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Sports briefs

Taryn Christy became the first cross country All-American in University of Illinois-Springfield history last weekend by placing 36th in the Division II national championships in Sacramento, California. Both of her parents are Creston High School graduates.
Taryn Christy became the first cross country All-American in University of Illinois-Springfield history last weekend by placing 36th in the Division II national championships in Sacramento, California. Both of her parents are Creston High School graduates.


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The University of Illinois Springfield cross country program crowned its first All-American in program history on Saturday morning in Sacramento, California. Taryn Christy earned a top-40 finish at the NCAA Division II National Championship to clinch the honor. Blake Jones also had a program-first by being the first male runner to compete at nationals.

Christy is the daughter of 1985 Creston High School graduates Joel Christy and Deborah Davis. Grandparents are Jack and Cheri Davis of Creston and Bob and Donna Christy, now of Bondurant.

Christy repeated her NCAA regional performance by finishing strong to move up in the standings and set a new school record. She ran the first 2.3K in a time of 8:07.5, and was in 57th place. She was still outside the top-50 at the 4.3K mark, having a time of 15:17.7.

Christy began to make her move at that point, running the next 800 meters in a time of 2:43.3, and she was in 43rd place with 900 meters left. She ran the final portion of the course in a time of 2:55.4, and passed seven more runners for a 36th-place finish among 270 runners.

Christy’s final time was 20:56.3, breaking her record from the NCAA regionals by 13 seconds.

Character award

SIOUX CITY — Junior defensive end Seth Maitlen of Creston was honored before the game as Morningside College’s “Champion of Character” after the Mustangs defeated North Star Athletic Association champion Dickinson State University, 57-14, in the opening round of the NAIA football playoffs Saturday.

Maitlen, playing in a part-time role with an injury suffered in the regular season finale, appeared in about 25 snaps and had one tackle.

The Champion of Character award is presented after each game in the football playoffs and each institution involved selects one player per team.

In that game Saturday, junior running back Arnijae “AP” Ponder went over the 50-touchdown mark with a pair of rushing scores. In the second quarter, Ponder passed former Mustang standout Brandon Wegher for the career rushing record. He finished the day with 22 carries for 132 yards and now has 3,846 yards for his three-year collegiate career.

Sophomore quarterback Joe Dolincheck registered his 11th straight 200-yard passing game, going 26 of 35 for 346 yards and four touchdowns.

Morningside College athletics announced that admission to the Saturday, Nov. 30, NAIA quarterfinal round playoff football game between Morningside College (11-0) and Saint Xavier University of Illinois (9-2) is free of charge to the public. Kickoff is at noon at Elwood Olson Stadium.

Saint Xavier defeated Northwestern College in the first round, 25-20. Blake Sevier of Orient-Macksburg is an offensive lineman for Northwestern.

Live audio, statistics, and video are available through links at, the home of Morningside College athletics.

Panthers host

CEDAR FALLS — Sixth-ranked UNI football makes its 21st playoff appearance, the fifth in six seasons, and begins the 2019 playoff run by hosting San Diego, the Pioneer League champion, Saturday at the UNI-Dome.

Kickoff is 1 p.m. with the telecast on ESPN3 and broadcast on the Panther Sports Network that includes KBGG 1700 AM in Des Moines and on the TuneIn Radio app.

UNI is 8-4 on the year and finished the season in sole possession of second place in the MVFC at 6-2. San Diego lost a pair of non-conference games to open the year but finished the season on a 9-0 win streak, including an 8-0 mark in Pioneer League play. It is the first meeting of the two teams, but the Tereros are not unfamiliar with Iowa. Fellow Pioneer League team Drake is in their league and starting quarterback Reid Sinnett is from Johnston, Iowa.

Spencer Brown of Lenox is a starting offensive tackle for the Panthers, who cruised to a 38-7 win over Western Illinois in the regular-season finale in the UNI-Dome. 

The Panthers rushed for a season-high 201 yards and two touchdowns and passed for another 154 yards and two scores in the win.

Bearcats advance

MARYVILLE, Mo. — Northwest Missouri State (11-1) hosts Lindenwood (9-3) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bearcat Stadium in the NCAA Division II second round playoffs.

The game will be on the MIAA Network live stream. It will also be broadcast on flagship station KXCV (90.5 FM) in Maryville and the rest of the Bearcat Radio Network, including KMA (960 AM) in Shenandoah.

Northwest Missouri State advanced to the second round of the 2019 NCAA Division II playoffs with a 7-6 victory over the Harding Bisons at Bearcat Stadium last Saturday. Offensive lineman Cody Tanner, formerly of Creston/Orient-Macksburg, appeared in the game for the Bearcats.

Northwest moved to 30-3 all-time at home in the playoffs. It also marks the 23rd straight playoff victory at home for the Bearcats.

Smallwood shines

HASTINGS, Neb. — Freshman forward Kylan Smallwood of Creston had a breakout performance for Midland University in an 87-74 victory over Hastings College Wednesday afternoon.

Smallwood notched his second double-double of the season with 23 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Smallwood’s new career high in points came on 9 of 15 shooting from the field, including 3-6 from 3-point range.

Midland improved to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in GPAC play, while the Broncos fell to 5-4 and 1-3.

Midland will host the 13th annual Draemel Classic this weekend. The Warriors will be joined in the weekend showcase by No. 4 Morningside, No. 18 Southern Oregon, and No. 22 Bellevue.

The Warriors’ first game of the classic is Saturday at 4 p.m. against Southern Oregon.

Chargers fall

MITCHELL, S.D. — In a matchup featuring the top two scorers in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, Briar Cliff’s Jackson Lamb and Dakota Wesleyan’s Ty Hoglund did not disappoint Monday night.

In the end, Hoglund’s Tigers got the better of the Chargers with an 88-73 win at the Corn Palace. Hoglund, who came in averaging 24.4 points per game, led all players with 36 points.

Lamb had a big overall game for Briar Cliff, totaling 31 points along with a team-high nine rebounds. The league’s best free throw shooter continued his consistency as he was 6 of 6 at the line for the night.

Dakota Wesleyan stayed undefeated with the win, excluding the exhibition loss to St. Cloud State on Saturday. The Tigers are 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the GPAC. Briar Cliff, which began the season 7-0, has fallen to 7-3 with a 1-3 conference record.

Next game for the Chargers is against Northwestern at home at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4.

Hensley places

DECORAH — Upper Iowa University wrestler Jared Hensley of Lenox went 3-2 in placing fifth in the Elite 125-pound division at the Luther College Open on Nov. 16.

Hensley was 2-2 for the day when he edged Trenton McManus of Minnesota State-Mankato, 3-2, in the fifth place match.

Venteicher competes

DUBUQUE — Loras College wrestler Derek Venteicher of Lenox placed sixth in the Fresh-Soph 184-pound division at the Grand View Open on Nov. 16.

Venteicher won decisions of 10-5 and 9-3 before being pinned by Julian Broderson of Iowa State, wrestling unattached, in the quarterfinals. Venteicher then won 12-3 and lost by fall in 1:01 in the fifth-place match.

On Nov. 23, Venteicher placed fifth at the Concordia University-Wisconsin Open at 184 pounds. He won by a 9-4 decision and by fall in 2:13 before falling 3-1 in the quarterfinals to Cody Baldridge of North Central College.

Venteicher battled back for a 6-0 consolation victory and then lost 21-3 before being declared the winner by medical forfeit over Dominic Gall of Elmhurst College in the fifth place match.

— Compiled by Larry Peterson, CNA senior feature writer

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