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Marion County College Report

Travis Lavin Aiming to break 26-Minute Barrier

McKendree University runner Travis Lavin has probably not run too many English Cross Country Races.

But the Southeastern Cross Country Classic held in Louisville at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park came pretty close. After all there was mud, standing water and a stiff wind blowing, according to according to McKendree Coach Neal West. All they needed to complete the picture were the hay bales.

Even with the Mother Nature-created obstacles, Lavin finished the 8,000-meter course in 26-minutes, 2.55-seconds. He finished 12th overall and was McKendree's second runner to finish the race.

"I was happy with my race," Lavin said. "I wanted to run 25:50 and had it been nice weather, I probably would have done it. It will be my goal for the next race as well. We want to win the American Midwest Conference finals and get a bid to NAIA Nationals."

As a team, McKendree finished third with 109 points. Bryan College finished first with 72 points and Shorter College took second with 77.

"I told our runners to take off 20 seconds and that is probably closer to the time they would have run in good weather," said West, who suited up for Centralia over 20 years ago. "I followed Travis during his high school career. His improvement during the last month has been nothing short of amazing. We are a young team, but we are counting on these athletes heavily."

West has only one junior and one senior in his top seven. The other runners are all freshmen and sophomores. ...

The Kaskaskia College cross country team traveled to the Border Wars Cross Country Championships hosted by Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. The KC men and women each finished in fourth place.

The Blue Angels finished with 114 points, while the Blue Devils finished with 150 points. The women's meet was won by Bradley University (26) and Paradise Valley won the men's title (20).

For the KC women, Salem grad Mollie Owen finished 28th in the 5K race. Fellow Salem grads Danielle Helm and Jennifer Liggett, also KC runners, cracked the top 40 as well. Helm finished 34th, finishing in 22:44.17, while Liggett finsihed 39th in 26:02.80.

Former Salem runner Jordan Jones finished 37th, touruing the 8K course in 29:12.84. Salem grad Tyler Hopkins as well as Centralia grads Cameron Davis and Corey Meyer also competed for KC. Hopkins crossed the finish line in 32:11.36, while Davis finished in 35:07.97 and Meyer in 35:30.89. They were 47th, 49th and 50th, respectively. ...

Swimming

Centralia grad Lindsay Dinkelman helped Illinois State win its first dual meet of the year, beating Northern Iowa 194-106. The former Annie won both the 100-yard breastroke (1:09.22) and 200-yard breastroke (2:30.40). She was also a member of the 200-yard medley relay, which swam to victory in 1:52.23. ...

Golf

Salem grads Taylor Landers and Mallorie Cummings helped the Rend Lake College women's golf team finish 10th in the Missouri-St. Louis Triton Invitationa at the Gateway National Golf Course.

Landers was named to the all-tournament team after finishing ninth overall with an 81-74—155. Cummings took 55th with an 89-81—170.

Their former Salem teammate, McKendree senior Miranda Gibson, finished 82nd with a 94-84—178. The team battle was won by UMSL with a 629. Rend Lake College shot a 666, while McKendree finished 14th with a 691. ...

Former Salem golfer Zach Phillips and Centralia grad Michael Fowler both competed at the Illinois-Springfield Invite recently. Phillips, who golfs for UIS, finished 31st with a 157 with a 78 in the final round. Fowler, a Maryville University freshman, finished 44th with an 82-79—161 on the The Rail Golf Course. As a team, Illinois-Springfield finished fourth by carding a 601. Maryville was eighth with a 620. University of Wisconsin-Parkside finished first with a 581. ...

Football

Centralia grad Scott Schneider had two tackles (one solo) as his college team, Greenville College, defeated MacMurray College 38-30 to improve to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference-South Division. ...

Names, Names, Names

If you know of an athlete that is competing in college that is from Marion County, they are eligible to be included in this column. The athlete has to be a resident of Marion County or a graduate of Centralia, Salem, Patoka, Odin or Sandoval High Schools. The other requirement for the athlete to be included is the athlete must be an intercollegiate athlete, meaning their chose school competes against other schools. We are currently looking for winter athletes to fill up the column.

If you want to add an athlete, please e-mail me (Dan62801@aol.com). I will need the name of the athlete, the former high school, the current college they are attending and of course, the sport they are playing. Please put "Marion County College Report" in the subject line of the e-mail.