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School Sports

  • Ruffner makes state high jump finals

    CHARLESTON - In her third trip to the state track meet, Sierah Ruffner qualified for the finals of the high jump.

    The Vandalia senior cleared 5 feet, 2 inches with ease to automatically qualify for Saturday's state finals in the event, something she was unable to do in her freshman and junior years.

  • Vandals take second in final track meet

    The Vandals placed second out of four teams in a home meet last Thursday, posting three first-place finishes in the last regular meet of the season.

    Junior Colton Woolsey won the shot put with a personal-best throw of 40 feet, 11 inches, sophomore Ben Strobel won the 3,200-meter run in 10:02.3 and senior Wade Cowger won the 1,600-meter run in 4:58.3.

    Strobel’s time was just 1½ seconds away from setting a school record, and is under the automatic state-qualifying time.

  • Vandals nearly victorious on senior day

    VANDALIA – On a day to honor the team’s five seniors, the Vandals competed to the last at-bat, falling just a few inches short of a chance at victory.

    Senior Isaac Francis shot a line drive that was caught by Southwestern’s ranging shortstop to end the game and give the Birds a 3-2 South Central Conference victory.

  • Lady Aces knock off Ramsey for EIC title

    MULBERRY GROVE – For senior Becca Oldham, the last game on her home field was one she will never forget.

    Oldham blasted a pair of two-run home runs and pitched a two-hitter on Saturday to lead the Lady Aces to the championship of the Egyptian-Illini Conference Tournament with an 11-0 win against Ramsey.

    Oldham rifled a line drive just over the right-field fence in the first inning, and hit a no-doubter to right-center to end the game by the mercy rule with two outs in the sixth inning.

  • Lady Aces to get rematch with Altamont after beating South Central in regional semifinals

    ST. ELMO – Mulberry Grove got the rematch it wanted.

    And South Central got a positive end to its season despite a loss.

    The Lady Cougars battled hard throughout Tuesday’s regional quarterfinal game against Mulberry Grove, but the Lady Aces proved a bit stronger in a 4-1 victory.

    The win sets up a rematch with Altamont in Friday’s regional championship game, and this time, Mulberry Grove hopes to be on the winning side.

  • Pair of small-school athletes make state

    Two local athletes have qualified for the Illinois High School Association Class A state track meet after placing at the Newton Sectional on Friday.

    St. Elmo junior Molly Hill became a three-time state qualifier in the discus throw, after advancing with a sectional-winning throw of 101 feet, 6 inches.

    She placed seventh in the state last season, with 116 feet, 2 inches. The top seed for state this season is 135 feet, 2 inches.

    The first of four flights of discus throws begins at 1:10 p.m. on Thursday at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

  • Lady Vandals get first regional win since '07, but fall to Carlyle in semis

    CARLYLE – After picking up their first regional tournament win since 2007 on Monday, the Lady Vandals were unable to get past the semifinals.

    Carlyle and starter Paige Rakers were too much for the Lady Vandals to handle, as Rakers used mixed speeds to strike out 14 batters and allow just one hit in a 5-0 win for Carlyle.

    “She did a nice job, and I think our girls were a little intimidated, especially after that first changeup,” Buscher said. “It was a rough day at the plate for us.”

  • Vandals fall short in 12-inning regional battle

    CARLINVILLE – A day after returning to Carlinville to resume a regional quarterfinal game in the 12th inning, the Vandals got right to work.

    Unfortunately for them, Carlinville was just as ready to play.

    Junior Carson Smith doubled and scored on an error in the top of the 12th inning, but a Vandalia error in the bottom of the inning allowed the winning run to score in a 6-5 loss.

  • Seven Jr. Vandals qualify for state meet

    Seven Jr. Vandals qualified for the Illinois Elementary School Association Class AA state track meet, with six girls and one boy placing at last Saturday's sectional.

    The meet will be held this  Friday and Saturday at the Eastside Centre in East Peoria.

    Eighth-grader Curtis Gordon qualified in two events, tying his school record of 12 feet in the pole vault to place first at the Pana Sectional, and finishing second in the 110-meter hurdles.

  • Ruffner makes state for 3rd time

    Vandalia senior Sierah Ruffner will be making her third trip to the state track meet on Thursday, and will be looking to make the event finals for the first time in her career.

    Ruffner cleared 5 feet, 2 inches to meet the automatic state-qualifying standard in the high jump and place third at last Thursday’s sectional meet in Carlinville.

    But unlike in her freshman and junior seasons, Ruffner is hoping that she will clear 5 feet, 2 inches at the state preliminaries to qualify for Saturday’s state finals.