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|1/5/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
|Area athletes find success on the college scene|
By Ross Eberhart
Success was everywhere you looked for area athletes in 2012 and that extends to those former Observer-area athletes who now showcase their many talents on the college stage.
More than 20 former Sabers, Rebels and Warriors took part in a fall sport in 2012 with many finding plenty of prosperity.
Leading the way were three athletes (one from each of the area's three high schools) who took part in national competitions.
In his senior season with the St. Ambrose men's cross country team, former Cal-Wheat standout Jay Whitmore, helped the Bees clinch the program's second-highest finish at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships as they took 27th with 712 points.
Whitmore, who finished with a time of 29:08 at nationals, added a top-20 finish at the Midwest Collegiate Conference (MCC) meet where the Fighting Bees won their first conference title since 2009.
Also competing for a national cross country championship was North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) freshman Matt Bowman.
The former Rebel finished 205th at the meet with a time of 30:01 as the Trojans took fifth as a team at the NJCAA national meet.
Bowman had one of his best meets at the regional meet as he took 15th overall with a time of 27:49.
This fall marked the second-straight year the Cornell College volleyball team made the NCAA Division III national tournament.
The two trips have coincided with the first two years of Rachel Henning's time with the squad.
The former Saber took part in 15 matches this season and had 12 kills, seven digs and five blocks for the Rams, who won the Midwest Conference Tournament en route to their second trip to nationals.
Two other Central grads - Joe Feldpausch and Tom McClimon - experienced their own trip to the postseason as they took part in the Salt City Bowl as part of the Iowa Central Community College football team.
Both sophomores had strong seasons. Feldpausch, who played safety, recorded 13 tackles - nine of them solo - and picked off a pair of passes against North Dakota State College of Science. Feldpausch also scored a touchdown in the Tritons' bowl game with Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College when he recovered a blocked punt in the end zone.
A fullback, McClimon scored a touchdown of his own during the Tritons' game with Dakota College (Bottineau) and had a season-high 33 yards against North Dakota State College of Science.
Wrapping up his college career with Luther College was former Rebel, Reece Rickertsen.
Rickertsen was one of the most experienced college lineman in the state regardless of school size. The senior already had two years of playing experience under his belt before he started every game this season at right tackle for the Norse.
Another former player that started every game this season was 2009 Central graduate Casey Kreiter, who recently finished up his second season as the University of Iowa football team's long snapper.
Kreiter had seven tackles for the Hawkeyes this season with three of them being solo stops.
One of Kreiter's former Saber teammates, Spencer Hicks, saw action on the offensive line in six games for the University of Northern Iowa and started at right guard for the Panthers in their game with Southern Illinois.
Another Central alumnus, Levi Spain, was part of the Central College football team.
Along with Rickertsen, Northeast had two other former football players strive in the college ranks this year.
Junior C.J. Herrington played in three games at tight end for the Wartburg football team and started one against Buena Vista where he caught a pass for eight yards.
Sophomore Kyle Hoffman, meanwhile, saw action in five games for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville football team, which went 8-2 on the season. The defensive lineman had two tackles and a sack in the Pioneers' victory over Buena Vista.
Two former Sabers joined Henning on the volleyball courts this fall.
Sophomore Kassie Prier did a little bit of everything during her year with the Clinton Community College volleyball team as she recorded 19 kills, 15 assists, 10 digs, three blocks and two aces.
It was the first season for Coe freshman Meghan McClimon, but the former Saber still saw action in one varsity match for the Kohawks this fall, recording 11 digs to go with a kill and a block.
The area was also represented on the collegiate soccer fields this past fall.
Former Rebel and current Scott Community College sophomore Sarah Schoon started 13 games for the Eagles as a defender and attempted one shot.
Another sophomore, Christie Wiese, saw action in five games for Elmhurst (Ill.) College and recorded three shots. One of those shots from the former Saber found the back of the net as Wiese scored an unassisted goal during the Bluejays' win over Westminster (Mo.) College.
Madison Cousins, a 2012 Central graduate, meanwhile, saw action in one game during her first year with the University of Dubuque women's soccer team.
Another recently graduated Saber also found success at Dubuque, as distance standout Jordan Murray led an extremely young Spartan men's cross country team.
Murray was the University of Dubuque's top finisher at both the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) meet and the NCAA Division III regional meet (all seven Spartan participants at the latter event were freshmen).
Murray posted a season-best time of 27:23 at the Brissman/Lundeen Invitational, a clocking that puts him 15th all-time in program history.
Finishing just 12 spots back of Murray at the IIAC meet was Wartburg sophomore and former Rebel, Seth Mommsen, who finished 92nd overall for the Knights.
Another Northeast alum, Ryan Krogmann, also finished high at his conference meet as the University of Northern Iowa senior finished second on the team and 26th overall at the Missouri Valley Conference meet with a time of 25:36.
The Iowa State women's cross country team finished 11th at the NCAA Division I national championships and they did it without the service of Rebel standout Morgan Casey, who took a redshirt this season to work back from injury.
The final area athlete that saw action this fall was Matt Zimmer, who took (and is still taking) part with the Lees-McRae cycling team.
The mountain bike, track and cyclocross portions of the season take place in the fall and winter with the road season starting up in mid-February and concluding in the spring.
If there is an individual I missed, feel free to let me know, so they too can be recognized for finishing off a strong 2012.
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