Our professional staff of journalists reports on collegiate athletes. Why? Because as long as your favorite collegiate athletes are out strutting ther stuff, we believe you should know about it. Often, while these athletes are out pursuing athletic and academic excellence, their local newspapers may not have the resources to document those achievements.That doesn't stop us. We go the extra mile to contact the universities, coaches and athletes to bring you their stories. If you are interested in having your local college atthletes appear on our website, please contact us via e-mail.

Marion County College Report

Fireworks Will Appear on the Fourth

Tomorrow on Independence Day, Andrew Langenfeld, a Centralia graduate and Purdue University swimmer, will swim the most important 100-meter butterfly of his life in Omaha, Neb. Langenfeld will enter his preliminary heat of the United States Olympic Trials as the 87th-ranked swimmer in the event with a career best time of 55.3 seconds, but Langenfeld is hoping for much better. The race is slated to start at 11 a.m. CST on July 4.

"I just want to see 54 seconds in print," Langenfeld said. "I don't care if it is 54.99, just so it is in the 54's. I feel like I am ready. It will be interesting to swim in front of all those people on Friday morning.

I am better in the short pool because I can kick off the wall a number of times. In this race, I will be able to kick off the wall once. I will have to swim the race a little bit differently."

One month ago, Langenfeld swam at the Mutual of Omaha Invitational, a meet featuring several swimmers interested in testing the pool for the trials. Langenfeld swam a time of 55.7 in the race before beginning to taper. After swimming in the prelims of the event, he advanced to the consolation final and finished in the top 16.

"I need to get a good warm-up in, first and foremost," Langenfeld said. "I would have liked to have made it in the 50-yard freestyle as well."

The top 16 times which are recorded in the 100-meter butterfly on Friday will advance to the semifinals. That race will take place at 7 p.m. CST. The final eight will advance to the finals with the top two earning the qualifying spots for the United States Olympic Team. The top time in the 100-meter belongs to Michael Phelps, who has completed the race in 51.04 seconds. He is not only the American record holder, but the world record holder as well.

"Some of the athletes that have recorded the qualifying times have done it within the last few years," Langenfeld said. "I don't know if they will all be there, but I just want to swim my best."

The year has been an interesting one for the former Orphans star turned West Virginia Mountaineer turned Purdue Boilermaker. It was the first year that he did not earn NCAA Division I All-American status because of an emergency appendix operation on Feb. 15. Langenfeld joins eight other Purdue swimmers at the prelims and is back where he was before the operation.

Back where he was and then some.

If you are not fortunate enough to be in Omaha to witness the Centralia resident swim live, you have another option. If you own a computer and you have the correct software downloaded, you can watch Langenfeld swim via Internet. Simply go to www.nbcolympics.com and access the National Broadcasting Center (NBC) Internet broadcast. ...

Another Centralia grad, Brian Dinkelman, has a reason to celebrate this week as well. Dinkelman, a minor league baseball player with the Minnesota Twins, was promoted to the Class AA affiliate in the middle of June. Thus far, the New Britain Rock Cats hitter has played in 12 games and has a .213 batting average. He has 10 hits (one double), four runs scored, three RBI and two walks.

In the final Rock Cats game in the month of June, Dinkelman had his first multiple hit game on the Class AA level, finishing 2-for-5 in New Britain's 13-8 loss to Reading. Dinkelman scored twice and drove home one run in the contest.

New Britain is 35-48 sitting in fifth place in the Eastern League-Northern Division. The team is 14.5 games behind league leading Trenton.

Dinkelman finished his time with the Fort Myers (Fla.) Miracle with a .293 batting average. The former Orphans infielder earned the promotion to the Connecticut-based club by belting 68 hits (18 doubles, two triples, two homers), finishing his stay with 44 runs scored, 33 walks, 19 RBI and 10 stolen bases. Dinkelman also had an on-base percentage of .399 and a slugging percentage of .414. ...


If you have any names to add to this edition of the College Report, please forward them to Dan62293@cs.com. I am collecting names for the fall months as well. The column is slated to return if we have enough sponsors to justify its return. We have already started looking for sponsors.

When forwarding me an athlete's name, please include not only the name of the athlete, but the college/university they are attending, the former high school and the sport they are playing. We will have an article on Saturday morning as well, detailing how Langenfeld fared in Friday’s Olympic Trials. ...