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ON CAMPUS: Pichen, Olson throwing strong at collegiate level

Aurora University senior and former Sandwich High School track and field standout Brandon Pichen continues to shine for the Spartans this season.

Pichen recently won the hammer throw at the Cougar Invitational hosted by Concordia Chicago with a toss of 180 feet, 1 inch, and also finished 15th in the discus with a throw of 108-6. Prior to the strong effort in Chicago, Pichen placed second (195-8) in the hammer at the University of California at San Diego Triton Invitational and won the event (191-4) at the Benedictine University Relays.

On the women's side for AU, Shelby Leonard (So., Ottawa) placed 13th in the pole vault (8-10 1/4) at Benedictine, while Autumn Oley (Jr., Ottawa) finished 17th in the 10,000-meter run in a time of 45 minutes, 3.43 seconds.

Western Illinois University's Nick Olson (Fr., Woodland) finished fourth in the javelin throw (167-4) at the University of Missouri Tom Botts Invitational on Saturday. Olson also placed first in the javelin (163-0) and fifth in the shot put (48-7 1/4) at the Illinois State University Redbird Invite the week prior.

Olson was also named WIU's Scholar Athlete of the Week.

University of St. Francis' Kody Randa (Jr., Sandwich) posted a 19-8 effort in the long jump to place 16th at the Grand Valley State University Al Owen Classic. Also at the event, Eva Bruno (Fr., Seneca) was part of the Fighting Saints women's 1600 relay team that finished 8th in a time of 4:05.94, while also placing 16th in the 800 with a personal-best of 2:21.56.

Ethan Rowe (Fr., Ottawa) helped North Central College to a second-place finish at the Wheaton College Twilight with a 20th-place mark in the 5000, finishing the race in 17:08.43. The Cardinals' Dolan Harris (Fr., Streator) recorded a 27th placing in the 1500 with a time of 4:18.32.

Millikin University's Claire Weers (Fr., Fieldcrest) was part of the 1600 relay team that finished fourth (4:10.36) at the Greenville Select meet. She also helped the team to a fifth-place finish by placing 17th in the 800 (2:30.66). Prior to the Greenville event, Weers' 400 relay team finished first (4:15.0) at the Big Blue Alumni Invitational, while she was third in the 800 (2:29.43).

The Augustana College men won their own Meet of Champions event on Saturday afternoon. Alec Lidinsky (Sr., Sandwich) placed 39th for the Vikings in the 200 (:23.63), while younger brother Marc Lidinsky (Jr., Sandwich) was part of the 1600 relay team that finished 16th (3:37.18).

Eastern Illinois University's Maria Baldwin (Sr., Fieldcrest) placed 18th in the 10000 at the Mt. SAC relays in a time of 35:28.08, which is second on the EIU career list. The Panthers' Caroline Collet (Sr., Seneca) recently placed third (11:55.83) in the 3000 steeplechase at the Illinois Twilight hosted by the University of Illinois.

Illinois Wesleyan University's Cora Wilkinson (Fr., Seneca) helped the Titans to a second-place finish at the Rose-Hulman Twilight with a first-place mark in the 400 hurdles (1:05.33), while earning a third in the triple jump (35-5) and sixth in the 100 hurdles (:16.96). Illinois College's Emily Woods (Fr., Seneca) also placed ninth in the long jump (15-7 1/2) and 13th in the 400 (1:05.95) at the event.

Maddie Robinson (Fr., Sandwich) helped Olivet Nazarene University to a third-place finish at the Augustana College Meet of Champions by placing sixth in the shot put (12.18 meters) and 18th in the hammer throw (39.5 meters).

Softball

Lake Land College has won nine of its last 10 games to improve to 42-15 on the season. Delanie Johnson (Fr., Streator) is hitting .396 with 20 doubles, six home runs, 57 RBIs and is currently on a six-game hitting streak for the Lakers. Rachel Quaritsch (Fr., Flanagan-Cornell) is batting .347 with four doubles, three triples and 15 RBIs for LLC, while pitcher Samantha Forrest (Fr., La Salle-Peru) is 3-1 with a save. Forrest has an ERA of 3.50 in 14 appearances (four starts).

Baseball

In a clash of NJCAA Division II teams, No. 9 Parkland College (26-10) took a pair of games from No. 2 Heartland Community College (32-7) over the weekend. Parkland's Trystin Raikes (RS-So., Marquette) blasted a solo home run in the Cobras' 6-2 victory in the second game. Raikes is hitting .325 with four doubles, two triples, eight homers and 33 RBIs so far this season.

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