TERRE HAUTE —
Two Wabash Valley hurdlers helped the Division III Wabash College track and field team go head to head against talent from NCAA Division I schools in the Vanderbilt University Black and Gold Invitational this past weekend.
The Little Giants produced several quality times, including a first-place finish by Northview grad Joel Whittington in the men’s 400-meter hurdles. The junior captured the title with a top time of 54.4 seconds, the fourth quickest recorded for NCAA DIII men this season. Cole Seward, a freshman from Terre Haute North, took third place, crossing the finish line in 55.7.
The previous weekend, Wabash hosted the J. Owen Huntsman Relays and Whittington and Seward closed out the running events with a 1-2 finish in the 400 hurdles. Whittington won with a time of 55.74, while Seward took second in 57.24.
Sycamores getting top recruits — Mitch Hannahs and his Indiana State baseball coaching staff are having success in their first full season at recruiting some of Indiana’s top young players to become future Sycamores.
ISU has commitments from four of the top 17 players in the class of 2015 (current juniors) as ranked by prepbaseballreport.com.
Chris Ayers, an outfielder from Westfield, is ranked No. 9 on the PBR list and Dillin Diehm, a first baseman from Garrett, is No. 10 on the list. Others who have made verbal commitments are right-handed pitchers Evan Giles of Franklin (No. 11) and Tyler Ward of Heritage Hills (No. 17).
The Sycamores also are pushing their efforts down into the current sophomore class and recently got a commitment from shortstop Michael Ruffolo from Ridgewood, Ill.
Ayers told PBR that knowing many of the other committed players was a big factor in him deciding to become a Sycamore.
“Coach Hannahs and his staff are committed to recruit top players in Indiana now and in the future,” he said. “Evan and Tyler were on my Midwest Futures Games team last summer and I have played against Dillin several times.
“I could tell ISU was bringing in a great 2015 class, so that definitely had some influence on my decision.”
Gouard top GLVC coach — Former Indiana State assistant coach Stan Gouard of the University of Indianapolis was named as the Coach of the Year in the Great Lakes Valley Conference this season.
The sixth-year head man led the Greyhounds to a stellar 23-3 record in the regular season, good for a program-first third straight 20-win campaign. UIndy ranks fourth in nation in field goal percentage (.515), fifth in scoring offense (88.8 ppg) and 10th in turnover margin (+4.6).
UIndy’s season came to an end in the second round of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional, as the No. 2-seeded Greyhounds fell 82-76 to sixth-seeded Michigan Tech in the second round of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional.
Bits and pieces — Former Robinson High School basketball standout Aaron Siler is transferring from Eastern Illinois, where he played this season as a walk-on, back to his hometown to play next season for Lincoln Trail College.
• Rockville grad Beth Mahurin was named to the 12-player all-Region 24 squad after a successful season last winter for Lincoln Trail in which she averaged 13 points and seven rebounds per game.
• Indiana Wesleyan is off to a good start in reloading for a run at a repeat NAIA Division II national title next year. The Wildcats earlier got a commitment from Mooresville standout Jacob Johnson, and recently added Jonny Marlin of Center Grove – who has played two seasons in Division I (one at IPFW, one at Indiana).
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.