Archive for Thursday, March 24, 2005

Lions doing fine on college scene

March 24, 2005

It's easy to keep track of Lansing High's student-athletes during their four years of high school, but when they move away to college, it becomes easy to lose sight of them and miss out on their athletic achievements at the next level.

We don't want to let that happen, however, so occasionally The Current will publish updates on our former student-athletes.

¢ Two of Lansing's top volleyball players from the Class of 2004 recently completed their freshman seasons of college volleyball. Devona Williams helped guide Alabama A&M into the NCAA Tournament, while Ashley Reider was a reserve outside hitter at Washburn.

Reider played in 18 matches and helped the Lady Blues to a 29-7 record this year. Williams was an everyday player for the Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Bulldogs (22-6).

"She played almost every match, and they made it to the national tournament," LHS coach Julie Slater said of Williams. "They got beat in the first round, but it's very hard to get there."

¢ Former LHS volleyball player Kelli Craig helped the Independence Community College Pirates to a 40-9 record and fifth-place finish at nationals in 2004. Craig, an outside hitter, was fourth on the team with 200 kills.

¢ 2003 LHS graduate Melissa Wagner recently finished her sophomore year of volleyball at Northeastern Oklahoma. Academically, she earned a place on the Principal's honor roll for the fall 2004 semester.

¢ Heather Garza's freshman softball season at Independence Community College is underway. Garza, a 2004 LHS grad, is a shortstop and second baseman for the Pirates, 5-7.

¢ Brian Kern, a 2004 LHS graduate, was a freshman guard on the men's basketball team at Morningside College in Sioux City, IA. Kern redshirted this year for the Mustangs (20-10).

¢ Alan Kroll used the momentum he built during his standout senior season of track at LHS in 2004 and carried it into the start of his collegiate career at Johnson County Community College last fall. Kroll was one of the Cavaliers' top five runners all season and he notched his best finish of the year on Sept. 11 when he placed seventh overall at the Highland Invitational. He closed out the indoor track season with a fifth-place finish in the 800-meter run at the Jayhawk Conference Region VI championships on Feb. 25-26 in Manhattan.

¢ Former Lansing distance running standout Cassie Blankenship is closing out her final season at JCCC in style. Blankenship was one of the Cavaliers' top two runners in every cross country meet in 2004, including an individual title at the East Jayhawk Conference Championship on Oct. 25 in El Dorado. She placed 28th overall at the National Junior College Athletic Assn. National Championship in Levelland, Tex. on Nov. 6.

Blankenship made a strong showing during the indoor track season this winter. She finished the indoor campaign with a second-place finish in the mile and third-place finish in the 1,000 meters at the Jayhawk Conference Region VI championships in Manhattan.

Do you know of a former Lansing athlete we've missed? Send it to Current sports reporter Chris Wristen at cwristen@newsmwc.com.

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