Colleges: Prairie State repeats as men’s tennis Region IV champ
By Dennis Nelson For Sun-Times Media May 1, 2014 7:04PM
Updated: June 3, 2014 6:41AM
The Prairie State men’s tennis team became the first program in school history to win back-to-back Region IV championships.
The Pioneers narrowly edged Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference foe Moraine Valley by a two points Saturday in Palos Hills. They also are the first program in school history to win two region titles.
“Going into the season, I thought we were one of the top teams in the region, but at the end of the season, three of our top players suffered bad injuries in a match against Vincennes University,” Prairie State coach Patrick Reichard said. “So, going into the regional tournament, I really didn’t have a lot of confidence. We lost a match against College of DuPage, and Moraine Valley seemed to get better as the season went on.”
In singles play, sophomore Kodie Hayes (Homewood-Flossmoor), earned the Region IV title at fifth singles, while fellow sophomore Jeremy Horvath (Crete-Monee) was first at No. 6 singles. Hayes and Horvath are the first Pioneers to be part of two region championship teams.
“Jeremy Horvath has been the heart and soul of this team for two years,” Reichard said. “He’ll be one to watch at nationals.”
Hernandez, Wallace qualify for national meet
St. Xavier freshman Abel Hernandez and senior Jordan Wallace qualified for the NAIA national track and field championship meet based on their performances at the Eagle Twilight Invitational at Benedictine in Lisle.
Hernandez, a Shepard grad, ran a 30:47.52 in the 10,000-meter run to qualify.
“I am running out of adjectives to describe Abel’s performances on a weekly basis,” St. Xavier coach Ed McAllister said. “He is beyond my expectations for this season and continues to surprise, more by his ‘grit’ than his actual runs. He will be a name that you will be hearing for a long time.”
Wallace qualified in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The Lincoln-Way North grad finished second overall in the event with a time of 11:31.55. It marks the third time in her collegiate career she has qualified in the event.
Thompson wins individual CCAC title
St. Xavier’s Taylor Thompson shot a two-day total of 160 to capture the individual title at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference women’s golf championship at Gleneagles Golf Course in Lemont. The freshman overcame a four-stroke deficit after the first day of competition.
Lewis’ Sweeney freshman of the year
Lewis’ Rachel Sweeney was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference women’s freshman golfer of the year. In 19 rounds this season, Sweeney averaged 79.68. She had five top-five finishes, including a win at the Regis Spring Invitational a month ago in Colorado.