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April 27, 2004

SIUE Chancellor Search Nears Completion

The search for SIUE's next chancellor is nearing completion, after the search advisory committee submitted recommendations on all three candidates to SIU President James Walker on April 21.

Walker will use the committee's research, interviews with references, and the counsel of the search firm Baker-Parker to make his selection. The new chancellor could be introduced at the June meeting of the SIU Board of Trustees, or as early as the May board meeting.

"Our work is completed," said chancellor search advisory committee chair Don Elliott, professor of Economics and Finance. "We reviewed many well-qualified applicants, narrowed the field to the three best candidates and brought each one of them to campus for three days of interviews, open forums and meetings with various constituencies.

"As planned, we have submitted our analysis and assessments of the three candidates to President Walker for his final decision."

Elliott emphasized that it was not the committee's charge to recommend one candidate over the others, but to send recommendations on all three. He added that open forum participants were invited to fill out evaluation forms on the candidates.

Among other questions, participants were asked to rate the candidates as "highly recommended," "acceptable," or "unacceptable." All three were rated as acceptable or highly recommended by more than 80 percent of those who returned an evaluation.

The three candidates are:

Sharon Hahs, SIUE provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs; Aaron Podolefsky, Northern Iowa provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; and Vaughn Vandegrift, Georgia Southern provost and vice president for Academic Affairs/chief information officer

The new chancellor is expected to be in the SIUE position on July 1, when Chancellor David Werner officially steps down.

Edwardsville Arts Center To Locate On Campus Site

A 15-acre plot, located at the New Poag Road entrance to SIUE, will be the new home of the Edwardsville Arts Center, according to a long-term lease agreement between the private organization and the SIU Board of Trustees.

The facility, to be built with private funds, will be operated independently of the university, although organizers propose to forge partnerships with SIUE in exhibitions, art education, and lecture programming for students, staff, faculty, administrators, and visitors to campus.

Organizers said a capital campaign is being planned to raise between $2 million and $3.5 million, which would include design, building and furnishings, and an operating endowment. Local, state, and national grant funding will be sought, organizers said.

The EAC said uses of the site "are threefold" and include art classes, exhibition space, and lectures "by local, national, and international artists." Organizers also said the design of the building and site plan would be created through an architectural design competition. In addition to parking space, other proposed uses for the site include outdoor sculpture, landscaping, and gardens.

The EAC was begun in 1999 and was headquartered in the old Wildey Theater in downtown Edwardsville. Organizers said the EAC determined that the theater site was "unsuitable for its future plans," citing allocated space, renovation costs, and completion timetable as "not compatible" with the organization's goals.

For more information about the EAC, call (618) 659-0337.

Honors Convocation Cites More Than 300 Students

More than 300 SIUE students were recognized recently at the annual Honors Convocation with special awards for academic achievement.

Each year at the convocation, the SIUE Foundation recognizes graduating male and female students with the highest four-year grade-point averages. This year's awards for highest academic excellence went to: Laura A. Walters of Maryville, majoring in Economics and Finance, and Patrick D. Bell of Granite City, majoring in Chemistry.

Also during the April 18 ceremony, the SIUE Teaching Excellence Award was given to Thomas Foster, an assistant professor of Physics (see accompanying article). The award is the highest honor that SIUE gives one of its faculty members. Foster received a $2,000 prize and will be given a plaque of recognition at the May 8 spring commencement.

In addition, Barbara Kniepkamp, a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was cited with Teacher Recognition Award. She received a $500 prize at the convocation. Kniepkamp teaches courses for a wide variety of students, ranging from first-year general education courses to differential equations.

Colleagues say she is an "engaging speaker and lectures with clarity, precision, and concern for keeping her students connected during class sessions."

Tom Foster Wins The 2004 Excellence In Teaching Award

While he's in front of the class imparting his vast knowledge about physics to his students, Tom Foster is trying hard not to seem like the stereotypical professor imparting his vast knowledge of physics to his students.

"I hate being the center of attention," Foster said. That's why it's a bit uncomfortable these days for the 36-year-old assistant professor from Heath, Ohio. Foster is the winner of this year's Teaching Excellence Award, which puts him squarely in the spotlight. The award is the highest honor accorded a faculty member at SIUE.

A fiercely modest individual, Foster says he attempts to create a "community" in the classroom environment to put students at ease. "I try very hard not to maintain the stereotype of the teacher as demagogue and the students as dutiful drones who scribble as fast as possible to get down every word I say.

"In fact, my students should be getting an award for putting up with my bad jokes."

Foster says he uses a sense of humor in class and encourages the students to call him Tom. "I don't want them calling me 'Dr. Foster.' I treat the students as people who have their own strengths and who know quite a bit about other things. I just happen to know more about Physics than most of them."

After earning a bachelor of science in Engineering Physics at The Ohio State University, Foster went on to a master of science in Physics and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction, both at the University of Minnesota. He also did post-doctoral work at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He joined the SIUE faculty in 2000.

His teaching accomplishments at SIUE include modifying the Astronomy and University Physics courses in the Department of Physics by incorporating more student-centered and inquiry-based teaching methods. Colleagues say that Foster's work with local teachers at the elementary and secondary levels has raised the quality of Science Education in the region.

Students have said that they enjoy Foster's enthusiasm, sense of humor, and genuine concern for their understanding of physics concepts. "I do my best to keep my students engaged," Foster said. He teaches freshman Physics for non-majors and also astronomy. "I love teaching astronomy because it's always changing with new discoveries and it's a discipline in which students can fully participate-all they have to do is look up in the night sky."

Foster also teaches graduate courses in Physics teaching methods and astrobiology. "Don't get me started on the search for other life in the universe," he says with a smile. "I could go on for hours on that subject."

Because he is extremely modest, Foster finds himself a little embarrassed about the attention from winning the award. He was given a $2,000 check at Honors Convocation earlier this month and will be recognized with a plaque at SIUE's May 8 commencement.

"I don't like being the guy in front of class relentlessly teaching bored students," Foster said. "I'm embarrassed but I'm also honored that the university would give me this recognition. I consider myself to be just one teacher among very talented faculty members in this department."

Twenty-Four Faculty To Receive Promotions, Tenure

Chancellor David Werner has recommended promotions or granted tenure for the following faculty. These recommendations also have been approved by the SIUE Board of Trustees.

Promotions for all faculty are effective July 1; tenure for all faculty, except for the School of Dental Medicine, is effective Aug. 16. SDM faculty tenure is effective July 1.

The faculty names and recommended ranks, as well as those who have gained tenure, are listed by school affiliations below:

Arts and Sciences: Stephen Hansen, professor of Historical Studies; Nancy Ruff, professor of English Language and Literature; Marcus Agustin, associate professor of Mathematics and Statistics; Seran Aktuna, associate professor of English Language and Literature; Associate Professor Gary Hicks, tenure in the Department of Mass Communications; Associate Professor Kangho Lee, tenure in the Department of Music; Associate Professor Gerald O'Brien, tenure in the Department of Social Work; Associate Professor George Pelekanos, tenure in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics; Associate Professor John Savoie, tenure in the Department of English Language and Literature; Associate Professor Anushiya Sivanarayanan, tenure in the Department of English Language and Literature; Associate Professor Michael Starr, tenure in the Department of Geography; and Associate Professor Donald Scandell, tenure in the Department of Social Work.

Business: Michael Costigan, professor of Accounting, and Professor Bijoy Bordoloi, tenure in the Department of Computer Management and Information Systems.

Dental Medicine: Kenneth Seckler, professor of Restorative Dentistry, and Associate Professor Poonam Jain, tenure in the Department of Restorative Dentistry.

Education: Associate Professor Ann Taylor, tenure in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Engineering: Brad Cross, professor of Civil Engineering; Nader Panahshahi, professor of Civil Engineering; Bradley Noble, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Associate Professor Albert Luo, tenure in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering; and Professor Majid Molki, tenure in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

Library and Information Services:Associate Professor Stephen Kerber, tenure in University Archives and Special Collections.

Nursing: Associate Professor Cynthia Schmidt, tenure in the School of Nursing.

SIUE Staffers Attend U Of I Women's Conference

About 90 women from SIUE recently attended the Biennial Conference for Women at the University of Illinois, giving them opportunities to discuss several women's issues dealing with situations in and out of the workplace.

And, those who attended had the full support of the SIUE administration. "The senior administration has supported the Biennial Conference since its inception in 1984," said Shrylene Clark, an executive assistant in the SIUE Office of Human Resources. "But then we had to get up at 5:30 a.m. to attend the conference and come home the same day.

"We've really progressed since then." Clark explained that the university now provides a chartered bus to and from Champaign-Urbana and lodging for one night, while departments provide the registration fee and per diem for employees to attend the conference. "We'd like to express our heartfelt thanks to Chancellor David Werner and each administrator who helps us attend," Clark said.

"As a forum designed to enlighten, inspire, and empower women, the conference is the largest and longest-running in the country," Clark said. "Each year, attendee's have heard well-known speakers who give advice, assistance, guidance, and the courage to grow and change."

She said speakers this year included Soledad O'Brien, a CNBC news anchor who spoke about challenges to diversity; Sarah Weddington, an author and attorney who argued a woman's right to choose; and Suze Orman, the financial guru who spoke about The Laws of Money, the Lessons of Life.

Clark said the conference also is a great chance to network. "This conference attracts women from all sectors, private and public, from around the country," she said. "We meet women who are leaders in their fields and who have triumped over challenges in their lives."

Libraries Can Prove Their Worth, Thanks To Research By St. Louis Public, SIUE

Everyone agrees that even in tight budgetary times public libraries are a valued asset, right? Well, maybe and maybe not.

"Touching anecdotes about the joys of children participating in a summer reading program, or statistics reporting numbers of books circulated will not hold off budget cuts," said Don Elliott, professor of Economics and Finance. "The value of libraries must be demonstrated in dollar terms.

"The basic public presumption is that libraries are invaluable," said Elliott, who along with Glen Holt, recently retired executive director of the St. Louis Public Library, conducted the research. "Although that is a popularly held opinion, where's the proof?

"State and local governments all over the country have had to make hard choices about their budgets. So when it comes down to, for example, some aspect of infrastructure maintenance versus the library budget, which is the best choice?"

In an effort to quantify the value of a library, Holt and Elliott studied 14 library systems. Their studies of libraries began in 1996 with five large libraries-Baltimore; Birmingham, Ala., King County (Seattle), Phoenix, and St. Louis. With the help of SIUE's Institute for Urban Research, a second study began in 2001 on smaller libraries.

"Bigger libraries have a more diverse audience," Elliott explained. "They are used by corporate headquarters staff for business research. They are major partners with large school systems, support not-for-profits and nonprofits, and also are centers of activities for families.

"Smaller libraries are less diverse and more oriented toward families and schools. So, the first study created a methodology for valuing large libraries. The second evaluated libraries in smaller communities."

Nine mid-sized libraries in three states were sampled: Joliet, Schaumburg, and Skokie, Ill.; Montgomery County, Pasadena and Sterling/Baytown, Texas; and Everett, Kennewick/Mid-Columbia and Pierce County, Wash.

The study of smaller libraries required answering questions such as "if there was no library, how much more would a school have to spend for books and computers?

"How much would families spend?"

Results from one site in the latest study show that households report, on average, that the services they use are worth $235-$389 per year per household or $2.25-$4.35 million per year.

Households place the greatest value on adult and children's books, and audio and visual media. The study also showed that for each dollar of local operating expenditures produced at least $1.24 in benefits to library patrons. The larger libraries typically show much higher returns.

The studies are being used to create a methodology that is portable, giving most libraries the ability to create a more definitive statement about their worth. "I'm very confident that we have created a useful tool for public libraries," Elliott said.

Simmons, Cooper Announce Generous Gift For Baseball

An SIUE alumnus and his law partner have made a major donation to Intercollegiate Athletics, which will enable completion of the Cougars' baseball complex at Roy E. Lee Field.

John Simmons and Jeff Cooper, of SimmonsCooper Attorneys at Law in East Alton, announced the gift recently to SIUE Director of Athletics Brad Hewitt. The generous gift ushers in the latest in a string of improvements at Lee Field.

Hewitt said the announcement of the amount would be forthcoming pending formal approval by the SIU Board of Trustees. "The gift will enable us to complete the SIUE baseball stadium project and explore the expansion of the site into a baseball complex," Hewitt said.

Simmons grew up in East Alton and served in the Army as a combat engineer. He later attended SIUE, where he was elected Student Body president, attaining a position in the Dean's College. After earning a bachelor's, he went on to receive a law degree at Southern Methodist.

In 1999, he opened The Simmons Firm L.L.C. which has grown to 31 attorneys and 220 staff members. Recently appointed as a member of the SIU Board of Trustees, Simmons and his wife, Jayne, have four children.

Cooper was raised in Granite City, received a bachelor's from DePauw University and earned a law degree at Saint Louis University. He opened a firm in Granite City and ran for Congress in 2000. After the election, Cooper joined Simmons in what is now SimmonsCooper.

He resides in Edwardsville with his wife, Francesca, and two children, Jack and Ella. They are expecting a third child in September.

Improvements that already have been made in the past year to the university's baseball field include new dugouts, nets behind home plate, a warning track around the field, and a locker room facility.

Hewitt said previous gifts secured from former players Fernando Aguirre, Steve Davis, and current assistant Steve Haug also were instrumental in the current changes at the field.

SIUE Moves Up Freshman App Deadline Thirty Days

Due to an unprecedented number of freshman applications, SIUE has moved its admission file completion deadline for freshmen entering fall 2004 to May 1, which is 30 days earlier than the original May 31 filing deadline.

"We are very excited about the continued growing interest in SIUE; however, we are also committed to maintaining the quality of education and services that we have offered to students in our 47-year history," said Boyd Bradshaw, assistant vice chancellor for Enrollment Management.

SIUE has grown from 10,938 students in 1994 to 13,295 last fall, an increase of about 22 percent.

Three new residence halls built since 1994 have served to draw even more attention to the quality education offered at SIUE, Bradshaw pointed out. "More and more students and parents view SIUE as their first choice for a quality, affordable education," Bradshaw said. "A strong faculty, small class sizes, community service opportunities, an active campus life, and some of the newest residence halls in the state continue to fuel SIUE's growth."

Bradshaw said the quickest and easiest way for students to apply for admission is on-line: The $30 application fee also may be paid online. Applications received after May 1 will be put on a wait list; however, the university does not anticipate granting admission to wait-listed students.

Students interested in living on campus can download an application from The housing application and a deposit of $300 also must be submitted by May 1.

Softball Earns Bid For NCAA Regional

SIUE softball has been selected to the six-team field for the NCAA Great Lakes Region Tournament in Highland Hts., Ky. The fourth-seeded Cougars will open play Thursday (5/6) against fifth-seeded West Virginia Wesleyan at 10 a.m.

This season marks the fifth consecutive year the Cougars have advanced to the NCAA Tournament. SIUE will look to advance through the regional for a chance to play in the NCAA Division II Softball Championships on May 13-16 in Altomonte Springs, Fla.

SIUE's matchup with West Virginia Wesleyan in the first game of the tournament should be an intriguing one, as it was West Virginia Wesleyan who eliminated the Cougars at last season's regional with a 6-1 victory.

SIUE is coming off the GLVC Championships, where they were eliminated after a 2-2 record in the tournament. "I thought we played well at the conference tournament," Head Coach Sandy Montgomery said. "We didn't make any mistakes. We just couldn't get the breaks. I liked our determination and our fight. I still think we have a good chance at winning the regional."

NCAA II Great Lakes Softball Regional Schedule (hosted by Northern Kentucky University) Frank Ignatius Grein Softball Field Highland Heights, Ky.

Thursday, May 6
• Game 1 - #4 SIUE vs. #5 W. Va. Wesleyan, 10 a.m.
• Game 2 - #3 Grand Valley St. vs. #6 Ald.-Broaddus, 12:30 p.m.
• Game 3 - #1 No. Kentucky vs. SIUE/WVWC winner, 3 p.m.
• Game 4 - #2 Lewis vs. GVSU/ABC winner, 5:30 p.m.

Friday, May 7
• Game 5 - Game 1 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 10 a.m.
• Game 6 - Game 2 loser vs. Game 3 loser, 12:30 p.m.
• Game 7 - Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 3 p.m.
• Game 8 - Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 8
• Game 9 - Game 8 winner vs. Game 7 loser, 10 a.m.
• Game 10 - Game 7 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 12:30 p.m.
• Game 11 - If necessary, TBD (could be Sunday, May 9)

Four Cougars Tabbed All-Conference

Four SIUE softball players earned All-Great Lakes Valley Conference honors for their play during the 2004 season.

Outfielder Jenny Esker (Steeleville) and pitcher Ashlea Hoheimer (Walton, Ind.) earned first-team honors. Catcher Shannon Evans (Manhattan) and utility player Alicia DeShasier (Carrollton) were named to the second team.

Esker, a 2003 All-American, has played in all 52 games for the Cougars and leads the team with a .364 batting average. She has hit seven home runs and has driven in 31 runs on the year, both team highs. "Jenny is one of the most feared hitters in the conference,"

Coach Sandy Montgomery said. "She is very deserving of the first-team honor."

Hoheimer, a first-year transfer from the University of Dayton, has an 11-6 record and a 1.35 earned run average for the Cougars. She has pitched five shutouts and has struck out 72 batters on the year. "Ashlea had a great year as a newcomer," Montgomery said. "There was some very good pitchers in our conference so this is a good accomplishment for her."

Evans, a transfer from St. Xavier University, is currently hitting .308 for the Cougars. She has excelled defensively, committing no errors in 49 games played. "Shannon is one of the best catchers in the league," Montgomery said. "It is a nice honor for her."

DeShasier, who has played in all 52 games for the Cougars, is currently hitting .308 for the Cougars. She has been a welcome commodity for the Cougars as she can play various positions in the field. "Alicia has been solid all season," Montgomery said. "She has filled gaps when we've needed them to be filled."

Baseball Ends On High Note

After struggling throughout the season, the SIUE baseball team put together a valiant effort in the home portion of their schedule but just missed qualifying for its ninth straight Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament.

The Cougars won eight of their last 10 games and were just two games away from qualifying for the tournament, one they have not missed since the Cougars joined the conference in 1996. "The team could have quit when we were struggling, but they didn't," Coach Gary Collins said. "We finished it as best we could; it was just a few games too late."

The Cougars finished the year seventh in the conference standings with a 20-32 overall record and 17-22 mark in the GLVC. Only the top six teams advance to the tournament, which will begin Thursday (5/6) at GMC Stadium in Sauget, Ill.

Luke Humphrey (Rantoul) and Wes Pickering (Springfield, Mo.), both four-year players, played their final games in a Cougar uniform last weekend, when the Cougars took three of four from Bellarmine.

"Both Wes and Luke were solid players here for us," Collins said. "They played well on some good teams."

Craig Ohlau (Chester) finished the year with a team-high .331 batting average. Ron Jones (Kankakee) led the pitching staff with a 6-1 record and a 1.42 earned run average. With the majority of its pitching staff and starting lineup returning for next season, Collins hopes this late-season surge will pay dividends in 2005.

Track Enters Final Warm-up Before GLVC's

SIUE track and field will participate in the Billy Hayes Invitational on Friday (5/7), its final scheduled meet before the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships, which begins May 13 in Indianapolis.

"We plan on taking the athletes who are close to qualifying for nationals or who needs to improve their qualifying times and distances," Coach Darryl Frerker said.

SIUE had three more NCAA provisional qualifiers at the Butler Twilight meet. Ryan Boyll (Normal) ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 9 minutes, 23.88 seconds to add his name to the provisional qualifying list. Phil Freimuth's (Effingham) throw of 194 feet, 1 inch in the javelin event was good for a school record and a provisional qualifying mark.

On the women's side, Mary Witte (Normal) added her name to the provisional qualifying list in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:29.89. Tairisha Sawyer (Chicago) lowered her provisional qualifying time in the 200-meter dash. The women's 4x100 meter relay team also improved its provisional qualifying time.

"Overall, Butler was a good meet for us," Frerker said. "There were a lot of personal records and some good things came out of it."

Rigdon, Witte Selected For Undergraduate Research Academy hris Ridgon (Glen Carbon) and Mary Witte (Normal), both student-athletes at SIUE, have been selected to participate in the Undergraduate Research Academy at SIUE.

The academy, which has had 212 members since its inception in 1990, currently consists of 16 members out of the nearly 11,000 undergraduates at SIUE.

Matt Warren (East Peoria), a wrestler for SIUE, was a member of the academy last season. Rigdon, a member of the men's tennis team at SIUE, will research, "Predicting Electoral Vote Totals for the Presidential Election." Witte, a member of the women's track and field team, will research, "The Effects of Linear Predictive Coding Analysis/Resynthesis of the Dysarthric Speech for Persons with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis."

The Undergraduate Research Academy (URA) at SIUE encourages, supports, and enables students to conduct original research and creative activities at the undergraduate level. An undergraduate research or creative activity enhances the quality of the baccalaureate experience by giving students opportunities to pursue ideas independently, to interact with the faculty, and to engage more fully in the educational process of discovering and creating.

Twice each year, in cooperation with the academic departments at SIUE, the URA recruits eligible students as URA Scholars to undertake research and creativity activity under the guidance of dedicated faculty members.

The URA provides budgetary support for conducting the scholarly activity as well as advisory support during preparation of the proposals and reports. In addition, URA Scholars receive a scholarship award in two installments, the first upon admission to the Academy and the second after they have completed their reports and made their final presentations.

Spurgeon To Attend NCAA Leadership Conference

Ryan Spurgeon (Bethalto), a junior baseball player from SIUE, has been selected to attend the 2004 NCAA Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla. Spurgeon is one of 324 Division I, II and III student-athletes who will attend the conference. The attendees come from 295 NCAA institutions and from a pool of 1,175 applicants.

The conference takes place May 30-June 3 at Disney World's Wide World of Sports Complex and Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Fla. It provides NCAA student-athletes with a forum to openly discuss issues that may affect them on their campuses and in their communities, while also providing them with the opportunity to enhance their leadership, communication, decision-making and problem-solving skills.

The leadership conference also promotes better communication among student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty and communities. The five-day leadership conference consists of daily exercises and activities to help the student-athletes develop as individuals and as contributing members to a group.

Note: The SIUE women's golf team is playing at the NCAA East Regional on Tuesday (5/4) and Wednesday (5/5). Live scoring is available at

Softball Looks For Three-Peat At Tourney

SIUE softball will enter next weekend's Great Lakes Valley Conference Softball Championships in East Peoria as the third seed. Its opponent will be sixth seeded UM-St. Louis.

The Cougars will try to become the first team since the conference began sponsoring softball in 1984 to claim three consecutive conference titles.

SIUE, 33-15 overall and 15-5 in the GLVC, swept both games of a doubleheader with UMSL earlier this season in St. Louis. But in the conference tournament, Coach Sandy Montgomery says anything can happen. "Whoever gains momentum and plays with confidence is going to win, and that can be anybody," she said. "There is a lot of parity this year."

The Cougars swept Kentucky Wesleyan last weekend and split with Southern Indiana. SIUE tagged Kentucky Wesleyan for 17 hits and 22 runs in the two-game affair. Mary Heather White (Pulaski, Tenn.) and Ashlea Hoheimer (Walton, Ind.) picked up the victories on the mound for the Cougars.

After dropping game one of a doubleheader with Southern Indiana on Sunday, the Cougars bounced back behind the pitching of White. She allowed one run on five hits against USI and picked up her tenth victory.

Samantha Easterley (Belleville) picked up four hits on the weekend and drove in two runs. Montgomery also said VJ Schmidt (Westmont) played solid defense for the Cougars. "We are playing well but not yet to the level we are capable of playing," Montgomery said. "We hope to peak at the right time, which is the conference tournament and NCAA regional."

Jenny Esker (Steeleville) leads the team offensively with a .368 batting average. Hoheimer leads the pitching staff with 11 victories, and White leads with 88 strikeouts on the season.

Baseball Still Alive For Conference Bid

After winning five of six games against Great Lakes Valley Conference opponents last week, SIU Edwardsville baseball kept its hopes alive for a berth in the GLVC Baseball Championships.

The Cougars moved from 10th to ninth place in the conference standings. Only the top six teams advance to the championships, which for the first time will take place at GMC Stadium in Sauget. "We are not mathematically eliminated," Coach Gary Collins said, "but the stars would have to line up right in order for us to get into the tournament."

The Cougars must win this weekend at Bellarmine and get help from others in order to advance to its 10th straight conference tournament. Bellarmine, Saint Joseph's, and Southern Indiana stand in the Cougars' way to the sixth spot in the standings.

Last week, the Cougars swept a doubleheader with Quincy and took three-of-four games against Indianapolis.

Kyle Jones (New Baden) and Ron Jones (Kankakee) each pitched complete-game shutouts at Indianapolis, and Robert Rahn (Wood River) banged out some timely hits as the Cougars are playing perhaps their best baseball of the season. "We are getting more production out of our offense, up and down the lineup," Collins said. "Our starting pitching has been good all year long."

Track And Field Prepares For Butler Twilight

SIUE track and field will send a full squad to this weekend's Butler Twilight meet, which gets under way Saturday (5/1) in Indianapolis. Following this weekend, only the Billy Hayes Invitational remains on the schedule before the Great Lakes Valley Conference Outdoor Championships, which is scheduled for May 13-14.

The Cougars are coming off a busy week in which some athletes participated in the prestigious Drake Relays, while others stayed home and competed in the SIUE Twilight meet at Korte Stadium.

Christen Carducci (Powell, Ohio) significantly lowered her provisional qualifying time in the 3,000-meter run at the SIUE Twilight to 9 minutes, 58.31 seconds. Coach Darryl Frerker said that time should get her into the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which will be held May 27-29 in Pomona, Calif.

Callie Glover (Bartlett) broke the school record in the hammer throw with a throw of 142 feet, 8 inches. The men's hammer throw record was also broken, as Lee Weeden (Ferguson, Mo.) registered a distance of 155'8" at the SIUE Twilight.

Frerker will look for more qualifying marks to be reached at the Butler Twilight. "This is looked at as a good qualifying meet and a chance to prepare for the conference tournament," he said. "We are at the point where we want to get specific with events so we can compete in the conference tournament."

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