LAS VEGAS —
Competing in the final round of the 2013 Women’s GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championships on Saturday at The Orleans Arena, Terre Haute North High School senior Rachel Gutish was able to finish her motocross season with a bang.
Going against what she described as “a stacked field” with 20-plus women entered — including multi-time X Games medalist Tarah Geiger and Australia trials champion Kristie McKinnon — the 17-year-old Gutish took the lead late in the first lap of the feature race and never lost it, recording the first EnduroCross victory of her career.
“The course was quite technical and challenging, the most difficult [but most fun!] of the year,” she told the Tribune-Star after returning to Terre Haute. “There was not a single rider in the women’s class who finished the race without falling at least a few times. Everything seemed to finally fall into place for me here.
“This was particularly exciting for me, because I had never before won an EnduroCross. I had come close several times and finished on the podium fairly regularly [five times out of seven this year], but until now, had never actually won.”
Gutish also mentioned this was the first time that a Yamaha racer won a main event in either of the pro classes (men’s or women’s).
Gutish’s triumph put her in second place overall in the seven-round series, an improvement over last year’s fifth-place finish. Chantelle Bykerk of Salmon Arm, British Columbia, captured the 2013 title.
• ISU’s Dall named first-team All-MVC — At Wichita, Kan., senior outside hitter Morgan Dall became the first Indiana State volleyball player in 14 years to be named to the All-Missouri Valley Conference first team, the league office announced Thursday during its annual awards ceremony.
Dall, who was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete first team for the second time in her career Tuesday, is the first Sycamore to be named to the MVC All-Conference first team since Megan Mirs in 1999. She also is just the fifth Indiana State athlete to be named to the first team as she joins Mirs, Julie Meshberger (1995), Rhonda Sips (1991) and Julie Kovacs (1990).
Dall was the top hitter in the MVC during the 2013 season as she recorded 509 kills and a 4.31 kills-per-game average. She also led the conference in points scored (556.5) and in points per game (4.72). She had 26 service aces, 258 digs and 39 blocks.
Dall closed out the season ranked 25th in the nation in kills per game (4.31) and 30th nationally in points per game (4.72). She also finished the regular season among the top active Division I players in several career rankings including tied for 19th in kills (1,436), 26th in kills per game (3.75), tied for 20th in attempts (4,071) and 19th in attempts per game (10.63).
The outside hitter finished her ISU career second on the career kill list (1,436), tied for first in kills per game with Cheryl Berg (3.75), second in attempts (4,071), first in attempts per game (10.63), third in points (1,579.0), and second in points per game (4.12). Each of these marks is the best for an Indiana State athlete since the current scoring system was instituted in 2008.
Former ISU athlete Stacy Qualizza was the last Sycamore to be recognized by the Valley as she was named to the All-MVC Second Team for the second time in 2011. She was also recognized on the Second Team in 2010. Former Sycamore Shea Doran was named to the 2011 all-rournament team, the last time Indiana State appeared in the Valley’s postseason tournament.
Dall is only the second player in ISU history to receive two weekly honors from the Missouri Valley Conference in the same season as she was named the MVC Player of the Week on Sept. 9 and again on Nov. 4. Kiya James received the Defensive Player of the Week honor twice in 2011.