Collegiate update for Plymouth County athletes
By Allen Hamil
Once their high school careers come to a close, many area athletes continue to compete at the collegiate level. We’ll now provide a brief rundown of local Plymouth County athletes who have found success at the next level.
Track and Field
Former KP-WC standout Kiana Phelps opened outdoor track season for the University of Oregon. Phelps took 26th in the shot put at the 2017 Pepsi Florida Relays. The freshman for the Ducks reached a distance of 13.12 meters or just over 43 feet.
At the Dordt Invitational, several local athletes were able to showcase their skills.
Trevor Westhoff, a Le Mars Community graduate, set a new school record for Briar Cliff in the discus at the event after a throw of 149-00 feet to finish third in the event. This came after previously setting the school record just a week before at Buena Vista. Westhoff also notched a sixth place finish in the hammer throw with a mark of 152-03 feet for the Briar Cliff men’s track and field team.
Rose Pelelo-Ray, another former Bulldog, took fifth in the 400 dash while helping the Morningside 4x400 team to a runner-up finish.
Mustang teammate and former Hinton athlete Drew Schiltz helped Morningside to a third place finish in the men’s 4x400 relay. Schiltz also finished eighth in the javelin throw.
Northwestern had Bulldog graduate Katrina Engebretson finish fourth in the high jump with a height of 4-11. Tanner Hilbrands, a former Remsen-Union athlete, took fourth in the long jump. Lily Peschau, a Kingsley-Pierson graduate, finished in the middle of the pack in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes.
Jacob Lamoreux, a Le Mars alum, has positioned himself as Morningside’s top hitter. The senior outfielder is on pace for his third Morningside batting title in the last four years with a team-high .389 batting average to go along with a team-high three triples, six stolen bases and 35 runs scored. Lamoreux, a three-time first-team All-GPAC performer, is Morningside’s all-time leader with 280 career hits en route to a .387 career batting average.
Teammate Elliot Conover, a former Remsen St. Mary’s player, has been a shutdown pitcher out of the bullpen for the Mustangs. The sophomore has allowed only one earned run and has 17 strikeouts in 15.1 innings pitched for a 0.59 earned run average over his last 10 appearances to lower his season’s ERA from 9.00 to 1.10.
The Mustangs are currently 22-16 overall and 7-7 in the GPAC.
Crosstown rival Briar Cliff is 12-24 overall and 5-9 in the GPAC. Freshman Brady Harpenau has been a bright spot for the Chargers this season as he batting .312 on the season with 16 RBIs and four extra-base hits. Fellow former RSM players Matt Wesselmann and Tyler Delperdang are pitchers for the Chargers. Wesselmann is 1-3 in 45.2 innings of work, second-most on the team while Delperdang has the third-most innings pitched with 33. He is 3-4 on the season.
Jaclyn Smith, an Akron-Westfield graduate, hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Northwestern a 2-1, extra-innings win over Briar Cliff in GPAC play on March 28. Smith is second on the team in stolen bases with 11 and has 20 hits with nine RBIs. Fellow former Westerner Kayla Tindall is a pitcher for the Red Raiders with an 11-7 record and 3.76 ERA in 113.2 innings pitched. The pair have helped Northwestern to an 18-15 overall record and 7-3 mark in GPAC play.
Danielle Martin has taken her tennis skills from Le Mars to Midland University where she has seen success already. The freshman was named the GPAC Tennis Player of the Week in mid-March and has an 11-6 record for the Warriors this season, outperforming the team’s overall record of 7-10.
This winter saw several athletes also shine on the hardwood.
Tyler Borchers, a 6-7 freshman forward from Le Mars led the Mustangs in field goal accuracy with 140 field goals in 227 attempts for 61.7 percent and made a team-high 99 free throws in 138 attempts for 71.7 percent.
Borchers topped the Mustangs with 10 double-doubles and averaged 12.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game coming off the bench to rank third on the team in scoring and second in rebounding.
Morningside posted a 21-10 record during the 2016-17 season for its seventh 20-win season in the last 13 years. The Mustangs finished fifth in the GPAC standings with a 10-8 league mark.
Holly Schneider helped Buena Vista to a 14-13 overall record and 9-7 mark in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC). Schneider was third on the team in scoring, averaging 8.1 points per game.
She had a season-best 21 points in the second-to-last game of the season when she went 8-of-11 from the field including 4-of-5 from 3-point range to finish with 21 points.
Former Hinton standout Kailey Burke had a great freshman campaign for Briar Cliff. Burke started all but one game for the Chargers and led the team in scoring (14.1 ppg), rebounding (167) and blocks (33).
She had a season-high 25 points against Hastings and was named Second Team All-GPAC. The Chargers finished 14-17 overall and 8-12 in GPAC play.
The Charger men had a pair of Le Mars natives on the roster in former Gehlen athlete Blake Wiltgen and former Bulldog Jordan Eisma.
As a senior, Eisma started in all but one game, averaging 8.3 points per contest. He was third on the team in rebounds with 90.
Wiltgen chipped in nearly six points per game off the bench and had 85 rebounds.
The duo had the team’s two highest shooting percentages with Eisma leading the team with a 64.5 percent success rate and Wiltgen connecting on 62.1 percent of his shots.