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Next level: Evers makes history in final indoor meet

Expectations were high for Dan Evers’ final Indoor track and field competition.

The Kaneland grad broke Monmouth’s school pole vault record of 17 feet, 4.5 inches which also was good for fifth all time in Division III history, when he vaulted 17-7.25 as the No. 1 seed in the NCAA D-III Indoor Championships in Alabama on Saturday.

Accolades have followed Evers' performances throughout his collegiate career. The senior’s indoor track and field season was no exception as he was named the Midwest Region Men’s Field Athlete of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Evers has finished first at all nine meets during the indoor season.

Also at the NCAA D-III Indoor Championships, North Central finished in second place. Among the Cardinals' 12 All-Americans was pole vaulter Dylan Kuipers, who set a personal best with a vault of 16-4.75. The junior from Kaneland finished third behind his former Knights teammate.

Even afer only two seasons, expectations are high for Daniel Hein. The Missouri sophomore qualified for the NCAA D-I Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, which run from March 21 to 24 in Minnesota, in the 100 backstroke. The Sycamore grad and alumnus of the DeKalb-Sycamore co-op boys swim team is seeded 22nd and also is eligible to swim in the 200 backstroke.

Hein earned All-America first-team honors last year as part of the Tigers’ 200 and 400 medley relay teams.

At the Missouri Valley Conference Championships which ran from Feb. 14 to 17, Jensen Keck finished second in the women’s 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:02.75. She had the top time in the preliminaries and also finished third in the 200 breaststroke. The DeKalb grad also was a member of the women’s 400 medley relay team that finished fourth and the 200 medley relay team that was fifth.

Wright State senior Ryan Schultz wrapped up his career with a 15th-place finish in the 200 breaststroke at the Horizon League Championships on Feb. 24. The DeKalb grad set the third-best time in the 100 breaststroke for Wright State this season with a time of 56.78 in the preliminaries on Feb. 23, he also set the team’s third-best mark in the 200 breaststroke preliminaries with a time of 2:04.52.

In the NCAA D-II Men’s Basketball Tournament, DeKalb grad Jace Kitchen advanced to the second round as a member of St. Cloud State. Kitchen didn’t play in the 81-68 first-round win against Southern Nazarene University. But he did check in to the second-round game against Northern State, an 68-61 season-ending loss Sunday. Former Northern Illinois men’s basketball assistant coach Sundance Wicks is an associate head coach for the Wolves, who are 33-3 and play in the NCAA Central Regional Championship on Wednesday against Minnesota State-Mankato.

Sycamore grad Keyshawn Stallworth had 10 points and 14 rebounds for Kishwaukee in a 75-65 loss to Morton. He closed the season on a strong note as he notched double-figure rebounds in the Kougars final six games.

The Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s basketball team won its first-round game in the NCAA D-III Basketball Tournament, an 81-46 victory against Wisconsin-Superior. Kaneland grad Cami Conley had five points and five rebounds in 23 minutes. The sophomore guard also scored four points, had two assists and a rebound in the Warhawks 74-60 loss in their second-round matchup.

Buffalo redshirt junior Kyle Akins finished fifth at the Mid-American Conference Championships with a pin of Eastern Michigan 125-pounder Tomas Gutierrez at 4:36. The Sycamore grad, who qualifited for the 2017 NCAA Tournament, didn’t get a wild-card bid to this year's NCAA Tournament. Akins had an RPI of 20 and was ranked No. 28 in the Coaches' Poll.

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