Friday, May 24, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Gabe Christianson earns Iowa Gatorade honor

CHICAGO -- Kennedy junior Gabe Christianson has been chosen the 2011 Gatorade Iowa Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Christianson is the third Metro prep to earn a Gatorade award this school year. Linn-Mar's Kiah Stokes was the girls basketball player of the year and Jefferson's Jarrod Uthoff the boys basketball player of the year.

Christianson is the second straight Kennedy player to win the award. Erik Boyer won last year. He is the fourth Cougar to win it. Adam Zenor won in 2001 and Jake Settle in 2003.

Winning the award makes Christianson eligible for the National Boys Soccer Player of the Year award, to be announced later this month.


Schuver, Velvick are big part of Coe's success

The Coe College baseball team claimed its first Iowa Conference title in school history this season and has broken the club record for victories heading into the league tournament Thursday.

Kevin Schuver and Ryan Velvick, two former Metro high school stars, have been a big part of the team's success.

Schuver, a catcher from Marion High School, is hitting .333 with three homers and 34 RBIs and leads the Iowa Conference in picking runners off base.

Velvick, a third baseman from Prairie High School, is batting .328 with one homer and 17 RBIs.

The Kohawks (29-10) are the No.1 seed for the Iowa Conference tournament and will face Luther or Simpson at 7 p.m. Thursday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Coe finished 18-6 in the league standings, a full two games ahead of Buena Vista and Wartburg, giving the Kohawks their first regular-season title since joining the Iowa Conference 14 years ago.


Xavier's Miller hoping to help Eagles to national tourney

McKenna Miller is determined to succeed with her softball career.

She was determined at Xavier High School, where she overcame a serious injury to become one of the top sluggers in the state. And she's determined at Kirkwood Community College, where she's helped the Eagles enjoy a banner campaign.

The numbers speak for themselves.

Miller had surgery for a torn labrum and torn rotator cuff during her freshman year at Xavier in 2007, but she rebounded and tied for third in the state in home runs last season with 13 as a senior.

She did not begin her freshman year at Kirkwood this season in the starting lineup, but she got a chance and is hitting .317 with six homers and 28 RBIs heading into the district tournament in Columbus, Neb., on Thursday.


Local boys do well again

It seems like a broken record, but a good one at that. More and more Metro athletes have succeeded and exceeded at their chosen craft.

Today, let's examine the recently held NFL draft and the, hopefully, upcoming free agent signing period for recently graduated college senior players.

Again our fair city can stand proud at the possibility that three young men with ties to the area may play in the NFL next year.

Let's start with the one player that is assured of making an NFL roster and that is Aldon Smith out of Missouri, drafted seventh by the San Francisco 49ers.

Yes, I know Smith didn't graduate from here, but he does have ties to the city. Aldon attended Washington High School through his sophomore year and in that brief stay showed flashes of the brilliance and athletic skill that sent him to the University of Missouri to play defense for the Tigers. Even at that age he was a chiseled, angular athlete that had unlimited potential at whichever sport he chose to pursue (he also played basketball at Wash).


Hairston overcomes stumble to star for Hawks

IOWA CITY -- As a top-flight middle distance runner for the Iowa Hawkeyes, Adam Hairston knows it's a steady pace over the long haul that wins races. Life's like that, too.

A misstep along the way doesn't have to mean defeat.

The fifth-year senior from Cedar Rapids Kennedy will be among the favorites in the 800-meter run at the Big Ten Track and Field Championships which run Friday through Sunday at the Francis X. Cretzmeyer Track in Iowa City. His goal is to qualify for the regionals and then the nationals as he did as a junior.

In track, says the personable and gifted 22-year-old true student-athlete, "What you want is to still be running at the end of June."

Beyond that, his dream is to be running this time next year as well. That's when a qualifying meet will be held in Eugene, Ore., for the 2012 Olympics. And Hairston thinks he's got a good chance of at least making a run for the team.

His 1:48.5 personal best for the 800 meters at Iowa ranks third all-time in school history. He figures he'll need to shave two seconds or more off his time to have a shot in Oregon. But then, he's overcome the odds before.

At 17, while a senior at Kennedy, he had his dreams shattered. He was a four-year honor roll student, a good and popular kid who'd never been in trouble.


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