Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Men's Baseball: UIS baseball earns #1 seed in GLVC Tournament

The No. 4 University of Illinois Springfield baseball team earned the top seed from the Green Division in this week's GLVC Tournament.

This is the fifth consecutive appearance, and sixth overall, for the Prairie Stars who open the double-elimination tournament Thursday against Lewis in Saint Charles, Mo. The Stars are looking for their first conference title. UIS completed the regular season Saturday with a 34-5 record, the second best winning percentage in program history. The team won all 10 weekend series this season. Sunday's game hosting Quincy was canceled due to rain.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on May 9, 2021.

Men's Track & Field: UIS’ Jones wins GLVC award

University of Illinois Springfield sophomore Blake Jones was named the Men’s Great Lakes Valley Conference Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year after winning two events on Saturday at the GLVC Conference Championships at Allgood-Bailey Stadium.

Jones, a Lincoln High School graduate, took first place in both the 1,500 and 5,000-meter runs. He finished the 1,500 in 3 minutes 48.83 seconds and won the 5,000 in 14:45.15.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on May 8, 2021. 

Women's Track & Field: UIS’ Christy, Ross triumph in 10,000 meters

University of Illinois Springfield junior Taryn Christy won the women’s 10,000 meters for the second straight time and freshman Cortland Ross won his first title in the same race on the men’s side at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday at Allgood-Bailey Stadium.

Christy’s time of 34 minutes 48.34 seconds was a new school and GLVC record. She also won the race in 2019.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on May 7, 2021.

UIS Perspectives: Commencement is a celebration of endings and beginnings

The following is an excerpt from a column by University of Illinois Springfield Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney. This column appeared in The State Journal-Register on May 8, 2021. 

This week, I am so very proud to announce that the University of Illinois Springfield will celebrate the incredible achievements of the Class of 2021 through both in-person and virtual commencement ceremonies.

Commencement also marks a beginning of the next stage of one’s life as a college graduate. It marks so many next milestones — for some, it is the transition fully into adulthood. It is the entry into professional employment, graduate school, military service or adding to an already accomplished life with an advanced degree, or all things in between.

This year’s commencement is not just any commencement, and it is not just any year. This commencement marks the 50th anniversary of this great university’s founding, and it is occurring during one of the greatest health threats to the world — the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world is a completely different place from when the Class of 2021 started their college journey. To be sure, nothing — not a pandemic, not the greatest social challenges of our time — keeps UIS from living and achieving our mission of providing “a uniquely student-centered educational experience both in and out of the classroom.” What these great challenges do is inform HOW we stay true to our mission. Through hard work, grit, innovation and creativity, we have figured how to stay United in Safety this year and live our mission.

To our esteemed Class of 2021: Thank you. Thank you for being such a special class. Thank you for adhering to our robust health and safety standards, for gracefully adapting to last-minute changes and brand-new circumstances. Thank you for your creativity and innovation and for your determination to making this year so successful.

It’s time to go out there and show everyone what “Leadership Lived” really means. Be a leader in every possible way, and put the strength of your shiny new U of I degree on full display.

Congratulations! Go Stars!

Friday, May 7, 2021

UIS Expands COVID Testing To The Public

The University of Illinois Springfield COVID-19 saliva testing site is now offering free tests to the public. A separate “community lane” has been established in the lower-level PAC testing area for community visitors.

The free tests are being funded through an agreement between the Illinois Department of Public Health and SHIELD Illinois using federal relief money.

This story appeared on NPR Illinois on May 6, 2021.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Women's Softball: Wickenhauser hits milestone, helps UIS split

Calla Wickenhauser became the University of Illinois Springfield’s all-time leader in runs scored as she led the Prairie Stars to a Great Lakes Valley Conference doubleheader split in an 8-1 Game 2 win over Drury on Saturday at the Land of Lincoln Softball Complex.

Batting leadoff, Wickenhauser hit two home runs in the second game and finished with four RBIs and three runs scored. The junior, from Maroa-Forsyth High School, now has 100 runs. Wickenhauser was already the all-time program leader in RBIs and now has 108 to go along with 100 home runs in her career at UIS.

This story was published in The State Journal-Register on May 1, 2021.

Men's Baseball: No. 6 UIS baseball clinches GLVC Green Division regular season title

The No. 6 University of Illinois Springfield baseball team clinched the Great Lakes Valley Conference Green Division regular season title after a 22-0 blowout hosting William Jewell Sunday.

The University of Illinois Springfield baseball team is familiar with winning. The team has won 32 games and only lost four during the 2021 season. Head coach Ryan Copeland describes his squad as tough.

“We have a really talented group," Copeland said. "We knew that last year. We’ve had it rolling here for a few years now. This group is extremely tough and they play hard. They’re resilient. We get down in games and it never seems to matter. They always find a way to come back.”

The Prairie Stars have not only battled their opponent, but also the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this season the team had to pause competition for COVID-19 protocols.

“You can’t be a normal college kid right now," Copeland said. "You just can’t. We have a really good group, a veteran group that has prioritized our program and playing. I think that’s why we’re in the spot we’re in.”

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on May 2, 2021.