Geneseo athletes raise the bar

Amy Boldt
Joe Paradiso participates in the hammer throw this season for the SIU men’s track and field team.

Like in the fall and winter months, the city of Geneseo is well represented at the collegiate level during the spring with athletes playing and competing at all different levels, from junior college to Division I.

At Augustana College, Ted Keopple is a sophomore member of the men’s golf team that competes in both the fall and the spring seasons.

This spring, Keopple competed in several matches, placing in the top 50 at each. At the Prairie Fire Classic, he took 22nd with a score of 80, while at the Augustana Invite he came in with a final score of 163 (86 and 77) for 51st place. At the Scot-Fire Invite, Keopple took 35th, shooting a 161 (83 and 78) and then came in 34th at the CCIW Championships with a combined score of 337 (83, 78, 89 and 87).

Six Geneseo alumni represented the Leafs in track and field this spring from locally at Augustana College to the east coast at Harvard University.

Valerie Bustle, a junior member of the Augustana women’s track and field team, saw some action this past spring, competing in seven meets.

Bustle’s highest finish this year was a first as a member of the 4x100-meter shuttle hurdle, taking the tape in 1 minute and 14.78 seconds at the Lee Calhoun?Invite. She placed fifth in the 400-m hurdles in 79.47 and then sixth in the 400-m hurdles in 1:17.86. She was part of the 4x800-m relay team that took eighth in 12:07.14 at the Central of Iowa Invite and placed ninth in the 400-m hurdles in 1:17.65 at the Lee Calhoun Invite.

In her final two  meets of the regular season, Bustle finished 15th in the 400-m hurdles at the Loras Open in 78.71 and then 18th in the 100-m hurdles preliminaries in 20.59 at the Augie Invite. At the CCIW?Championships, she placed 14th in the 400-m hurdles prelims with a time of 1:17.65.

Shane Reschke, a freshman member of the Monmouth College men’s track and field team, saw action in his first season of college track, competing in seven meets.

Reschke nabbed top finishes this past season in both individual events and relays, including two first-place finishes at the Midwest Conference Championships. His 4x100-m relay took the title in 41.74 for the conference record and then he and his 4x800-m relay team came in first in 3:19.56. He also took third at the conference meet in the 400-m dash.

Reschke nabbed  another first-place finish in the 100-m dash at the Fighting Scot Invite in 11.32, while he placed second in the 200-m dash and third in the 100-m dash at the IL College Open. He also took third in the 400-m dash at the Loras Open.

At the Augustana Meet of Champions, Reschke placed fifth in the 400-m dash, followed by a 12th-place finish in the 200-m dash at the Indiana Pacesetter and 18th in the 200-m dash at the Washington University Invite.

Geneseo’s Joe Paradiso took his talents in the weight events to Southern Illinois University-Carbondale after graduation where he is a junior member of the men’s track and field team.

Paradiso found great success this season in both the hammer throw and shot put, nabbing top 5 honors several times.

Paradiso finished his season at the NCAA Regional Meet, taking 27th in the hammer throw at 175-09 and 28th in the shot put at 48-7 1/2.

At the MVC Championships, Paradiso won the hammer throw title with a final mark of 192-00, which was followed by a third-place finish in the shot put at 54-1 1/4.

Other top three finishes came throughout the season, first in the hammer throw at 196-01; second in the shot put, 50-7 1/4; third in the hammer throw, 185-02; second in the shot put, 55-11 1/4 and second in the hammer throw, 192-05.

He also placed fourth in the hammer throw at 181-04; 14th in the shot put, 46-0; and 12th in the hammer throw, 56.81 meters.

Ashford University freshman Kelsey Schraeder joined the women’s track and field team this spring and placed 12th in the 800-m run in 3:37.67 on April 18. No other results were available.

Brian Chenoweth, a senior at Wartburg College, completed his final season of college track and field with the men’s team.

Chenoweth captured conference titles at the conference meet in the 5,000-m run with a time of 15:20.22 and the 10,000-m in 31:50.88.

He also finished first in the 5,000-m run earlier in the season in 14:50.42. Chenoweth placed second in the 1, 500-m run in 3:58.33 and 12th in the 800-m run in 2:01.60 in his first meet of the outdoor season. He finished sixth in the 800-m run on April 30 with a time of 2:02.02.

Dan Chenoweth took his talents out east and has been competing for the Harvard University men’s track and field team for the last two years.

Chenoweth, a sophomore, placed in the top 6 in the five races he competed in this year.

At the NCAA Regional Meet, Chenoweth took sixth in the 5,000-m run with a time of 14:20.70 and came in second at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships in the 5,000-m run in 14:27.34.

Earlier in the season, Chenoweth finished first in the 5,000-m run in 14:11.52; second in the 1,500-m run at 3:54.92; and first in the 5,000-m run in 14:35.35 at the Harvard/Yale Meet.

Eight former Geneseo baseball and softball players hit the diamonds at their respective schools this spring from the fields of Davenport, Iowa to Bloomington, Ind.

A brother and sister duo both spent time on the field this spring, Manny Rivera with the St.?Ambrose University baseball team and Alli Rivera with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay softball team.

Manny Rivera, a junior at St. Ambrose University, took the mound for the Bees in six games this season (5 in relief, 1 as a starter). He finished the year with a 9.20 ERA and a 1-0 record.

He pitched a total of 14.2 innings and allowed 20 hits, 17 runs, 12 walks, five doubles and four home runs. He struck out a total of 13 batters.

St. Ambrose finished the year with a 21-22 overall record and a 12-11 conference mark.

Alli Rivera, a freshman at UW-Green Bay, saw some significant action in her first year with the Phoenix where she played first base.

Alli went to the plate 64 times this season and finished with 19 hits, 10 RBIs and scored five runs.

The Phoenix ended the year with a record of 20-25 overall and went 7-13 in the conference.

Emily Bergeson made a name for herself while she was here in Geneseo and that didn’t stop when she went to college.

Bergeson started her college career at Bradley University, Peoria, but after one year transfered to Indiana University, Bloomington where she concluded her senior season this year.

“I’m definitely happy with my decision,” said Bergeson. “It was a great experience and I always wanted to go to a big school, but I also wanted to play softball with my sister (Molly). After my sister left, I didn’t think there was much left for me at Bradley University.

“The transition was easy. My teammates are great and I made a lot of friends. Everybody was very welcoming.”

In her final year with the Hoosier softball team, Bergeson played in 43 games and started in 42 of the 43 at shortstop. She made 119 trips to the plate where she belted out 37 hits, including seven home runs (16 in her career and the ninth-most in Indiana history) and seven doubles. She also scored 19 runs, had 23 RBIs and a batting average of 0.327 in Big Ten play with four home runs and nine RBIs. She also led Indiana to its first win of the season with a grand slam against UC Riverside on Feb. 21. She finished her three-year career at Indiana with a .289 batting average.

“(The season) went well, but we didn’t get into the postseason,” said Bergeson. “We had new coaches and I had a better experience. Overall, I learned so much.”

Bergeson was also named as a third-team All-Big Ten selection at the end of the year.

“The Big Ten is incredible because you play the best of the best,” said Bergeson. “You get to compete with girls who play on TV and it is cool to say I got a hit off of her. I got the experience I wanted.”

The Hoosiers finished the year at 10-39 overall and 4-16 in the Big Ten.

“My senior year was good and personally I had a really great season. It was the way to go out,” said Bergeson. “I’m going to miss the most the fact that I’m probably never going back to the Big Ten. It is a big, competitive conference and I love the competition. I will miss playing in the Big Ten and I am happy with all my decisions.”

Another former Lady Leaf softball player, Heather VanHyning concluded her second season with the Kirkwood Community College softball team this spring.

VanHyning played in 51 games with 156 trips to the plate and accumulated 69 hits, including 12 doubles and one triple. She also contributed 46 RBIs and scored 30 runs. She ended the year with a 0.442 batting average. Her team finished the year at 41-10.

Jenna Howard transferred to St. Ambrose University from Lewis University to become a member of the Fighting Bees softball team.

Howard, a junior, finished the year with a 0.318 batting average, playing in 53 games and started 52 of the 53.

She went to the plate 151 times and accumulated 48 hits, including four doubles and four triples. She also finished with 26 RBIs and scored 16 runs. SAU ended the year with a 30-24 overall record and went 13-15 in conference.

Samantha Fleming, a freshman member of the Black Hawk College softball team, played in 38 games during her first year of college softball and ended the year with 106 at bats. She finished with 29 hits, nine RBIs, scored 23 runs and had a batting average of 0.274. Black Hawk went 35-7 overall this season.

Joey Bergles, a sophomore member of the Southeastern Community College baseball team, saw action in 32 games this year with 28 at bats.

He finished the season with 20 hits, including seven doubles and nine RBIs. His batting average at the end of the year was 0.714. His team ended the year with a record of 41-15.

Jeff Wagner, a sophomore member of the Coe College baseball team, saw action in 21 games this year and accumulated 25 hits, including one double. He also scored 18 runs and had 10 RBIs. His squad ended the season with a 25-19 overall record and 14-8 conference mark.

Joining the list of Geneseo athletes playing at the collegiate level next year are Jordan Wagner, Iowa State University women’s soccer; Michael Ward, Greenville College football; Alyssa Patterson, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse women’s soccer; Adam Sheley, UW-LaCrosse wrestling; Brooke Anderson, Monmouth College softball; Jacob Irish, Monmouth College men’s soccer; Lauren DeBuysere and Camille Repass, Parkland College women’s soccer; Erik Dornfeld, Elmhurst College basketball; Derek?Griffin, Black Hawk College basketball; Annie Lenz, Illinois Wesleyan University, softball; Kelsey Lieving, University of Wisconsin-Platteville women’s golf; Tyler Morton, Drew Richardson and Zach Ogle, Carl Sandburg College men’s soccer; Meghan Wethington, Augustana College women’s tennis; Kaitlyn Ebarb, University of Illinois-Springfield women’s soccer.

Emily Bergeson fires the ball over to first for the out this season for the Indiana Hoosiers softball team.