South Dakota junior Bethany Buell, a Summit High product, cleared 14 feet 7¼ inches on her third and final attempt to win the NCAA Division I title in the pole vault recently in Eugene, Ore.
Buell tied the national championship record with a clutch jump to slip by Kansas’ Natalia Bartonovskaya and Eastern Illinois’ Jade Riebold, and she did it while competing with a torn ligament in her left shoulder that will require offseason surgery. Buell, a two-time Missouri pole vault champion in high school, missed much of this season after injuring her shoulder while clearing a nation-best height of 14-7½ on March 29 at the Texas Relays. She returned to action for the Summit League Championships on May 9.
Buell, who has her sights set on the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, qualified for nationals as a freshman and finished third at the 2012 NCAA track and field championships.
New conference alignments
The football programs at Lindenwood-Belleville and Missouri Baptist have found a conference home.
In the fall of 2015, both will begin competing in the Mid-States Football Association, a 14-team NAIA league with programs in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Michigan.
“I look forward to working with Missouri Baptist University and Lindenwood University-Belleville as the newest members of the Mid-States Football Association,’’ league commissioner Dr. James D. Houdeshell said. “The Missouri Baptist folks made a wonderful review of plans to begin intercollegiate football. Lindenwood-Belleville already plays intercollegiate football and they sought a conference to join.
“We extend our best to both.’’
Missouri Baptist is starting its program this fall at the intramural level and expects to play it first full season in 2014. Lindenwood-Belleville went 4-6 last fall in its inaugural campaign. On the schedule for the Lynx this fall are MSFA squads St. Francis (Ill.) and Olivet Nazarene.
The Mid-States’ Midwest League includes 2011 NAIA national champion St. Xavier as well as Olivet Nazarene and Trinity International from Illinois and Grand View, St. Ambrose, Waldorf and William Penn from Iowa.
The Mideast League features 2012 NAIA champion Marian, Taylor and St. Francis from Indiana, Robert Morris and St. Francis from Illinois and Corcordia and Siena Heights of Michigan.
Lindenwood-Belleville also is joining Missouri Baptist in other sports as a member of the American Midwest Conference beginning with the 2014-15 school year.
Others in the AMC include Benedictine-Springfield from Illinois, Columbia, Hannibal-LaGrange, Harris-Stowe, Park, Stephens and William Woods from Missouri and Lyon and Williams Baptist from Arkansas.
St. Louis College of Pharmacy also will join the AMC in 2014, rounding out the 12-member league. The 2013-14 season will mark the Eutectics’ final year in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Around the Region
• Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s DeAnna Price, a sophomore from Troy Buchanan High, became a two-time NCAA All-American with an eighth-place finish in the hammer throw in Eugene. Price, who had a throw of 208 feet 2 inches, earned second-team All-American honors in 2012 when she placed 10th in the hammer throw.
• SIU Edwardsville’s Raven Berry, a 6-foot-1 center from Collinsville, will continue playing basketball as a professional with the Lemvig Basketball Club in Denmark. She was an All-Ohio Valley Conference selection after averaging 14.5 points and 10 rebounds as a senior. The first player in school history to reach the 1,000 mark in points and rebounds, she holds Cougar records for games played (118) and rebounds (1,040). With 1,499 career points, she ranks fifth at SIUE.
• A pair of Missouri State players with St. Louis ties were among the honorees as center fielder Tate Matheny (Westminster Christian) and Jon Harris (Hazelwood Central) were named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America squad.
Matheny started all 54 games for the Bears, finishing with a team-leading .336 batting average. He also led the team in hits (77) and home runs (four) and finished with 26 RBIs. Harris, a lanky righthander, posted victories in his first eight collegiate starts. He finished the season 8-2 with a 3.67 ERA. In 76 2/3 innings, he fanned 61 and walked 31.
• Matt Baker, who became Maryville’s first Division II national champion when he capped a 40-1 senior season with a national wrestling championship at 197 pounds in March, added to his list of accomplishments recently when he became just the third Saints’ student-athlete to earn first-team Academic All-American honors.
• After helping lead their team to its first NAIA World Series berth, two players from Missouri Baptist — pitcher Ethan Gibbons and shortstop Patrick Johnson — were named All-Americans. Gibbons earned first-team honors after going 11-1 with a 2.20 ERA. Johnson received honorable mention.