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Deborah Hile, Designer

Indiana University’s Blake Pieroni made history once again.

The Chesterton standout broke the American, NCAA, NCAA Meet, U.S Open, Big Ten, school and pool records on Wednesday for his 200-yard freestyle leg at the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis.

Pieroni swam a 1 minute, 29.63 seconds leg for the Hoosiers in the 800 freestyle relay — the first swimmer in history to break the 1:30 mark with his blistering time.

The effort by Pieroni on the leadoff leg helped IU finish second in the nation in the event and set Big Ten and IU school records with a time of 6:06.01. The runner-up finish in the event was the best for the Hoosiers since 1975.

Pieroni also helped the Hoosiers take top honors in the 400 medley relay and Big Ten, school and pool records in the time of 3:01.07.

As a team, IU finished third in the nation behind four-time reigning champion Texas.

Additionally, Pieroni competed in the 200 freestyle and finished as the runner-up in the event with a time of 1:30.23. Pieroni’s time was the second-fastest in school history. He also becomes IU’s first swimmer since 1977 to reach the Championship Final in the 200 free for four consecutive years.

Pieroni was also seeded fourth in the 100 free and kept up his brilliant weekend by taking fourth in the event in 41.51 seconds. Pieroni earned All-American accolades in all seven of his events and ends his stellar career with an incredible 19 All-American certificates.

Women’s swimming

Michigan’s Vanessa Krause (Chesterton) was eighth in the nation in the 200-yard butterfly at the NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio. She lowered her Big Ten and school records in the preliminaries (1:53.31).

Krause became the third swimmer in program history to place in the event. The standout sophomore helped the Wolverines finish fourth in the country, the program’s first top-four finish since 1996, while the team’s 267 points were the third-highest in program history.

• Auburn’s Aly Tetzloff (Crown Point) tied for sixth in the 50 free and was seventh in the 100 free at the NCAA Championships. Tetzloff was a part of six All-American honors at the meet. She was a member of the 400 freestyle relay, 400 medley relay, 800 free relay and earned honors in the 100 fly.

Women’s basketball

Trinity Valley (Texas) sophomore Michal Miller (Michigan City) hit a running eight-footer with less than a second left as the team stunned previously-unbeaten Shelton State 65-63 in overtime in the national semifinals to advance to the NJCAA Division I national title game.

Miller, who had 13 points in the game, hit her game-winning runner to snap Shelton State’s 36-game winning streak.

The Cardinals ended up runner-up in the nation after falling to Tallahassee Community College 69-51 Saturday night in the title tilt.

In a quarterfinal win over Walters State, Miller hit 7-of-10 3-pointers and finished with 27 points.

• Ancilla College’s season came to a close at the NJCAA Championship in Harrison, Arkansas. The team finished the season 26-7.

Hannah Stolte (South Central), Karson Williams (LaPorte) and Markeysha Coleman (Bowman Academy) had two points each.

It was the most wins in school history. The team won its first regional and was one of just 10 teams remaining in the country at the NJCAA Division II level.

Men’s track

Pittsburgh’s Daveon Finley (Portage) competed at the ACC Indoor Championships and had a personal-best time in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.09 seconds in the preliminaries.


Nebraska’s Jesse Wilkening (Hanover Central) is third on the team with a .337 average. The junior catcher has started all 23 games and leads the team with 25 RBIs. He’s also second with three homers.

• Tulane’s Kody Hoese (Griffith) continues to tear it up. The sophomore infielder had a six-game hitting streak and had reached base in 11 straight games. Hoese is second on the team in hitting (.341) and has started all 24 games. He’s got 15 RBIs and is second on the team with six doubles. Hoese drove in two runs in last week’s 10-4 loss to LSU.

• Saint Leo (Fla.) University’s Amir Wright (Griffith) is second on the team in hitting (.360), while tops on the club in runs (25) and walks (17). Wright has 16 RBIs and has started all 24 games he’s appeared in for the NCAA Division II school.

Men’s lacrosse

Indiana Tech moved up to No. 2 in the latest NAIA Coaches’ Top 10 Poll. Tech received 88 points and two first-place votes behind Reinhardt (Ga.). Joe Dosen (Crown Point) is the team’s goalie, while Brandon Phipps (Crown Point) has nine goals this season for the Warriors (6-0).

On Friday, Tech hammered No. 5 Savannah College 15-5.


Concordia University Chicago’s Melissa Balkema (Hanover Central) is leading the team with a .500 batting average. The junior shortstop has also driven in 12 and scored 10 runs.

Women’s bowling

Nebraska’s Kelly Belzeski (Lake Central) qualified for the Intercollegiate Singles Championship for the second year in a row. Only the top 24 female bowlers in the country are invited.

The 2018 ISC will take place April 17-18 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The finals will be on CBS in late April.

Men’s basketball

Florida Southwestern College’s season came to an end in a 76-68 loss to Vincennes in the quarterfinals of the 2018 NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Griffith products Tremell and Anthony Murphy (Griffith) combined for 16 points and 12 rebounds in their final game for the Bucs (30-3). The duo helped the program to a 56-10 overall record in their two seasons.

Men’s golf

Bradley’s Matthew Specht (Munster) tied for 17th at the Twin Oaks Invitational in Springfield, Missouri, with scores of 71-75-74 to help the Braves capture the 11-team tournament.

The Times welcomes information about local athletes for inclusion in Region Collegians. Email Brian Waddle at