football program like Iowa and win too many times, unless you have the resolve of the young men that I coach.” Rhoads was especially impressed with the play of JUCO transfer quarterback, Steele Jantz. “Steele Jantz makes plays,” Rhoads said. Jantz made plenty of plays against the Hawkeyes. He completed 25-of-37 passes for 279 yards and four touchdowns. Many of the passes were completed after he scrambled to create time for his receivers to get open. Jantz also had 16 carries for a net total of 42 yards. While that doesn’t sound like much, many of the yards Jantz gained on the ground kept Cyclone drives alive. Though he’s only been in Iowa for a short time, the impact of the win is not lost on Jantz.

Iowa State QB Steele Jantz scrambles toward the endzone. Jantz gave the Hawkeyes fits on the ground and through the air. Jantz led the Cyclones to a triple overtime victory over Iowa. (Photo by Sam Taylor/Impact Imagery)

“I kind of got a sense of it before the game,” Jantz said. “If that wasn’t enough, definitely after the game brought home the message of how important it is to everyone.” Like Rhoads, Jantz couldn’t find words for how he felt when James White scampered into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown. “You can’t describe that feeling,” Jantz said. “It’s not only happy for yourself but just the team and all the fans there so it’s really an indescribable feeling.” Again, perhaps it’s only necessary to look to the post-game celebration on the field. To borrow Neil Diamond’s words: “Oh, sweet Caroline, good times never seemed so good.”

Iowa vs. Iowa State Game Day: A true gridiron glory harvest since 1894. It’s about how you grow up, it’s about sharing a common heritage – hard work and good values. All of Iowa’s fields are important, but on Game Day, one field just happens to take precedence.

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Volume 13 Issue 10


Collegiate Corner
UNI Gearing Up for a National Championship Run
Eduardo Zamarripa Staff Writer
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 8

Playing for Northern Iowa Football comes with loaded expectations. After 4-1 start and a No. 2 national FCS ranking, the Panthers are aware that the target is on their back. “We try to instill in our players that when you come and play for Northern Iowa, we’re going to be a target, “said UNI Head Coach Mark Farley. “We are going to get their best shot.” So far, the Panthers remain unfazed. After a gut-wrenching 19-20 season-opening loss to Division I member Iowa State, UNI has reeled off four consecutive wins. Looking sharper each week. The Panthers earned their first win of the season on the road against an athletic Stephen F. Austin squad, 34-23. Since then, the Panthers outscored their next three opponents by a combined margin of 103-26. Including a convincing 23-9 victory over Missouri Valley Conference rival and No.17 ranked Indiana States. After climbing up the No. 2 ranking in the country, Farley talked about the importance of being concerned with how they play and not who they are playing in order to continue their success. “Our opponent will always play at a higher level. It’s how we play, not who we play,” Farley said. One of the reasons the Panthers have been successful on offense this season has been the play of senior quarterback Tirrell Rennie. Rennie has proved to be a dual-threat this season, leading the team in rushing yards (534) and passing yards (825). Rennie has rushed for five scores and thrown for five touchdowns as well, without throwing an interception so far this season. “We really have bought into the system this year,”

Rennie said. “The O-line has been doing a phenomenal job blocking. The wide receivers have been doing a great job catching.” C Rennie talked about the importance of getting familiarized with the playbook and how that has helped him succeed. “I’m more comfortable with the plays. I don’t think about the routes, I know them in my head,” Rennie said. “I’m just reacting to the defense.” Another important contributor in the Panther offense has proved to be redshirt freshman David Johnson. Johnson has rushed for a team-high six touchdowns and leads all running backs in rushing yards (485). And while the offense has been electric, the Panther defense has been very impressive as well. The UNI defense is allowing less than 14 points per game and has allowed only two touchdowns in the last three games. “Our defense is doing a great job,” Rennie said. “It makes it easy for us to come out and play the game. We don’t have to force anything.” Senior linebacker L.J. Fort has been the presence in the middle for the Panthers, leading the way with 63 total tackles. Redshirt senior defensive lineman Ben Boothby has provided the consistent pass-rush. Boothby leads the team in sacks with 6.5 Despite the impressive numbers put up by the Panthers, Farley still believes there is a lot of room for improvement for the Panthers. A scary thought considering how well the Panthers have fared so far this season. “We can improve in a lot of areas. Our defense, our pass rushers and we can do a better job in our offensive play,” Farley said. “We have to be able to be aggressive without getting penalties.

As the season progresses, the Panthers will have to face the pressure of holding such a high ranking and being expected to win each week. Taking games one at a time will be pivotal if the Panthers want to remain undefeated in conference play. “The goal is to stay involved with the team we play each Saturday,” Farley said. “We’re UNI’s David Johnson in a good spot right now. How do we handle being in this spot? Just deal with issues of each day.” And as they continue to do that, new leaders have emerged every week. “Each week is a new leader. We’re playing really well right now,” Farley said. “Everybody is stepping up to the plate. Everybody is contributing.” As long as that continues and the Panthers remain focused, the expectations will keep increasing and a trip to the national championship is the goal. “We expect to win our conference. We expect to make the playoffs,” Rennie said. “A realistic goal? It doesn’t get more realistic that being in that national championship game.”

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Minor But Major ‘One More Year:’ Coach Nurse Wants Repeat for Energy
Joe Earp Des Moines Sports Freaks
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 3

“ONE MORE YEAR! ONE MORE YEAR!” As Coach Nick Nurse chanted a hopeful prediction for 2012, his Iowa Energy took the stage to receive their Championship trophy. The chants rang off the roof of Wells Fargo Arena, confetti flew from both ends of the court, and most of the crowd still could not believe what just happened. The Iowa Energy toughed out a gutsy performance to beat the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the NBA D-League Final, 119-111. The Energy seemed to find ways to answer every basket the Vipers made. There were 18 lead changes in the first half alone, and although the Vipers were up by 11 at one point, in large part to draining 10 three pointers in the half, the Energy continued to claw their way back, getting points in the paint, and keeping the game close. The Energy never led in the first half by more than three points, but ended up going into the half up by one, 62-61. Matt Janning, starting forward for the Vipers, seemed a man possessed. Three times he ran down the court, stood still beyond the arch, and waited for the ball. Three times, he caught the ball, shot it, and hit nothing but the bottom of the net. Three times, he was barely guarded. If Janning wasn’t spotting up, Jon Scheyer and Jerel McNeal were going coast to coast without hardly any contention, straight to the hoop, for easy layups. It seemed as

though the Energy were playing on wasted legs, not really into the game. But they continued to keep the game close. And then the unthinkable happened. The D-League MVP, Curtis Stinson, brought the ball up the court with just shy of seven minutes left in the first quarter. Near the top of the key, he drove hard left, starting falling to the floor, and smacked the top of his head into Patrick Sullivan’s knee. Over 9,000 Photo by Joe Earp people in attendance held their breath. Both players remained down for several minutes, but eventually both walked off the court under their own power. But Curtis Stinson, always a hustler, always a fighter, never fully recovered from the fall. The MVP and emotional leader of the team played just under 19 minutes of the entire game, and finished with five points, four assists, and two rebounds. Going into the fourth quarter, you could feel the nervousness of the crowd as the Energy were outscored 27 to 19 in the third quarter, down seven. Then the Energy decided to pour it on. They completely owned the Vipers in the fourth, outscoring them 38 to 23. They couldn’t miss. They couldn’t do anything wrong. With Curtis

Stinson injured, the Energy turned to Stefhon Hannah, easily the game’s MVP. Drive after drive, basket after basket, free throw after free throw, Hannah kept the Energy in the game throughout the second half, finishing with 31 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Michael Haynes was a monster in the paint, recording 21 points and eight boards. Shy Ely finished with 17 points and was a perfect eight for eight from the free throw line, where the Energy finished the game 34 of 43, or just shy of 80 percent. The Energy wanted this game more. They seemed to learn their lesson from a tough Game 2 loss. Play the entire game. Don’t anticipate victory…earn it. Hustle. The Energy played with that message on Friday night, and came away with their first D-League Championship trophy. Congratulations to Curtis Stinson, the NBA D-League MVP. Congratulations to Coach Nurse, the NBA D-League Coach of the Year. And congratulations to the Iowa Energy, your NBA D-League Champions. In the words of Coach Nurse…one more year.


Volume 13 Issue 10

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Minor But Major
Dubuque Fighting Saints Win USHL Clark Cup
Brian Werger USHL; Iowa Sports Connection
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 3

It was a historic night in Dubuque, Iowa as the Clark Cup will make its home here for at least the next year as the Dubuque Fighting Saints won Game Four of the Clark Cup Final to win the best-of-five series 3-1 over the Green Bay Gamblers. “It’s awesome, coming out here as an expansion team with a bunch of players you don’t know – we played an awesome season and we deserved it,” said forward John Gaudreau. It was back-and-forth during the first period as both teams had quality chances but neither club could light the lamp. Dubuque went into the first intermission with a 13-10 shot advantage but the game was scoreless after 20 minutes of play. “A couple things that we said before the game was ‘refuse to be denied and you will break their will.’ It was a great environment on home ice, but Green Bay came hard and kept pushing, but we pushed right back,” said Head Coach Jim Montgomery. Not long into the second period, the offense came alive as C.J. Eick scored his second goal in as many nights to give the Gamblers a 1-0 lead just 33 seconds into the frame. It was the second consecutive night that Green Bay tallied the first goal of the game. It would be all Dubuque after that as Tyler Lundey scored his second goal in as many nights to pull the game even midway through the period. Three minutes later, captain T.J. Schlueter scored his first goal of the playoffs to put the Saints ahead 2-1. “I picked a very good time, but I got a great feed from Sooth and got that back door goal,” Schlueter. “Then I got a lucky one in the second period on a

ricochet off the boards. I am glad to have them and love to contribute and help the team win.” Early in the third period, Schlueter kept the hot hand as he netted a power play goal just 1:50 into the frame. John Doherty kept the momentum going as he put in an outstanding individual effort to bury his second goal of the playoffs. Gaudreau added an empty net Dubuque Fighting Saints coaches and players pose for a picture with the Clark goal late in the period Cup. Dubuque won the series, 3-1. Photo courtesy of USHL. and Shane Walsh trophy that any of us wanted,” Morris said. netted a goal for good It was the largest crowd to see a game in the measure much to the pleasure of the standing history of Dubuque hockey as 3,480 fans packed room only crowd. the Mystique Ice Center and watched the home “It is unbelievable. I don’t think I could have club win their third game in a row to capture the picked a better team or better group of guys that Clark Cup. The last time the USHL’s coveted prize work harder, practice harder every day, and I can’t took residence in Dubuque was 26 years ago, think of a better coach I have had ever in my life,” following the 1984-85 season when the original said goaltender Matt Morris. Dubuque Fighting Saints captured the trophy for Morris made 37 saves, his highest total of the the second time. playoffs, to earn the win. He also garnered Clark “They were into it. I have never seen so many Cup Playoff MVP honors as he posted a 9-2 record fans here at 6:00 already and they were loud with with a 1.53 GAA and a League playoff best .943 the ‘Let’s go Saints’ chants and it never stopped. SV%. They gave us so much energy,” Montgomery said. “It is a huge honor and I am very proud of it, but at the end of the day, the Clark Cup was the only

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Minor But Major
Des Moines Celebrates Hellickson’s Award-Winning Season
Tim Weideman Editor
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 8

It was quite the scene at OverTime Neighborhood Hub.
Everybody was fixated on the game. This wasn’t your normal sports bar environment, with TVs featuring different games and patrons watching whichever they like. No, everyone wanted to watch Des Moines’ own Jeremy Hellickson take the mound for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Texas Rangers in the first round of the MLB playoffs. OverTime is definitely a Tampa Bay Rays fans’ paradise when Jeremy Hellickson takes the mound. The establishment features a large poster of Hellickson as a declaration of its allegiance to the 24-year-old Iowan who graduated from Hoover High School in Des Moines. Everybody was hoping for Hellickson to add to an already impressive rookie season. Unfortunately, the Rangers’ sluggers took him deep three times for three runs and knocked him out of the game in four innings. It was not the bright ending to a season that Hellickson’s hometown fans hoped for but that doesn’t subtract from the amazing year he had. The celebration was subdued but only until next year. Hellickson was named MLB’s Rookie of the Year by Baseball America. He finished the year with a 13-10 record, a stellar 2.95 ERA, two complete games and one shutout.

Hellickson is the seventh pitcher to be named Rookie of the Yeary by Baseball America since the publications created the award in 1989. He’s the first pitcher to win the award since Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers won the award after his rookie year in 2006. Only time will tell if Hellickson Jeremy Hellickson has worked his way to the “Big Show” and is a thrill for can keep the Iowans to watch. momentum from his season-and-awatching Hellickson for many years to come. half in the Majors. So far, Hellickson is 17-10 The young hurler’s best years are ahead of with a 3.04 ERA. While the record in his second him. season may not impress upon first inspection, Who knows? The Tampa Bay Rays have remember that Hellickson had a terrific ERA. If proven to be contenders in the past few the Rays can support him with their bats, he’ll years. Iowans may be watching Hellickson provide the shutdown pitching. much further into the postseason next year. One thing is for sure: Iowans will have a blast


Volume 13 Issue 7

Pit Pass
Brett Moffitt Rising in NASCAR Ranks
Tim Weideman Editor
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 3

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is quite the step up from where Brett Moffitt, a native of Grimes, Iowa, began his racing career—racing go-karts. But Moffitt has gotten off on the right foot ever since his debut in the series in 2009. After stints with Andy Santerre Motorsports (2009) and Joe Gibbs Racing (2010), Moffitt finds himself driving for Michael Waltrip Racing, where he’s looking to have his best year yet in the series. After four races this season, Moffitt has two wins and a second-place finish. He led every lap en route to winning the season-opener April 2 at Greenville Pickens. Two weeks later, an accident resulted in a 24th-place finish April 17 at South Boston. Moffitt rebounded the next week by finishing second at Richmond. Undoubtedly for Moffitt, one of the season’s early highlights, and perhaps a highlight of his NASCAR career, came May 22 when he won at the Iowa Speedway. Moffitt was the first Iowan to win a race at the track. Moffitt can now say he’s won a race at his home track but he’s always loved having the opportunity to race there. “Having the Iowa Speedway is amazing,” says Moffitt. “It’s a lot of fun being able to (race) in front of my home crowd. All the fans in Iowa always pack in there for (the K&N) race. It’s a lot of fun, not only having a big crowd, but a big crowd that’s cheering for me. It’s cool seeing when I’m passing people everyone’s up on their feet.”

So far on pace to have his best year in the K&N Pro Series, Moffitt may find a more permanent home with a team, rather than bounce around like he has done in the past. “The higher up you go, the more weededout it kind of gets,” says Moffitt. He adds that the better drivers perform, the more likely it is that they’ll stick around longer and that the team will sign them on for longer periods of time. “It’s all about initially finding your home of where you fit in best and where not only it’s that the company Brett Moffitt completes a lap May 21 at the Iowa Speedway during has a place for you down the Pork ‘Be Inspired’ 175 NASCAR K&N Pro Series combination the road, but where you event. Moffitt won the race, leading 138 of 175 laps. can see yourself, you know, driving for that organization down the championship—and maybe a promotion. road,” says Moffitt. “Hopefully if we keep the results up like we’ve Moffitt is waiting to see how this season goes been doing, you know, keep running up front before thinking about moving to a bigger series, and extremely strong every weekend, hopefully such as the Nationwide Series. Moffitt’s early they’ll have that opening come about hopefully success has him in a tight battle for top spot by the end of the year, maybe into next year,” in the points standings, which could lead to a says Moffitt.

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Volume 13 Issue 10


Pit Pass Michael Annett Gains Momentum in NASCAR Nationwide Series
Tim Weideman Editor
Originally published in Volume 13 Issue 5

The 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series season did not start how Des Moines, Iowa native Michael Annett and his Rusty Wallace Racing team would have preferred. However, as the season has progressed, Annett and the No. 62 team have turned things around. He has notched top 10 finishes in the last four races and five of the last six with a season- and career-high finish of sixth at Daytona July 1. The only recent blemish was a 19th-place finish at Michigan June 18. Other than that, Annett has been golden. His recent success has allowed the team to focus on finishing well in the series point standings. “We’re just going to more and more tracks that I like throughout the summer and I’m planning on just using this momentum to keep making up those points we need to,” says Annett. As to what exactly caused the rough start to the year, Annett is not sure. But he knows that his team is now competing at their full potential. “I can’t point my finger at one thing,” says Annett of the races earlier this season. “We knew as a team all year that we could do it. We had the equipment, the personnel. We had everything in place to run consistently in the top 10 and we just weren’t putting it together. We weren’t putting whole weekends together, whole races together.” Annett’s luck changed beginning with a June 4 race at Chicagoland Speedway, when he was able to crack the top 10 for the first time in 2011 with a 9th-place finish. Annett says that’s when things started to click. “We did it at Chicago a little over a month ago

and once you do it one time you’re like, ‘OK, we can do this,’” says Annett. “People talk a lot in racing about how you need to learn how to win and once you learn how to win they just keep coming. You get that first one and more and more come. For us, it was we need to start at top 10s, we got one and more and more came.” After Chicago, Annett was running strong at Michigan but a bumper cover came off and caused issues, resulting in a 19th-place finish. After that, he finished seventh at Road America, sixth at Daytona and recorded seventh-place finishes at Kentucky and New Hampshire. Now that the top 10s are coming consistently, Annett and his team have set a goal to finish in the top five on a regular basis. That will put the team in position to win races, says Annett. “We put ourselves in position to be in the top five at the end of the race and we’re going to be in position to win races,” says Annett.

Michael Annett (left) talks with Rusty Wallace Racing teammate Steve Wallace. Annett has raced well over the last few weeks and hopes to continue the hot streak. (Photo courtesy of Autostock Images)

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Health & Fitness
Strength Training in the Young Athlete
Jeff Davick, MD Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons, P.C. Parents and coaches of young athletes often ask, “When is it safe to start strength training?” Strength training in young athletes has become a hot topic due to increasing demands in younger age groups. Numerous facilities and programs are now in place specifically to provide strength and conditioning for young athletes. Many youth are becoming more sport specialized at an earlier age which predisposes them to overuse injuries. Jeff Davick, MD “Specialized” athletes also tend to be involved in multiple teams, which can also increase the risk of injury. The push for strength and conditioning is to help improve performance and prevent injuries. The question for younger athletes is whether strength training is safe, helpful or harmful. Strength training is the use of resistance to increase the muscle’s ability to exert a force. Strength training can be achieved with free weights, weight machines or exercises using the athlete’s own body weight. Strength training is distinctly different from body building and power lifting. The benefits of strength training are to increase strength and endurance. Strength training can also protect an athlete from injury and improve athletic performance. Strength training will strengthen bones and boost metabolism. It also helps lead to improved self esteem and promote a healthier lifestyle. An appropriate strength
Originally Published in Volume 13 Issue 3

and fitness program will include cross training, nutrition, hydration and appropriate rest. Strength training can be started as early as age 8. It is important for the young athlete to have the balance to perform the strength training activities. The athlete also needs to have the maturity to follow directions. Appropriate coaching is also a must for proper form and technique. A common misconception in strength training of the young athlete is that preadolescent athletes cannot benefit from strength training because of insufficient circulating levels of androgens. Androgens are hormones that influence growth and development. Puberty is associated with a significant increase in the production of androgens. The onset of puberty varies greatly in children and can range from age 13 to 18 in boys and age 11 through 16 in girls. Prior to reaching puberty, young athletes involved in strength training will not see a significant increase in muscle hypertrophy or size. Strength training in athletes that have not reached puberty results in an increase in the nerve activation of muscle, which results in an increase in muscle adaptation and coordination. This in turn leads to an increase in athletic performance and also helps with the body’s ability to protect itself from injury. After puberty when an athlete reaches adolescence, strength training will cause muscle hypertrophy which means that the actual size of the muscle will increase. Another misconception is that strength training is dangerous in the young athlete. Again, it is important to distinguish strength training from power lifting. In an immature athlete, power lifting heavy weights can lead to problems in the growth plates of growing

bones, including the low back. Growth plates are areas of cartilage within bones that allow for growth of the bone. Repetitive stress against a growth plate can lead to a growth plate injury, possible stunting the growth of the bone. Improper training and excessive loading of the immature skeletal system can lead to injuries but needs to be distinguished from a supervised strength training program that demands proper supervision, form and technique. Studies show that supervised strength training is no riskier than sports in causing a growth plate injury. Heavy overhead lifting and squats in an immature athlete can lead to stress fractures in the low back. Supervised strength training, however, can prevent low back injuries, especially when it is focused on core abdominal strength. In summary, strength training is appropriate for the young athlete. Proper strength training will increase muscle adaptation and coordination and help improve athletic performance as well as protecting the athlete from injury. Power lifting and body building are not the same as strength training and should be discouraged in the immature athlete. The most important aspect of a strength training program is proper supervision, stressing good form and technique as well as outlining realistic goals. A proper strength training program will increase strength and endurance, improve performance and help promote a healthier lifestyle for the young athlete. Dr. Davick practice emphasizes the care of sports injuries. Dr. Davick volunteers as a team physician for local school and Simpson College. To reach Dr. Davick or to schedule an appointment please phone 515-2245218.

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Shaina Marnell, ‘12 Hanover Park, IL

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stUdent FocUsed – graduating students with less debt than any other private institution in Iowa excellent FacIlItIes – completing $75 million in Phase I construction of classrooms, residence halls, and a student center globally avaIlable – offering degrees through 16 U.S. educational centers and 3 international locations onlIne excellence – nationally ranked among top online degree-granting universities by Online Education Database and repeatedly rated for “best buy” programs by

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