NWIUNOTES: CCSJ's Kevin Paterson on track for continued success

2014-04-23T18:30:00Z 2014-04-23T21:29:08Z NWIUNOTES: CCSJ's Kevin Paterson on track for continued successAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
April 23, 2014 6:30 pm  • 

Much like his track and cross country runners, it's taken Kevin Paterson time and sacrifice to reach his destination.

Not the finish line, but the job place.

The Calumet College coach, a 2003 Hobart grad, attended three colleges and took 5 1/2 years to graduate because of a vision problem as a child that had been mistaken for a learning disability.

Now, aided by vision therapy and special contact lenses that "balance" the muscles in his eyes, Paterson was able to earn his degree while building a track/cross country program from the ground up at CCSJ.

He went from coaching just four individuals three years ago to a total of 54 male and female athletes today.

"They're gung-ho enough that they will stick," Paterson said. "Our men's and women's track team set 17 school records this season. We don't have a record board because it would cost us too much to update it."

The Crimson Wave placed fifth at both the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference cross country and track meets last season and is stocked with many talented area athletes.

High jumper Matt Stewart (Hobart) is tearing it up in the CCAC, Joey Curtis (Hobart) has the school's 100-meters record of 10.89; Carrie Boelt (Munster) owns the women's long jump and high jump records; Kimmy Bigbie (Hobart) is a top sprinter; Crystal Daniels (Bloom Trail) barely missed qualifying for nationals in the 400; Jeff Potat (Lowell) holds the 1,500 record and Danielle Weems (Whiting) was girls track MVP.

"They're my biggest recruiters," Paterson said of his athletes. "They're letting high school kids know we've had a program since 2005."

As a college athlete, Paterson held seven track and field records at CCSJ and one at St. Francis College of Ft. Wayne.

"I went from being the worst of the worst with grades and asking my parents to hold me back in middle school. ... then I started to run and it gave me a purpose to go to school," Paterson said. "I had finally found confidence in myself."

PUC strengthens volleyball roster: Purdue Calumet coach Julie Wiejak has added to her 2014 recruiting class with the signing of Gavit's 5-foot-10 Vanessa Skierkiewicz and Ancilla College transfer Hannah Kelly.

"Vanessa is a versatile, outside hitter who brings power and finesse to the position," Wiejak said. "Hannah comes to our team with two years of junior college training and with some fine tuning, she could contribute to our success right away."

Skierkiewicz posted 235 kills her senior season to earn All-Great Lakes Athletic Conference honors a third straight year while leading Gavit to a 20-11 record.

Ex-Kankakee standout selects IUN: Kankakee Community College sophomore Kayce Nagel, a 6-foot-1 forward/center from Peotone, will continue her education and athletic career at Indiana University Northwest.

Nagel averaged 4.4 points and 2.8 rebounds for the 28-8 Cavaliers, who claimed the National Junior College Association Region IV Championship and advanced to the national tournament.

"Kayce's blend of strength and athleticism along with her experience from a highly-successful program will be valued on our team," IUN coach Ryan Shelton said.

Peregrines land BNI runner: Bishop Noll's Cody Porter, a three-letter winner in cross country and with four varsity letters in track, has committed to Purdue University Calumet.

"(Cody's) determination to excel in long distance running will help him reach his individual and team goals," said coach Stephanie Beck.

Megyesi signs Wisconsin star: Ellie Michalski, a 6-foot-2 center from Mukwonago High School (Wis.) has signed with Purdue University Calumet.

Michalski averaged 8.6 points and 9.0 rebounds for the 20-7 Indians.

"Ellie comes from a very good high school basketball program," said PUC coach Tom Megyesi. "She will be an outstanding addition to our inside game."

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